How to Play a Piano Cover Quickly: A New Version of Music Notation for Beginners [Перевод]
More recently, we talked about Roger Lynn and his amazing designs. The LinnStrument was designed around a guitar fretboard note system in different colors, with the rectangular surface of the instrument divided into 200 equal squares by the size of the fingertip.
We decided to continue the topic of new ideas in the field of music and share with you the story of a new musical notation for beginners.
This is a new method of writing piano scores that allows you to quickly learn how to play popular songs. It uses visual symbols and shows the location of the fingers and hands on the keys.
Of course, we can talk about the similarity of this method with the systems used in Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Rocksmith, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and something like Synthesia. This project is similar to the methods used in them, but is more flexible.
Sight-reading traditional scores can be challenging, requiring a significant amount of time and effort to learn. More than 20 varieties of symbols can be found in traditional scores.
Of course, one can discuss and compare the musical score with the guitar tablature, but here we are talking about something average for an “ordinary” person who wants to learn how to play modern compositions well, knowing in advance how these songs sound.
Sounds like piano keys, doesn’t it? Thin lines represent black keys and white space between them. In place of the “C” notes, there is an oblique shading (diagonal lines).
This allows the chords to overlap the C notes, while still being able to figure out where what is. Here’s an example:
A chord that demonstrates what the C note looks like, overlaid by a translucent “chord line” (this is the leftmost green note).
The bars and time signature are based on ideas from Stephen Few’s article on information visualization. Narrow gaps indicate weak beats. For most modern songs, the standard 4/4 size should be fine, but other times a circuit adaptation will be required.
Light transparent vertical lines represent extended notes when you keep your fingers on the key / check while pressing them. The lighter horizontal lines simply connect notes into chords (something similar can be seen in traditional scores).
I made the horizontal chord lines thinner than the vertical “note extension” lines in order to distinguish between their meanings and to be visually compact on the page.
Different colors show the musician’s left hand (blue) and right (green), but the general meaning is preserved even when the score is not colored. Circles have been chosen to represent finger pressing as a tribute to traditional scores.
The picture shows how two superimposed notes (green chord) look like. The circles allow you to distinguish between two different notes.
The gray letters on the right side show the name of each chord. And the arrows show the pedal being pressed. For those who are just learning chords, this combination of chord name and chord image can be very useful.
So I decided to use the up / down arrows to show when the pedal is released (up arrow) and when to press it (down arrow). More often than not, pedal depression is associated with a chord change, but we can also place separate hands independently of chords as needed.