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Musical deciphering made simpler, more rapid, more logical
 

The new
Amadeus® notation

 

Writing in C major and G clef for the two hands of the piano.

Each note with its real value :  a flat sign in front of each inflected note (black pitch of the piano).

Whatever the key signature you are, each note, each chord,
will be always written same manner!

100% Compatible with the traditional notation

 

 

 

Notation traditionnelle

 Notation Amadeus

 

 

  Other characteristics of the Amadeus notation: The barline of each measure is betwenn stave,  the indications of tempo and nuances placed below the staves, the stems of notes directed - if possible- upwards for the right hand and downwards for the left hand. These changes make it possible to obtain a more "ventilated" partition and a better legibility of the notes.

  Nota: While placing each note with its true value, a accidental present in measure for a note is valid only for this note, and not for those which follow in same measure. Like corollary, there is no more the presence of natural sign in the partition.

 

 

 

 

« The Amadeus® notation : Musical deciphering is really simpler, more rapid and more convivial… »

           Louis SCHWIZGUEBEL, gifted pianist

Of swiss father and chinese mother, Louis Schwizguebel is born in Geneva in 1987. At the age of twelve, he represents Switzerland at the 9ème festival international Steinway à Hambourg. He has already played as soliste with many orchestras, among other the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne and the symphonic Orchestra of Genève. He received in 2003 the Paderewski's prize.

   

 

Additionnal informations regarding Louis Schwizguebel with an audio extract

 

 

 

Amadeus®
A simplification of the traditional notation

 

The actual musical notation, originating from an ancestral tradition, has been developed at the time notably with the aim to facilitate the task of the composer, through simplifying to a maximum the repetitive elements of music writing. On the other hand -specially for keyboard instruments- this notation complicates the deciphering and learning of musical pieces,  even for a professional musician.

This notation of the depth of ages can eventually, within a certain measure,  be justifiable for those instruments not playing more than one note at a time on few octaves, as for wind or string instruments. However, for keyboard instruments as for the piano -which appeared later on- the conventional notation with two staffs and two different clefs is not adequate.

Inadequate even more aberration, for if we had intentionally tried to complicate the work of the musician, we would not have acted otherwise…  

In fact, with the traditional notation, to play correctly one note written on the  staff you have to think about three questions !

Firstly :  Am I in a G key or in an F key ?

Secondly :  Is there a sharp or a flat for this note ? relative to the key signature at staff start.

 Thirdly :  In the measure I am reading, is there a precedent, same note, to which we could have added a sharp, a flat or a natural ? In fact in the traditional notation,  each note inflection is valid for all the following same notes in the rest of the measure. 

When in a piano musical score there are a lot of notes in one measure, chords for both hands,  key signature with 4 or 5 sharps or flats,  a romantic or  modern piece with a lot of inflections, a piece that you know little of or which you’re not used listening to… -well  this becomes  really impossible (a real  "stone of Rosette").

Here-below is an excerpt of ‘Gaspard de la Nuit’ from Ravel (Durand Publisher), one of the most renowned piano pieces of all times worldwide. How much time will it take for you to learn and to play without error this piano stave to the indicated tempo –moderato?

 

 Five minutes?
    Ten minutes?
    Half an hour  more…?   

We could furthermore present you many other examples which are more difficult and more complicated. Effectively, you will noticed in this extract from Ravel, the two thirds of the staff is in C major... Besides, the technical level for playing this extract is suitable for a amateur medium pianist.

But there is also another problem with the traditional notation : A given note -for example you hear an A note- or a given chord, can be written in many different ways following the key signature, the key or the inflection operating in the measure ! For  a same note on the keyboard could be written in five different ways :  Simple,  sharp,  flat,  natural,  double sharp,  or double flat…For a chord of several notes,  we can have then dozens of ways of writing it !

