Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Notation, musical
(1,559 words)

1. Concept and function

The word “notation” derives from the Latin verb notare (“to mark,” “to designate”). Music is marked down and recorded in writing using notation. Some characteristics of notation, such as the numbering in figured bass, also tend towards shorthand, also fulfilling this aspect of notare in musical notation. Notation is accomplished, formally speaking, by the use of particular notation symbols. The principle of recording musi…

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Waczkat, Andreas, “Notation, musical”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024851>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128



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