FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Clairnote DN?

Clairnote DN is an alternative music notation system designed and introduced by Paul Morris in December 2013. Clairnote DN makes music easier to read and learn while still conveying all of the same information conveyed by traditional notation.

How do I contact you?

See the Contact Us page.

Why use solid and hollow notes to help indicate pitch?

Clairnote DN uses solid and hollow noteheads to help represent pitch. Solid notes represent one of the two whole tone scales and hollow notes represent the other. This alternating binary "6-6" pitch pattern makes it easy to identify notes and more importantly, to clearly see the intervals between them.

Why are the staff lines a major third apart?

The staff lines in Clairnote DN 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 and complements the 6-6 pitch pattern found in the noteheads.

Why use symbols from traditional notation?

Clairnote DN 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 to read both systems interchangeably. Traditional symbols for rests, time signatures, articulation marks, dynamics, ties, slurs, ornaments, and note names are all used in Clairnote DN and retain their standard meaning. Duration symbols such as flags, stems, and dotted notes also have the same meaning as in traditional notation. The exception is that Clairnote DN uses solid and hollow noteheads to help represent pitch, and so half notes are distinguished from quarter notes by having a double stem.

Why does Clairnote DN have its own system of key signatures, (optional) accidental signs, and clefs?

Clairnote DN's key signatures, (optional) accidental signs, and clefs provide the same information found in traditional notation, but in a clearer and more direct way. For instance, Clairnote DN'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 DN 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.)

Is there an email newsletter for Clairnote DN?

Yes! Subscribe to our newsletter to receive occasional news and updates about Clairnote DN. You can also follow our blog by RSS feed using your favorite feed reader.

Is there an online forum, group, or email list for Clairnote DN?

Yes! Join the Clairnote Group (on Google Groups). Participate via email or through the website. You may also be interested in the Music Notation Project's Google Group for general discussion of alternative music notation systems.

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

Clairnote DN music notation and except where otherwise noted the content of the clairnote.org website are the work of Paul Morris and are copyright © (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022). Paul Morris. Both the Clairnote DN music notation system 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 the clairnote.org website?

This website is built by Paul Morris using Gatsby and Bulma. Illustrations of Clairnote DN were created using LilyPond and occasionally Inkscape. Thanks to MDN for documenting web technologies.

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