 Here-below is chord often used in music (Diminished Seventh) and few possibilities of writing it depending  on the key signature you find yourselves in :

 

 

 And we haven’t taken into consideration in this example the eventual inflections previously present in the measure, inflections which can modify the appearance of this chord or change it into another…For example take this first measure mentioned here-above and let’s suppose that previously in this same measure, there was a G to which we had added a sharp -a G sharp. The chord you see is no longer a sharp C diminished,  but another, which sounds differently !

 

Therefore, it is difficult to create automatisms over here. Imagine the case of a professional typest who will have to search all the time on his finger-board where this or that letter could be found, or depending on the texts to type,  to invert the value of some given letters - for example when she sees a ‘T’ she will have to type a ‘B’ instead, etc. We’re not too far away from this situation with the traditional musical notation…

The professionals have developed since their early childhood a series of technics, reflexes and a fabulous memory to be able to decipher more or less fast enough their music. Moreover, a variety of different very specific memories have been perfected, memories which can work together or else separately :  Visual memory,  auditive memory,  tactile memory,  in space fingers positioning  memory, etc.    

 A full programme, a real gymnastics which obviously has to practiced on regular basis, not to lose the reached level. Consistantly practiced as well -specially if you do not learn your pieces by heart- to keep the quality level of your interpretation,  except for few privileged ones who can keep it all in mind,  memory vanishes away with the passage of time.

 Another debatable technic used by many musicians to earn time consists of, during deciphering, to correct the wrong notes by ear. For this obviously one must have heard the piece to be deciphered played before.

This trick, even though helps gain time in the short run, has a bad side to it, because it makes the musician play  -few…- false notes before he gets to the right one. But, here it is, the brain has learned a false information…We would have a tendency, more so because the first impression is the most important,  to reproduce the error each time. The defect then, is registered in your neurones, and it will be hard to extirpate it.  And even extirpated,  the bad ‘reflexe’ could resurge in particular cases :  Fatigue or stress –for example during an examination, musical recital or concert.  If your satisfied with just playing for yourself,  well there is no problem : You can handle without hardships few wrong notes here and there.  However, if you want to play your piece ‘properly’ before an audience, this technic of correcting by ear is dangerous and makes you lose lots of time…

For the majority of other musicians, and more so for the professionals, a new more simple notation will certainly be most welcome…Well there have been obviously many attempts to write music differently, for example with number or colours.

 Many other differents methods  have been also realized and tried by ourselves. But in fact, each time you have to start from scratch all the reflexes and the learning of deciphering, which take a lot of time to be put together -you must certainly know something about it if you happen to be a musician…This is the reason why none of these new methods will ever be able to impose itself really when faced with the traditional.

The research of  Mr. Dominique Loup,  have been oriented towards a musical writing  ‘whysiwig’ : ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ However, through keeping as much as possible the parameters of the old method of notation, in order to remain in a well known environment ; and to easily be able to switch, back and forth from one to the other, if need be !         

Thus, the "Amadeus" notation has been created !

 

Dominique LOUP

Virtuoso pianist and composer

 

 The first step with Amadeus

From the very start of the use of the Amadeus notation,  you will obtain a faster more comfortable deciphering. You will learn your pieces swiftly -the gain in speed depends obviously on your level and the difficulty of the piece to be played- and with a lot less tedious intellectual gymnastics. You will have thus, already in the first contacts with your musical part, more availability for interpretation of the music

Note equally that during an constant intellectual activity, the brain gets tired -in the same manner as a muscle for a physical effort- and becomes less perfoming. With the confort that Amadeus provides, you decipher for a longer period, with more efficiency.
   If you can for example decipher your scores during two hours per day instead of one hour usually, you would still have gained twice as much time to learn your musical pieces.

You can to widen your repertory and decide to learn more difficult pieces.  If you don’t learn your pieces by heart -it is the case of most musician for the most part of the pieces they play- and you don’t play them for a long while either ; you will be certainly able of replaying them much easier.

To establish objectives comparaisons, it would be desirable to decipher one piece that you don't know well enough and difficult enough for your level... having obviously next to you the score in traditional notation for comparing with!

