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Thread: dashes on the half note or quarter note

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    So on the line leaving the note, not sure what you call it but the flag attaches to it, there are dashes sometimes two sometimes three. I read that three means tremolo and if there are four dotes above it it means to play it like 1/16 notes. What do they really signify? Also what is the little eyeball? The thing with a dot dot and an arc above it. Sorry for the descriptions the books I'm using have left me a little confused. Thanks John
    At the least my descriptions may make someone laugh!



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  2. #2

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    John,

    You do have the right idea. Here are some specifics:

    The line attaching the note to the flag is called the stem, The slanted lines are an abreviation. Notational standards (basically for all instruments) call for a single slanted line to refer to 8th notes, two slanted lines refer to 16th notes and three slanted lines to 32nd notes. The dots are used in string music (violin etc. in addition to mandolin) to help clarify that the slanted lines refer to measured tremelo (a specific number and duration of notes.

    Unmeasured tremelo (an undetermined but generally fast tremelo) is indicated by three slanted lines and the word "trem." or "tremelo".

    Of course, all of the above refers to "notational standards" and these seem to be often overlooked or mishandled. Sometimes it takes a bit of analytical thinking to figure out what the composer or arranger really had in mind.

    In his Method, Bickford says, "This abbreviation was formerly used in mandolin music to indicate tremelo, but never properly."

    The other symbol you mention is called a fermata. This indicates holding the note for more than its written value.

  3. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim I got it now. So did my descriptions make you laugh. Hope so wouldn't be any fun without a good laugh once in a while. Thanks again John
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  4. #4

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    You know... it does really look like an eyeball, doesn't it?

    It ends up looking a bit creepy when you have two next to each other.

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