What distinguishes a good sheet music?

Countless sheet music editions are available on the market, often even several of the same song. Some of them are a joy to listen to, as soon as you open them and start playing. The melody lies well in the hand, it sounds good, and because the notes are easy to read, you can immediately dedicate yourself to the music itself. Other sheet music editions, on the other hand, are harsh, the black dots have to be studied, the fingers have to dislocate, and yet it sounds bland.

Why is this happening?

The reasons for these differences, which every musician can notice, can be recognized with a few glances even before practicing. They can be sorted into two categories, the musical notes and the notation, that is the music piece and its graphic representation. The latter includes important details such as the shape of the symbols, the thickness of lines and the design of signs. However, the size and the meaningful distribution on the paper are particularly striking because it should above all enable a pleasant reading tempo, appropriate to the music. The eye shouldn't have to move in leaps and bounds because, for example, a sixteenth note gets as much space as a whole note (see illustration). In classical music editions, where the notes are fixed, the quality differences are mainly limited to this aspect.


In arrangements and transcriptions, which make up most of the Soundnotation's repertoire, the quality of the notation is also very important. In the following we will deal with two particularly frequent shortcomings.

Especially in transcriptions of audio files it often happens that absurdly complicated rhythms are created. This is usually due to the fact that the song is interpreted with expression, for example some notes are accentuated by a slight change in the temporal position. However, this is the interpretation level and the notation should not represent this, but the underlying rhythm. Only then can the music be interpreted expressively, because if everything is written down to the smallest detail, the execution will be rather mechanical. The same applies to very short ornamental notes, which are better notated as such, i.e. without their own rhythmic value.


In addition, the design of the accompaniment is essential. Usually it is an extensive reworking, for example from the different instruments of a band to a piano. This means that one instrument has to replace the sonority of many, and that the drums are no longer needed.

This is not achieved by merely striking the harmonies once in measure and possibly always with the same chord shape. The result would be a very dry, erratic and difficult to play accompaniment. It would often remain the same throughout the song, making it monotonous and depriving it of any dramaturgy.

As a solution to this shortcoming, it is possible to achieve diversity in the music piece by varying the density, amount of sound, dynamics etc. And with skillful use and construction of chords as well as a beautiful bass voice a lot of sound can be produced without it becoming too difficult to play.


If one is reasonably familiar with the possibilities and the idiomatic of the respective instrument, such a beautiful movement can be created in a short time. And we place a great value to beautiful, melodious arrangements of Soundnotation. Because our sheet music should simply be fun in print and play.

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