About

Clairnote SN music notation is an alternative music notation system designed and introduced by Paul Morris in October 2017. (It is a variant of Clairnote music notation, also designed by Paul Morris, and introduced in December 2013.) Clairnote SN makes music easier to read and learn while still conveying all of the same information conveyed by traditional notation.

Contact Information

Please contact us at the following email address with any questions or inquiries:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the staff lines a major third apart?

The staff lines in Clairnote SN are spaced a major third apart, which is similar to traditional notation where lines are either a major or minor third apart. This is an optimal distance for making intervals clear, not too close or too far apart. If lines were closer together, say a whole step apart, then larger intervals would become harder to recognize since there would be a lot of lines between the notes. If lines were further apart you would face the opposite problem because there would not be enough lines between the notes to visually judge the distance between them. Having lines a major third apart provides an optimal distance between these two extremes, in addition to being similar to the distance between lines in traditional notation. Additionally, a major third is a multiple of a whole step (whole step = 2 semitones, major third = 4 semitones), so the staff aligns with the two whole tone scales, the 6-6 pitch pattern.

Why use symbols from traditional notation?

Clairnote SN uses most of the same symbols that are used in traditional notation to maintain a helpful degree of continuity with it. The goal is to make it easier for musicians to learn and read both systems interchangeably. Traditional symbols for rests, time signatures, articulation marks, dynamics, ties, slurs, ornaments, and note names are all used in Clairnote SN and retain their standard meaning. All of the duration symbols such as noteheads, flags, stems, and dotted notes, also have the same meaning as in traditional notation.

Why does Clairnote SN have an alternative system of key signatures, accidental signs, and clefs?

Clairnote SN has an alternative approach to key signatures, accidental signs (that are optional), and clefs. These provide the same information found in traditional notation, but in a clearer and more direct way. For instance, Clairnote SN’s key signatures and accidental signs distinguish between notes like G# and Ab (notes that are enharmonically equivalent in 12-tone equal temperament). Clef symbols in Clairnote SN only indicate the octave register of the staff. (They do not change which notes are represented by the lines and spaces of the staff, as in traditional notation.)

Does Clairnote SN have a 6-6 pitch pattern?

Yes. Line notes represent one of the two whole tone scales and space notes represent the other. This alternating binary “6-6” pitch pattern makes it easier to identify notes and to clearly see the intervals between them.

Is there an online forum or email listserv where I can discuss Clairnote SN?

There currently is no online discussion forum dedicated solely to Clairnote SN, but please join the Music Notation Project’s Google Group to discuss Clairnote SN or alternative music notation in general.

Is there a Clairnote SN email newsletter?

Instead of a newsletter we have a blog. Following the blog is the best way to stay informed of developments and news related to Clairnote SN. Two convenient ways to follow the blog are by email or by RSS feed using your favorite feed reader.

What is the copyright status of Clairnote SN music notation and the clairnote.org website?

Clairnote SN music notation and except where otherwise noted the content of this website are the work of Paul Morris and are copyright © Paul Morris (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Both the Clairnote SN music notation and except where otherwise noted the content of the clairnote.org website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by request.

Who gets credit for this website?

This website is proudly powered by WordPress, using a Twenty Twelve theme customized by Paul Morris. Illustrations of Clairnote SN were created using LilyPond and occasionally Inkscape. Home page AudioVisualizer drop down menu code adapted from this code courtesy of JavaScript-Array.com. Documentation for HTML, CSS, and Javascript provided by Mozilla Developer Network.