For this, you can dowloaded and/or print the demo score (romantic studies no20 from D. Loup) by clicing on the link below.

This piece difficult to decipher is however in a romantic style, which will allow you most of the time - contrary to pieces more modern- to recognize a wrong note with "the ear"...

Demo score "Romantic studies no20"

 After a while as for learning of typewriting, you would create automatisms which will increase in a significant manner the speed and comfort of your musical readings.

With regard to automatisims,  notice that the second and third chords -elements of which every chord is made- are in a limited number: Few dozens used most often. It will quickly be assimilated like reflex with Amadeus. When those reflexes will be in place -within few months if you decipher music every day- the rapidity of the deciphering will even be greater.

Obviously, we do not have so far a sustained experience of a lot of years in the practice of the Amadeus method,  particularly with -a child-  who would have started and have learned piano music with the Amadeus method. The gain in deciphering speed would here, without a doubt, increase in a significant manner.

For music instruments other than the keyboard type, the Amadeus notation is practically identical.

The reading of a melody with just one note could appear to be ‘acceptable’ in the traditional notation. Maybe, but on the condition that the musician will not decide to changing instruments in his musical career…Indeed,  at the changing of an instrument, the writing of the music can change equally, for example if you would start with the flute or violin, and that later on you would decide for the piano or violoncello.

For a child,  in this specific case if the change takes place too late,  the F clef for the left hand will be too difficult to master, for as much more that the integration of two staffs for each hand represents in itself an additional difficulty.  The younger those reading reflexes are acquired, faster and better they will be mastered. Starting from the end, or perhaps the middle of adolescence, the ideal assimilation that we could have obtained in childhood will not be achieved.

This would really very sad. For this purpose we think that for instruments other than keyboard, the traditional notation method is "unacceptable" for the learning of the music. Our efforts of translating Amadeus  will be identical for all instruments. 

 

 

Questions - answers

 

Question : One flat for each inflected note will not overload some scores ?

Answer : Yes and no... In the case where flats are added, the reading is not any harder... and the time earning remains almost the same.

In fact, it will not have there more flat than there are black key on the piano,  to mention 5 black key for 7 whites…On average, we will thus have a little more than one note out of three which will have a flat -while supposing that all key signature will be used the same, which is far from being the case. Indeed, for a piece written with 6 or 7 inflections at the clef, we have ten which are written with just one or two…- try to find out why…

Further more the score remains visually very beautiful. Each element has its well defined place following a logical proceeding. Let’s say simply, even with few additional flats, the Amadeus scores are aesthetically beautiful,  because they reflect that which is authentic...

As to the proliferation of the flats on the staff, specially is the case of romantic or modern pieces which contain a lot of accidentals and change key signature often enough, the Amadeus notation simplifies the writing more than anything else,  with a less charged score than in the traditional notation !

Let’s signal  the available space at the beginning of the staff too, since there never is a key signature. In practice we took advantage of this fact to make the score more spaced out, hence less charged…  In F sharp major, for example,  we gain 10% more place on the staff…

Without even speaking of electric lines at Amadeus, who limits to bare essential the presence in the partition of long slurs,  let’s signal again,  in the area of ‘over writing’ the absence of natural sign and the barline between staffs, which not only favours a regular positioning of the notes,  but also makes for additional room.

Question : Reading the left hand in G key will not cause problems to the advanced or professionnal pianist ?

Answer :  Yes !  A laps of adaptation is neccessary,  at least in the first hours of  Amadeus practice :  The reflex "F key" must be "disconnected" for the left hand.

 Not really annoying, since you do it  regularly in the traditional notation,  the left hand being written at times with the ‘G key’…Not even to speak of the right hand which can be as well written in the ‘F key’ !  Simply one must remain attentive as not to let away the effort of deciphering and -little recall for the piano- decipher first the notes of the left hand.

