How do music marks and music signs get onto the (virtual) sheet music today? The sharpened pencil behind the ear and a sheet full of blank lines of music may seem like a romantic idea – but the reality is digital.
Even with songwriting, digitization does not stop and so there are corresponding music notation programs – and you can conjure up music characters and music marks yourself in Word using the keyboard that you modified. This article takes a look at the possibilities of songwriters.
Writing music characters and notes using the keyboard in Word is easy and does not require expensive equipment. This also works easily with the help of a keyboard and this guide.
- Keyboard shortcut for eighth note – Hold down the Alt key to the left of the space bar while 1 and 3 are typed one after the other in the number field.
- Bound eighth notes Keyboard shortcut – Hold down the Alt key to the left of the spacebar while 1 and 4 are typed one after the other in the number field.
What sounds so simple and practical does not require any special equipment. The basic technical requirement is a keyboard with a numeric keypad. This must be activated so that the key combination in the document also has its effect.
More sheet music & music characters in Word with free font
If the simple possibilities with single and bound eighth notes are not enough, larger guns have to drive up to write music symbols on the keyboard. Admittedly, no real sheet music can be generated with this method either. But the most important musical symbols and musical notes are available as special characters as well as clefs.
This is made possible by the musical notation “Fughetta”. It comes up with the most that the musician’s heart desires: From various notes to music characters such as clef and various signs, you can draw notes on the keyboard.
Instructions for the font music symbols Fughetta
- Download the font for music icons
- Install font »Fughetta« as shown in the picture (above)
- In Word:
- Insert > symbol > more symbols…
- Select font
Alternative: Music notation program
If it is not enough to write down some notations on the keyboard in other programs, you have to resort to larger guns. MuseScore is a free music notation program that allows compositions to be written digitally on a virtual sheet of music.
If you value additional instrumentalization, you can resort to Forte.
The title must be entered in the document, as well as the instruments used for them and a key. Comments can also be accommodated directly. Composing takes place almost far away from the musical instrument, just as composers used to do on sheet music.
After note by note has been entered, the computer lets you hear how the sequence of notes sounds. The file can be exported in MSCZ format.
So if you don’t just want to enter a note as a symbol in Word, but need the music symbols and note marks on the keyboard ready for songwriting, you should look for such a solution.
DAWs can also score notation
Film fans know the scene: Piper Perabo, alias Violet Sanford, jingles tone by a note on her keyboard in the film »Coyote Ugly«. The notes appear digitally on the screen of her laptop, where she not only sees all the musical characters but can also edit the digitized notes.
Such a program is called Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and can do much more than display aks music marks on the PC. These programs can record and playback entire songs so that they are later released as CDs.
This solution is far too complex for most to simply represent a few notes and is primarily aimed at musicians.
Music Characters and Sheet Music Marks Selection
Before you can write music characters using the keyboard, it is helpful to know which music characters and note marks exist. Below we have put together a selection of the most important music and sheet music signs in our opinion.
clef: treble clef
A clef is always at the beginning of a grading system. There are several different clefs. The most common is the treble clef. The attachment point of the inner curl indicates the grade f.
clef: bass clef
The second most common clef is the bass clef. This is used for instruments that mainly play very low notes.
In a clef notation system, the notes would be mainly below the notation system and would be difficult to read. The tone on the line between the two points of the bass clef is the f.
The music sign for the time signature indicates how many counting times fit into a bar. In our example, four quarter notes fit into one bar. The four-quarter time is also one of the most common time signatures.
Music mark: Whole note
Notes indicate which notes need to be played. To understand how long a note needs to be held, there are different note marks. A whole note must be held over four counting times. It is not filled in and has no music neck.
Musical mark: Half note
Half a note has a note neck and is not filled. It must be held half as long as a whole note. This means you have to hold them for two counting times.
Musical mark: Quarter note
The quarter note differs from half a note by the completed note head. The quarter note is held for a counting time.
Score: Eighth note
An eighth note has a flag on the neck in addition to the note neck and completed note head. It has a length of half a counting time.
Music only lives through breaks. That’s why pauses are at least as important as the notes themselves. The music characters for pauses also vary according to the length of their counting time. In our graph, you will find from left to right a whole break, half a break, a quarter break, and two eighth breaks.
Other important music marks are signs. A cross increases a note by a semitone step.
In addition to the sign of the cross, there are also B-signs. These lower notes by a semitone step.
Resolution characters resolve previous cross and B signs in one bar.
If the music sign Tenutostrich is found below or above a note, this note must be played particularly wide. The distance to the next note is significantly shortened during the game.
The note mark staccato point is the opposite of a tenuto line. If a note has a staccato point, it must be played particularly short. This creates a larger gap to the next tone.
Dynamic designations are also represented with music signs. In ascending order you will find the music marks for piano, mezzoforte, forte, and fortissimo in our graphic. One after the other, you have to play quietly, moderately, loudly, and particularly loudly with these characters.
Conclusion: Write music characters & notes via keyboard
That was a lot of input on the subject of writing music characters & notes via keyboard. The summary is as follows:
- If you only want to write a few notes in Word, you can use the »keyboard combination Note«.
- If you want access to all music marks and music symbols, install a musical notation for Word.
- If you need it a little more precise and realistic, you can use a so-called music notation program.
- A DAW can also write music but is too complex for simple music writing on a PC or Mac.