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Ian D. Bent, David W. Hughes, Robert C. Provine, Richard Rastall, Anne Kilmer, David Hiley, Janka Szendrei, Thomas B. Payne, Margaret Bent and Geoffrey Chew

A visual analogue of musical sound, either as a record of sound heard or imagined, or as a set of visual instructions for performers.

This article includes a discussion of notation in society (§II), subdivided into its primary types, which are considered with reference to various notational systems. Other specialized aspects of notation are considered in separate entries: Braille notation; Cheironomy; Ekphonetic notation; Pitch nomenclature; Shape-note hymnody; Solmization; Tablature; and Tonic Sol-fa. For non-Western notational systems see, in particular, China, People’s Republic of, §II, China, People’s Republic of, §IV; Indonesia; and Japan, §III, 4. Other related entries on technical subjects include Conducting; Improvisation; Mode; Psychology of music; Scale; and Tuning.

Whereas Western notation is considered as such in §III, a discussion of musical documents as sources – their physical make-up and production, their format, the layout and presentation of the music, the ordering of their contents – will be found in ...