For this advanced or professional pianist, this will give - call back - to them some little remembrances... Indeed, if they have some problems to read the left hand's notes with the G key (!) they could think of the difficulties, for a beginner, to read his left hand with the F Key...

You will also have in the first reading of a piece that you know already, a hesitation to play a note or a chord that you have always played written differently. Starting from the second reading, the phenomena grows blurred,  your brain have been ‘secured’ by hearing the right sound associated to another design.

We remind you again that to be objective in the evaluation of the Amadeus notation, a piece that you have never learned and which is difficult for your level should be deciphered...and to have next to you the same piece in the traditional notation for comparing.

It is evident that if you are professional of the piano and that you are deciphering an easy piece such as "happy birthday to you" you not really going to understand the advantages brought to you by the Amadeus notation - exception perhaps for  some people, the fact of deciphering true informations...

On the opposite, starting with pieces of average difficulty  - that you have never deciphered before- containing many sharps or flats in the beginning of the staff, the time economy will start becoming significant for a professional, even with the additional effort of reading  the left hand with the G key.

 

Question : Each note with his inflection will not perturb a musician which have the practice to place mentaly this inflection into the measure ?

Réponse : For the inflection present for every note, no reflexe whatsoever to modify and this functions immediately. Indeed,  consciously or unconsciously,  you place each note in a measure… Thus, finding yourselves in a completely known and mastered environment. Moreover, the brain being a ‘lasy’ intellectual -to notice that it will alway look for the easiest solution and the fastest to resolve a given problem,  it will understand right away the advantages of the system on its own right…

We should not forget as well that our brain is programmed for the truth too :  The brain sees red, it’s red,  it sees far, it’s far, etc. and that ‘wrong’ indications have a tendancy to stress it and destabilize it. You will notice for this last reason,  during an Amadeus deciphering, that will be established in you a sort of agreable and welcome ‘tranquility of spirit’. An entire philosophy to elaborate…, but here is not our purpose.

Question : And if do you want to sing the scale ?

Answer : In the case of the solfeggio where you would want to sing the scale in ‘C’ major,  no problem. But in E major, effectively, you are going to sing with Amadeus the scales of ‘E, G flat, A flat…’ etc.

This would appear to be strange, but it doesn’t cause any problem. Firstly because when we sing, we utter mostly words than the name of the notes…Secondly, because this problem remains equally unresolved with the traditional method.  In fact, in the traditional method the note D, for example, can be as well associated to a natural D as to flat D as to Sharp C…

Three different ways for writing the same note,  this is why musical dictation has been made so difficult for those who do not have an absolute or a very good ear.  Musical dictation -to give and write the name of the notes of a melody which you play or you hear in your mind- is important for every musician who wants to have a start in composing. With Amadeus, musical dictation thus will become much easier, because each note you will hear will have only one name… 

Question : If there are not flat or sharp in the beginning of each system,how do you do to known the key signature of the piece ?

Answer : The number of flat or sharp in the beginning of the system do'nt give you the key signature in which you are, because this key signature can vary several time along the piece...

And to known the key signature of a piece is not very essential for the interpretation... In the traditional notation, this is simply and only, when you decipher, to be able to known the number of flats or sharps that is present in the beginning of the system -and allow you, thanks Mister the first composers, to place yourself mentally when you decipher your pieces!

If you really want to known the key signatuer in which you are in a particular place of your piece, take some notes of a measure and sing yourself an end for this musical extract. The last note you will sing will give you the key signature in which you are...

Question : If I am accustomed to decipher with Amadeus notation, would I not have problems if I have, for differents reasons, to decipher sometimes with the old notation ? For example if the piece I want to play is not available in your catalogue and I do not have the money to invest in a Amadeus translation for all the score which I have already?

Answer : One could think indeed that if you are accustomed to read in Amadeus notation and that for various reasons you must decipher sometimes into traditional, you would have sorrow to return there. It is strange, but the answer is no! You will not spend more time than before learning your pieces into traditional! Is this can be because the traditional notation is really complex and that the weather is difficult to be even more complicated… You will regret just some unnecessarily to spend time because of an unsuited notation!

