Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Klavar Music Notation

Religious Organisations throughout the world have been the Cradle of all the Arts, providing us with an early attempt at writing music, circa 900AD, although there has been recently discovered a musical flute estimated at over 10,000 years old.

Bizarrely beautiful in appearance, the old notation was perhaps adequate to give a rough-and-ready guide to the sound of plainsong music; which was the beginning of the start, but would certainly not be equal to the more exacting disciplines of polyphonic and chromatic writing as music is today.

Printed music as we know it has had its roots in the early Middle Ages, when all music was built upon a simple do-re-mi type of scale made up of only seven notes. It seems only logical that notation should take the form of a ladder of horizontal lines, with space on and between the rungs for science of representing the seven musical sounds.

By about 1100AD a rudimentary four line stave had come into use.

The use of the lines and the spaces between enabled a seven-note-row to be recorded.

Though there were too many modifications over the centuries, this example contains the basic elements of our present day notation.

Since that time our musical vocabulary has widened almost beyond recognition; not only do we employ harmonies and rhythms unthought-of in mediaeval times, but (most significantly) we now recognise that between the whole tones of the ancient modal scale there lies a range of semitones.

In short, we now have twelve notes where formerly there were seven.

The five-line stave extended the musical range beyond the octave, but still made no provision for the black notes in our modern scale. From about 1400 AD shows the emergence of our contemporary method of delineating the duration of each note by attaching different types of ‘tail’.

Instead of meeting these developments with a reformed notation, our forebears chose to adapt the old.

They introduced an elaborately artificial system of sharps, double flats, naturals and key signatures; most of which have no bearing upon the sound of music save to stand in the way of the player’s performance of it.

The daunting array of signs and symbols needed to put music on paper proves, if ever proof were needed, that the reform of our notation is long overdue.

Our system of notation has remained virtually unchanged since the time of

JS Bach, in whose day it was already out of date.

It is only fair to add that, for all its faults the old notation had a history of long and honourable service. With it, or perhaps in spite of it, generations of performers and composers have scaled the peaks of musical genius and greatness.

However, the fact remains that to play a conventional score requires mental contortions that have nothing to do with musicianship; and therefore millions of music lovers are held back from making their own music, not by any lack of ability, but by the absurdities of an obsolete system of notation.
Ferrucio Busoni, 1866-1924:
Famous Italian Pianist/Composer wrote in his diaries: "At last it dawned upon me that our present-day octave no longer consists of seven intervals, but of twelve; and that each of these twelve intervals should have its own place in the music notation. This representation (the old notation) is illogical and confusing, and its deciphering makes unreasonably complicated demands on the intellectual".There have been many attempts to devise and improved form of music notation, and it was not until 1932 that the breakthrough came.

In that year a Dutchman, Cornelis Pot, having completed a long and exhaustive programme of research into the sciences of acoustics and optics and the mathematics of sound vibration, was able to launch a revolutionary new system of notation based upon scientific principles.

For the name of his new music notation, Cornelis Pot went to the International language Esperanto, and found the perfect word: KLAVARSKRIBO, “keyboard writing” which is pronounced ‘KLARVER-SKREEBO’

For those of you who have not yet tried the Klavar Music Notation for themselves, why not visit our website: http://www.klavarmusic.com where you can click on the ‘Download’ button and download a FREE trial lesson….
See for yourself how simple the Klavar Music Notation is to read and play.Klavar Music Books for Beginners of all ages can be purchased online from: http://klavarskribo.com