The Seven Different Types of Written Music

As a bassist, bandleader, educator, and music copyist, I’ve worked with many vocalists over time. However working artists know many tunes, vocalists need to have great diagrams to have their music played the manner in which they need. I characterize a “great diagram” as a piece of composed music that successfully lets the performers know what they ought to play.

Composed music comes in seven essential structures: harmony diagrams, printed music, songbooks, lead sheets, counterfeit books, ace cadence graphs and completely recorded parts.

As a performer has an obligation to play the outline before him accurately, the provider of the graph has the obligation of giving the DJ Z├╝rich sort of diagram. Understanding what sort of graph to use for what sort of tune or gig is vital.

This article makes sense of what the various sorts of diagrams are, and under what conditions to utilize them. I want to believe that you think that it is helpful.

Sorts OF Outlines

Graphs can be straightforward or elaborate as per the style of music and sort of gig. Cover tunes are generally gained from accounts; traditional and choral music can be found in printed music stores as well as in different music inventories; various tunes will be found in music books of numerous sorts; and numerous public libraries convey accounts and composed music for your utilization.

“Outline” alludes to any piece of composed music or any plan (music that has been adjusted in a special way) of a tune. Many years prior it was completely a “cool” shoptalk term for a tune, yet any piece of music could be known as a diagram nowadays, however a traditional buff probably won’t allude to a Mozart function as a “outline.”

Understanding what sort of diagram to use for what sort of tune is vital. While you’re playing a gig and somebody gives you an outline – – what will be will be and you either read it well or not. However, assuming you purchase diagrams, have them made for you or give them yourself, you really want to know which sorts to use for which circumstances. Years back, while doing vocalist features, vocalists got a wide range of diagrams: great ones, terrible ones, inaccurate ones, unseemly ones, and it was a genuine aggravation. The vocalists who gave the right sorts of graphs got their music played how they would have preferred. The vocalists who had some unacceptable sorts of outlines didn’t, and were exceptionally upset about it. Except if a performer definitely knows the particular parts, he can play as per what’s on the diagram before him. However a decent performer can ad lib a decent part in any style, on the off chance that a particular melodic line should be played, it should be worked out.

As a performer has an obligation to accurately play the outline before him, the provider of the graph has the obligation of giving a proper one.

Without getting into an excessive number of music documentation particulars, here are the various types of graphs and when they are utilized:

1. Harmony Outlines

A harmony outline contains the harmonies, meter (how the melody is counted, e.g., in 4 or in 3 (like a three step dance), and the type of the tune (the specific request of the segments). This sort of outline is principally utilized when: 1. the particular melodic parts are made do or definitely known, yet the structure and harmonies should be alluded to, 2. to give harmonies to make do over, or 3. at the point when a somewhat late graph should be composed, and there isn’t the ideal opportunity for much else elaborate.

A harmony graph doesn’t contain the song or a particular instrumental parts to be played. To play from straightforward harmony diagrams a performer essentially has to have consistent time, know the harmonies, and ad lib his part in anything that style the tune is in.

2. Printed MUSIC

Printed music is a locally acquired variant of a tune printed by a distributer, which contains the instrumental part, harmonies, verses, song and structure. An instrumental piece will, obviously, have recently the music. Printed music is composed for both piano and guitar. Guitar printed music is in standard documentation (frequently traditional), as well as in TAB. A decent piece of printed music will continuously say whether it’s for piano or guitar. Most printed music isn’t intended to be totally illustrative of the genuine recording, and the genuine plan that you’ve heard on a recording is rarely present.

Many individuals have encountered the disappointment of getting the printed music to a melody they like, playing it, and finding that the harmonies are not the same as the recording, and once in a while the structure is as well. Tragically there’s nothing that can be done about it a great deal, and it very well may be for various reasons. To get the specific game plan and harmonies, you really want to do a “takedown” of the melody: learn it by ear. A takedown is the point at which you pay attention to a piece of music and record it on paper. Takedowns can go from basic harmony outlines to expand symphonic parts or in the middle between. To do great takedowns, you really want to have great ears, comprehend and be liquid with music documentation to the intricacy of the kind of music you’re working with, and ideally grasp music (the as much as possible). Having “great ears” comprises of perceiving and understanding the music, whether heard on the radio, played by another performer, or heard in your mind.


