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  • Writer's pictureDan

Colourful music

I was frustratedly peering at some music score — I’ve always been slow to recognise notes that are extended above or below the stave — I wasn’t sure at first glance if the note was two lines up or three? Was it on the line or between the lines? Also I know the name of all the notes on the main stave far better than the extended ones.

Traditional music score showing extended notes above the stave.

It struck me that manuscript is still in the dark ages of black and white printing!! In this day and age there is no longer any technical barrier to printing in colour. If notes A-G were given standardised colours (sharps and flats perhaps a lighter/darker shade of the same colour) then sight reading for non-pros like me would become much faster. The name of the note would be instantly recognise from the colour of the note as well as its position on the stave. — no more second glance, peering closely to confirm if it’s two or three lines up, and, no more racking the brain for a mnemonic to recall the name of the note - just light red = A#. Bam!

Ok so you’ll point out that the entire music catalogue of the world is printed in black so unless I’m going to get the rights to reprint everything in colour I might as well forget the idea.

Well, I reckon the answer is an app that you point at your existing manuscript and, like a barcode reader, it recognises the staves and superimposes the colours over the top — allowing each person with the app to reprint a colourised version of the music score they own. Voila!!

Coloured notes superimposed by the app.

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