Schön Musical Notation



I'm obsessed with musical notation because it is so damn hard. So then I created my own musical notation. The system Ive come up with pleases me much, maybe it will please you too! Here are some excerpts from the introduction to the main document Schön Musical Notation.doc (downloadable below):


This all came about as I was re-learning Beethovens Moonlight Sonata in C#m. Id memorized this piece before, had forgotten it, and went back to the sheet music to pick it up again. Traditional sheet music for the professional musician may not be a problem, but for an untrained, or self trained, music lover it is pure pain.


As an aside, my first efforts at notating Moonlight Sonata were so successful (in terms of the ease with which I could read and interpret) that I started notating a song I had done long ago for piano (it was scored traditionally with MIDI software) and found it incredibly easy to re-learn ( it was done in B Major in which =everything= is a sharp!). Since I proved to myself that the notation was useful for me, then I believe it will be useful for a lot of people, taking the most complex songs and making them available, in the original key, to anyone who can learn where the A, B, C, D, E, F, and G keys are, what octave they are in, what a sharp, flat, and natural are, and the concept of the duration of a note. All the other accents and such can come along later for the novice, but the novice will be able to quickly learn, and perhaps more easily sight read, complex pieces.


While researching my new notation needs I came across a web site entitled "MNMA: Music Notation Modernization Association". They note the following deficiencies of traditional music notation:


To these I add the following:

One point I want to emphasize here: clarity, simplicity, readability, easy to handwrite, and, as much as possible, language and cultural independence. The notation is not intended for professionals (though they may find an occasional use for it) nor for the music theorist. But it =is= intended for everyone else. It has the capability to express complex music and simple music, and, as well see in more advanced sections, to expand on music notation so that the synthesizer music of today (so much more variable in its abilities than traditional instruments) can be scored as well.





Feel free to download the documents detailing the Schön Musical Notation System. All the documents are saved in Microsoft™ Word™ format.


The ZIP file contains all four files (main document describing how the notation is to be used, the addenda, quick start, and the reference sheet).


Schön Musical Notation.doc




The addenda file is provided separately in case youve already read the main document and just want to see whats new.


Schön Musical Notation Addenda (last updated 5/22/2004)




The quick start guide is a simplified discussion of Schön Musical Notation designed to present the most basic aspects of Schön Musical Notation in a simplified manner to get you playing quickly.


Schön Musical Notation Quick Start




The Reference Sheet is a summary of Schön Musical Notation symbols for quick reference.


Schön Musical Notation Reference Sheet




New, November 2, 2004, Sheet Music : Finally finished my Schön Musical Notation editor enough to do simple songs! So finally have a download available that shows a song in its entirety in Schön Musical Notation. This is a simple blues/honky tonk piece that can give you an idea of whether SMN is useful to you for playing/learning songs. Click below to download the sheet music to your computer:


Henry's Honky Tonk Song Sheet Music in Schön Notation


New, July, 2011 - I found some old printouts of two songs in Schön Notation and scanned them, apologies that the quality is not as high as I would like. Also I'm not sure if they will print out miniscule or not, I think you might need to print them at 200%...?!


Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata


Ludwig's Honky Tonk



Use of Schön Musical Notation:


Home individual personal use is permitted within the restriction below.


Any use of this music notation system for profit is forbidden without prior written permission and/or licensing.


Feel free to pass these documents to anyone who is interested.


Schön Musical Notation is Copyright © 2004 by Julius Schön, all rights reserved.