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12.2 Score Components

System - A grouping of multiple staves linked together by a solid line or bracket along the left margin is called a “system”. All staves belonging to a system are played simultane- ously. In ensemble scores, each system appends to the one before it. A single page of a symphony conductor's score, containing 10 or 20 staff lines per system, may represent only a few seconds of music!

Staff (Stave) - The field on which notes are represented is called a staff. “Staves” is nor- mally used as the plural. At the core of every staff are five horizontal lines. Each succes- sive line and space are equivalent to a full step in note pitch. The higher the note appears on the stave, the higher its pitch. Every staff line anomaly begins with a clef sign and a key signature.

Voiceline - An individual melodic line formed by a voice within one measure. When a staff contains more than one voiceline in any given measure, note stems of each voiceline usually point in the opposite directions. The sum of all note and rest values of each voice- line in any given measure should be accounted for, but sometimes are not. Refer to "Work- ing with Contrapuntal Voices", Section 7.9 for more on dealing with this rule in SmartScore.

Clef - The clef sign at the beginning of each stave identifies which pitch “class” that stave belongs to. The lowest instruments are written in the bass clef, intermediate instruments and voices often use one of three “C” clef classes while higher-pitched instruments, in addition to the right-hand part of a piano score, are scored in the treble clef. The clef sign always appears at the beginning of every staff line and in the first measure if a change of clef occurs. Change of clef signs are smaller than normal clefs.

Key Signature - The key signature, along with the clef sign, appears at the beginning of every line; it is also found in the measure where a change of key occurs. The key signature defines the “tonal center” of the piece. The number of sharps or flats in the key signature determines the key tone (or tonic).

Time Signature - Time signatures usually appear only once: at the beginning of the stave in the first measure of the piece. They will also appear when a change of time signature occurs. Time signatures indicate both the number of beats per measure (numerator) as well as which note value is given the fundamental beat (denominator). The sum of note dura- tion values in a given measure must equal the value of the current time signature.

Note - A note is the fundamental unit of tone. The duration of a note is determined by its note value (normally between 1 and 128 divisions). The note’s vertical position on a given staff (with clef) determines its pitch.

Rest - Rests are equivalent to notes insofar as their durations; but represent silence. They act as “place-holders” used to keep the rhythmic structure of the measure intact.

Measure - Staff lines are segmented into equal time divisions called measures. Measures are the building blocks that provide structure for music. The sum of note and rest dura- tions within each measure must equal the value of the current time signature

Barline - Barlines are the vertical lines that define the beginning and ending of measures

Accidental - Note pitches often range outside of the tonal center defined by the key signa- ture. An accidental shifts its associated note up (sharp) or down (flat) by 1/2 step. Acci- dentals may also be doubled. An accidental remains effective only for the remainder of the measure in which it appears. A natural “cancels” a note’s current accidental.

Dot of Prolongation - Notes and rests that are dotted have the value of their duration lengthened by 1/2. For example, a dotted quarter note is equal in duration to three eighth notes. Double-dotted notes increase the note’s duration by 3/4 of the original.

Tuplet - Some notes belong to a special readmit class called “tuplets”. These include trip- lets, quintuplets and sextuplets. A tuplet is a group of notes marked with a bracket that is subdivided into equal beats (divisions) with a total duration equal to the number of unmodified notes (value). For example, a (3:2) triplet applied to three eighth notes is equal in total duration to two eighth notes.

Ties - A tie links two pairs of notes of the same pitch whose durations are combined so that both notes are played as if one note. Ties are often used to sustain the sound of a note across more than one measure.

NOTE:Ties and slurs (legatos) often look alike, but they are different. Ties connect two notes of the same pitch and combine their durations into one note event and slurs connect two or more notes over a range of pitches forming a legato that when performed, creates a slight overlapping of the notes.

Articulations - Performance markings that provide instructions for playback of the marked notes. For example, a staccato, a dot placed above/ below a notehead, means the note should be short, sounding for only a moment.

Dynamics - Dynamic markings are used to denote the general volume and intensity of music. For example, “f” or forte means loud and “p” or piano means soft.