Songbooks are aggregations of many tunes and frequently contain the very data that printed music does, alongside the harmonies and course of action being not the same as the recording more often than not. Printed music normally has full presentations and endings, while songbook tunes are by and large abbreviated to make space in the book for additional tunes. Printed music is by and large written to be played on a console, yet songbooks come in various styles and for various instruments. They are ordered by craftsman, style, decade, and in different assortments including film subjects, Broadway hits, and so on.

Songbooks are a decent reference source when other, more definite diagrams are inaccessible. For instance: I really wanted two film topics for a gig once (client demand). Rather than burning through $8 for two tunes of printed music, I purchased a book of film subjects for $16 that contained north of 100 tunes. Printed music and songbooks are really unusable at gigs on account of unwieldy page turns and cumbersomeness; however in a crisis you use them and give your best. On the off chance that involving printed music or songbooks for live execution, by the same token: 1. recopy the tune onto 1-3 pages or 2. copy it and tape the pages together (albeit, rigorously talking, this might be viewed as copyright encroachment). Try to constantly give a duplicate to every performer.

To play from songbooks and printed music, a performer should have the option to peruse the music documentation, or possibly ad lib a section from the harmony images, i.e., a guitar play, bass notch, piano depression, and so forth, or even better, both. A performer can sing the words on the off chance that they know the song, or have the option to peruse the recorded tune in the event that they don’t have any acquaintance with it.


Lead sheets contain the harmonies, verses and tune line of the melody and are mostly utilized by artists, backups and arrangers, however they show up on the bandstand sometimes. Lyricists use lead sheets to copyright their melodies, and frequently printed music incorporates a lead sheet of the tune as a dense form to utilize. Rather than having three to six pages of printed music to turn, a lead sheet is normally a couple of pages long. Lead sheets contain no music documentation with the exception of the tune and harmonies, so a performer has to know how to ad lib while perusing from one. A lead sheet is for the most part worked out by a music copyist, who is somebody who spends significant time in planning composed music. Playing from lead sheets negligibly requires playing a backup from the harmonies and figuring out the structure headings and images (the markings advising you to go to the refrain or the melody or the end, and so forth) and maximally having astounding backup abilities and perusing documentation smoothly.

5. Counterfeit BOOKS

A phony book is a huge book of tunes that contain just the song line, verses and harmonies. There’s no piano part, guitar part or bass part. That is the reason they call it a phony book. You need to definitely know your parts, or ad lib them in the style of the tune. Certain individuals refer to that as “faking it.” Faking it means to be artistically sufficiently capable to have the option to track with by ear and sort it out as you go: that is one reason for ear preparing. At the point when an individual’s ears “get prepared”, they figure out how to perceive and grasp the relationship of pitches and melodic components. With this understanding you can “hear” your direction through tunes, regardless of whether you haven’t heard them previously, you counterfeit it. Nonetheless, when you don’t hear so all things considered, you’re truly faking it!

Before there was an overflow of lawful phony books available, there was a wealth of unlawful phony books in the city. (As of this composition, I’ve just seen a couple at gigs.) Since a functioning performer needs to approach an enormous number of tunes at gigs, artists gathered books of many valuable tunes containing just song lines and harmonies. A functioning player needn’t bother with every one of the notes worked out, on the grounds that he can make do, so huge books were settled on with decision tunes. A few phony books are hand replicated, either by a genius copyist or nonchalantly finished with pen or pencil, while others comprise of cut up printed music where every one of the piano parts are eliminated, leaving the song and harmonies, for the motivation behind consolidating space.

As opposed to take heaps of songbooks to gigs, you pop a phony book of many decision tunes into your gig pack and off you go. A tune taking up five or six pages in songbook/printed music structure can take up a page or less when changed the hard way or cut up, leaving just the harmonies and tune. Counterfeit books are frequently utilized and I’ve rarely been at a relaxed where somebody hasn’t had no less than one.

The explanation the unlawful books are unlawful is intellectual property regulations. With the custom made books, nothing goes through the distributing houses that own the freedoms to the tunes, so neither the distributers nor the arrangers get compensated for their utilization. The Impasse throughout the long term has been the way that there weren’t any great lawful phony books that expert performers could use at a gig. In a songbook of 200 tunes, may

Leave a Comment