 When you will known perfectly your piece in the traditional notation - you will need to have a regular practice because the memory disappears with the time... you will not have either problems if you would play immediately after a piece with the Amadeus notation.

¨The meaning is because when the piece is perfectly mastered, your brain don't read the name of the notes, but associate a visual design of notes or group of notes with a finger's or hand's position in space.

At this moment, the notation in use is not very important.

You have an example of this in the traditional notation when you play one piece with several Key's change for both hands and/or part with 8va or 8vb...

Nota:   Aoccridng to a sutdy of the Uinervstiy of Cmaribgde,  the odrer of the lteters in a wrod has no imorptacne, the olny ipmortant thnig is that the frist and last letetr be at the rihgt palce. Waht is left can be in a toatl diorsder and you can awlays raed wioutht a poblrem. It is bceause the huamn brian deosn't raed ecah letetr on its own, but the wrod as a wlhoe. Well in this mnaner we see less the misatkes!!!

  Let's signal that a polyvalent musician or an head of orchestra, must know how to decipher his score in five different keys - The G key,  F key and other three C keys...Even if one or many key or less or seldomly used ! 

 

Question  : And for a pianists who have directly start with Amadeus and who never learned the F key or any other C key ?

 

Answer: First of all, rare are the musical teachings which do not forsee solfeggio courses in addition to the courses given for the instrument.

   A violinist, for example, will follow the solfeggio courses where he will work out his F key or another C key, despite of the fact that this scores will be written in the G key...It is in solfeggio classes that you should learn, if you desire it really, the deciphering of another key!

  
Then, for that which would learn only the G key, effectively he will put a little bit more time to learn his score if he had never learned the key in question before. But not a lot more time...

In fact, who masters perfectly, except for a professional, musical writing in different keys ? Even after more than ten years of experience, many pianists are still trying, when deciphering in the F key, to read mentally the notes two notes lower...( you lower  two notes the F key and you find yourselves in a G key !)

If you do not have the means to invest in an Amadeus transcription, and that the problem of the F key and "ghost" inflections really bothers you, there is an easy way to transform your scores in Amadeus notation...

Like example, Ci - below a range in traditional notation in major D flat (extracted from "Take five" of P. Desmond) :

 

 

1. You to firstly erase in Tip-ex (pencil eraser with white ink) the higher line of the range out of bass clef :

 

2. Add a line below the range out of bass clef. You thus obtain a Amadeus range out of G key 15 via bassa :

 

 

3. You add to finish missing deteriorations on the two ranges and you replace the bass clef by the G key 15 via bassa :

 

 

If you wish it, you can leave the 5 flat -key signature- of the beginning of the staff.

 

For your information, the "Optical Score Recognition Software" -you scann a score and transfert it directly for modifications on a musical writter software- improve their performances each year.

For the moment, it is still a little bit more faster to transcribe one score manually from the original.

Wait several years and the recognition will reach almost 100% and only two or three mouse clicks will be able to transcibe one traditional score in a Amadeus score...

At this moment, we will find almost all the published scores in Amadeus notation, and the transcription of scores not present in our catalogue will be free !

Question : You turn the traditional notation topsy-turvy, a notation that belong to a heritage improved for many century. Is it not "improper" ?

Answer : The respect of the ‘ancestors’ and of ‘tradition’ ? This makes us laugh... because in this world in which we live where everyone is a participant -therefore responsible (!) of what is going on, we are forced to notice that no one respects anything anymore : Pollution,  destruction of the environment,  exploitation and the slaughter of humans and animals…

Those who invoke these kinds of ‘respectful’ grievances, have in fact almost all a vested financial interest in maintaining the traditional method…  Even a professor of music, consciously or unconsciously, does not may find it beneficial to propose a method to you to learn more quickly. Indeed, you would be likely to remain less longer at his place…

  For the other left few, it is maybe a question of the following mentality :
 "I myself,  have spent twenty years of my life to work my reflexes to decipher, and this obviously since my early childhood. All you have to do is do as I’ve done !"

