TwinNote TD is an alternative, traditional duration (TD), version of TwinNote that uses hollow and solid notes to differentiate between quarter notes and half notes, just like traditional music notation. Try it out on the TwinNote Labs page for Alternative Versions of TwinNote.
In the standard version of TwinNote, triangle notes that point up are always solid, and those that point down are always hollow, regardless of their duration. This reinforces the 6-6 pitch pattern and makes it easy to identify notes and intervals, and to quickly tell them apart. (Aside from using hollow and solid notes to help indicate pitch, and half notes having double stems, the duration symbols in standard TwinNote are identical to those used in traditional notation, see Rhythm Notation.)
In TwinNote TD, solid and hollow notes help indicate a note’s duration, differentiating between half notes and quarter notes as in traditional notation. This makes it fully consistent with traditional notation’s duration symbols. In all other ways TwinNote TD is the same as standard TwinNote.
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Why Use TwinNote TD?
Since TwinNote TD provides full consistency with traditional duration symbols, it would be easier to learn both traditional notation and TwinNote TD at the same time, and easier to switch back and forth between them “bilingually.” Musicians may prefer TwinNote TD if they find they misunderstand note durations in standard TwinNote. TwinNote TD will likely appeal to those who already know traditional notation well, or who want or need to learn it at a high level of proficiency.
Other musicians will prefer standard TwinNote given its advantages in terms of pitch and interval clarity that come from representing the 6-6 pitch pattern with solid and hollow notes. Some argue that using hollow and solid notes to indicate duration is a waste of this prominent visual feature of any given note, and that it would be better utilized to help indicate pitch, as in standard TwinNote.
Musicians should feel free to use one or the other version based on their own needs and goals. We recommend trying standard TwinNote and consider switching to TwinNote TD if you find that you tend to make mistakes about the duration of notes. Luckily with notation software it is almost as easy to produce sheet music in both versions as it is in just one. Of course, when TwinNote TD is being used this should be indicated at the top of a score.
For further discussion see the Music Notation Project’s tutorial on Using Notehead Color for Pitch.