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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology


Music, Notation, History


Musical notation has a long and diverse history. The traditions of ancient Greece differ substantially from that of India or China in both content and technique, and even the Greek church has distinct notation from the Latin church. In our modern world there is an accepted notational style utilized for Western classical music, but the disparate regional and cultural styles that we may observe in history yields a deeper understanding of those cultures: what musical elements were prioritized over others, what performers were expected to interpret instead of purely reading, how their tonal structure is imparted. Contemporary musical notation has developed alongside technology which has enabled greater musical freedom, but in studying the history of music notation greater insights may be obtained and the understanding of general notation will be expanded.

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