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Analysing Common Practice Notation (CPN) & Simplified Notation (SN)


After surveying number of notations, I found that many recent invented notations retain the note duration
convention of the CPN. On the other hand, SN does not need any mental effort to read as it is explicit.
So I plan to combine to strength of the 2 notations.

The following is an analysis on CPN and SN.

Simplified Notation (SN)

Simplified notation uses numeric symbol to represent diatonic degree of a scale.
The octave and duration is represented by dots, dashes and underscores around the number.
The full notation is described in Wikipedia:Simplified Notation

Comparing CPN & SN


A quick comparison of the 2 notation is as follows:



Common Practice Notation
Simplified Notation
Key Signature
Key signature tells us how to interpret a note as the same location is used for multiple notes e.g. the 1st space is F in C key and F# in G key.
Key signature tells us the starting pitch of the base octave. For transposing instrument, it tells us how to set up the instrument properly.
Time Signature
Lower part of time signature tells us which note represents 1 beat.
Lower part of time signature is not used as the equivalent of quarter note is always treated as 1 beat.
Octave
Depends on location on score.
Each dot under the note shifts the note one octave lower. Each dot above the note shifts it one octave higher.
Note vs Beat
CPN uses note as symbol. The time signature tells us which note represents one beat.
SN is beat based. A note name is a beat. The beat is modified by ornament that modifies its octave or duration.
Playing multiple notes
It is easy to see the relative position of notes. CPN provides some visual hints how the notes are related.
Reading multiple SN notes is not easy as each note contains the octave, pitch and duration information. The visual hint is not as strong.
Visual Appeal(very subjective)
It looks quite artistic.
It looks scientific and a bit mechanical.
Playing on traditional Piano
C Major in CPN maps nicely to piano
In principle, one can play SN on a piano. The perceived benefit is small.
Keyboard
Invented before keyboard was invented so it cannot take advantage of keyboard capability
With a transposed keyboard, SN allows us to keep the same fingering as in C Major for all other scales. The best keyboard is one that can transpose any scale to start on Middle C. The range should be 11 semitones up plus the normal range you may need to transpose your music.