There will be still thoushand reasons for this people to disparage a novelty. Consciously or not consciously, it is difficult for them to admit that they have perhaps spend a lot of years to have difficulties with a learning, even when a easier solution existed...

Do'nt listen to detractors that thinks not objectively. Now you have to known if you want to spend your time to learn the deciphering of the notes or if you want to learn Music...

Question : A new  better performing musical method ? If it was really the case,  why it would have been not found and applied a lot earlier ?

Answer : A pertinent observation of human haughtiness,  but it must be known that our intelligence -specially on the collective level, has its own limits…and functions sometimes following unusual designs at first.

Let’s bring up first the attachement to the traditional and to the ancestors which is, with the gregarious instinct, one of the conspicuous aspects of the human  character,  well  rooted in the very depth of his consciousness. Indeed, it is a token of individual and collective security. Moreover, the traditional musical method is tought and practiced since early childhood.  It is a matter -adding to the tradition- of a since ever conditioned action, same as buying  one’s piece... of bread at the bakery. Very few are those willing to think of putting it into question.

 Following  next,  human history shows us paradoxically, the simplest and best solutions are always found last ! One example : whereas man has been trying to fly since the begining of times,  it has been necessary to wait untill the era of interplanetary rockets for the simplest way of flying to be invented : Some sheets with some strings  -the paraglider ( !)  which could have been fabricated in the neolithic times.  As used to say Descartes : "I almost never trust the first ideas that come to my spirit"…

Last, let’s make it understood that rewriting all the musical pieces in a new notation is a ‘monumental’ task,  made possible in the last decade only because of the computer.  Big music notation publishers,  did not insist and will not  take any risks –despite the fact that it could have beeen a better performing method. They strive on their past glories and are doing very fine.

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

The private or professional utilisation of the Amadeus notation

The main building elements of the Amadeus notations is protected by registered models and international patents, property of the "VENT D’OEUVRES"  publishing house Geneva.

All  realization, publishing and distributing  of scores -except for a personal or family use- with one, part or totality of the building elements of the Amadeus notation must be the subject of a written authorization from the "VENT D’OEUVRES"  publishing hous.

The registered patent allows us to avoid fancy interpretations, copies,  adaptations,  or arrangements of this new method, which could be detrimental to a novelty welcome for all the musicians. Take for example the case of netscape navigator or Linux...

Each musical publisher or editor of authorized partitions Amadeus will carry the Amadeus initials of both G clef. In the general interest and yours, require this reference if one proposes a partition amadeus to you not published by the Editions Vent d'oeuvres.  

 

 Distribute your music in the Amadeus notation  

If you wish to write and distribute your own music in the Amadeus notation, simple people or company,  you can -or not- assign us all or a part of the work to be done, from the transcription to the distribution in book-shops, including the printing . meaning :

1.  The transcription of your manuscripts in the Amadeus notation.

2.  The realization and printing of scores.

3.  The distribution in book-stores.

 

 Ask us for a free estimate and without any obligations.

N.B. 

- Digital printing allows us to make a small  number of copies (10 to 100 issues) without a significant augmentation of prices compared to more important printings( for a minimum of 1000 offset copies at a reasonable price).   

 - If you do not wish to resort to our transcription services,  we distribute a very powerful computer programme of musical writing "FINALE 2004". For us, the best available today.

On request, we can provide to you explanations and and a detailed how to go about  realizing an Amadeus score step by step, as well as all the possibilities of music writing, even the modern ones. Equally the complete setup of the programme, which is not an easy task to realize. The user’s manual and the software are available in French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Japonese. The user manuel (only) is available in Portuguese, Danish, Greek, Polish and Sloveniak too.

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