Category:4-shape notation

For music in any 4-shape notation system, where there are 4 different shapes of note-head. Generally this is the system copyrighted by John Connelly in 1798, and first used by Little & Smith in The Easy Instructor, c.1801.
The right-angle triangle is Fa, round or oval Sol, square or rectangle La, and diamond Mi; the major scale ascending runs Fa Sol La Fa Sol La Mi Fa (often with variant spellings Faw and Law).

Major \relative c'' { \clef treble  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \cadenzaOn
\southernHarmonyHeads c,1 d e f g a b c } \addlyrics { fa sol la fa sol la mi fa } Minor \relative c' { \clef bass \key a \minor \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \cadenzaOn 
\southernHarmonyHeadsMinor a,1 b c d e f g a } \addlyrics { la mi fa sol la fa sol la }

The first 4-shape note system was likely invented by Andrew Law; here the notes are not placed on a staff, and two of the shapes are "swapped around" so that the rectangle is Faw and the triangle Law. This system did not become as popular, and is found only in Andrew Law's own publications, for instance The Art of Singing. Law tried unsuccessfully to sue Connelly for using his "patent notes".
A third type of 4-shape notation was used by Charles Woodward in his Ecclesiæ Harmonia, but this, too, did not become popular.
Seth Ely's Sacred Music is one of the few publications to use shape notes that change position within a piece, according to key modulation.

The Norristown Musical Teacher was designed as a bridge between 4-shape and 7-shape notation, and includes options for several sets of alternative syllables, and note-head shapes that follow easily on from the 4-shape system (in fact they are readable as 4-shape notation). However, there is no known further usage of this intermediate system.

This list is not complete, and will continue to grow as works are added to IMSLP. The list also includes some books that were published in a 7-shape notation or in standard 'round' notation as well as 4-shape, even if the 4-shape version has not yet been uploaded.

N.B. The 4 syllables (derived from the Guidonian Gamut) were commonly used in British music instruction between the 17th - 19th centuries. For an early example, see Playford's Introduction to the Skill of Musick. It was only in the nineteenth century that the British 4-syllable system was termed the Lancashire Sol-Fa (see Greenwood's Lancashire Sol-Fa) to distinguish it from the newly introduced Tonic Sol-Fa.

Pages in category "4-shape notation"

The following 66 pages are in this category, out of 66 total.













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