The Seven Unique Kinds of Written Music - Make The World A Better Place With Green Tech Africa. (2023)

As a bassist, bandleader, teacher, and music copyist, I’ve worked with hundreds of singers throughout the years. Although operating musicians know hundreds of tunes, singers need to have excellent charts in order to have their music played the way they want. I define a “very good chart” as a piece of written music that proficiently tells the musicians what they must play.

Written music comes in seven basic forms: chord charts, sheet music, songbooks, lead sheets, fake books, master rhythm charts and completely notated components.

As a musician has a responsibility to play the chart ahead of him appropriately, the supplier of the chart has the duty of offering the ideal kind of chart. Understanding what form of chart to use for what sort of tune or gig is very vital.
The Seven Unique Kinds of Written Music - Make The World A Better Place With Green Tech Africa. (1)

This write-up explains what the diverse varieties of charts are, and under what circumstances to use them. I hope you come across it valuable.


Charts can be simple or elaborate according to the style of music and type of gig. Cover tunes are traditionally discovered from recordings classical and choral music can be found in sheet music shops as effectively as in numerous music catalogs several tunes will be identified in music books of all types and lots of public libraries carry recordings and written music for your use.

The word “chart” refers to any piece of written music or any arrangement (music that has been adapted in a unique manner) of a tune. Decades ago it was strictly a “cool” slang term for a tune, but any piece of music could be named a chart these days, though a classical buff could possibly not refer to a Mozart work as a “chart.”

Being aware of what kind of chart to use for what sort of tune is very crucial. When you are playing a gig and someone hands you a chart — it is what it is and you either read it well or not. But, if you get charts, have them produced for you or give them your self, you want to know which sorts to use for which scenarios. spotify acrylic plaque , even though carrying out singer showcases, singers brought in all sorts of charts: superior ones, negative ones, incorrect ones, inappropriate ones, and it was a real discomfort. The singers who offered the suitable sorts of charts got their music played the way they wanted. The singers who had the wrong types of charts didn’t, and weren’t incredibly pleased about it. Unless a musician already knows the precise parts, he can only play according to what’s on the chart ahead of him. Although a very good musician can improvise a fantastic part in any style, if a precise musical line demands to be played, it wants to be written out.

As a musician has a responsibility to properly play the chart prior to him, the supplier of the chart has the duty of giving an appropriate a single.

With out getting into too a lot of music notation specifics, here are the different types of charts and when they are employed:


A chord chart consists of the chords, meter (how the song is counted, e.g., in four or in 3 (like a waltz), and the type of the song (the exact order of the sections). This type of chart is primarily applied when: 1. the particular musical parts are improvised or already known, but the form and chords have to have to be referred to, 2. to offer chords to improvise over, or three. when a last-minute chart needs to be written, and there is not time for something more elaborate.

A chord chart does not include the melody or any specific instrumental parts to be played. To play from simple chord charts a musician basically requires to have steady time, know the chords, and improvise his part in whatever style the tune is in.


Sheet music is a store-purchased version of a song printed by a publisher, which contains the instrumental component, chords, lyrics, melody and type. An instrumental piece will, of course, have just the music. Sheet music is written for both piano and guitar. Guitar sheet music is in standard notation (usually classical), as nicely as in TAB. A good piece of sheet music will usually say whether it is for piano or guitar. Most sheet music is not meant to be entirely representative of the actual recording, and the actual arrangement that you’ve heard on a recording is seldom present.

Quite a few men and women have experienced the aggravation of receiving the sheet music to a song they like, playing it, and discovering that the chords are distinctive from the recording, and sometimes the kind is too. Sadly that’s the way it is a lot, and it could be for a number of various factors. To get the precise arrangement and chords, you want to do a “takedown” of the song: discover it by ear. A takedown is when you listen to a piece of music and create it down. Takedowns can variety from basic chord charts to elaborate orchestral components or something in among. In order to do good takedowns, you want to have good ears, comprehend and be fluid with music notation to the complexity of the form of music you’re functioning with, and preferably recognize music (the far more the greater). Getting “good ears” consists of recognizing and understanding the music, whether or not heard on the radio, played by an additional musician, or heard in your head.


Songbooks are compilations of many tunes and often include the identical information that sheet music does, along with the chords and arrangement being distinctive from the recording most of the time. Sheet music commonly has full introductions and endings, whereas songbook tunes are generally shortened to build space in the book for extra tunes. Sheet music is typically written to be played on a keyboard, but songbooks come in distinct designs and for unique instruments. They are compiled by artist, style, decade, and in numerous collections including film themes, Broadway hits, and so on.

Songbooks are a very good reference source when other, far more precise charts are unavailable. For example: I needed two film themes for a gig as soon as (client request). As an alternative of spending $8 for two tunes of sheet music, I purchased a book of film themes for $16 that contained over a hundred tunes. Sheet music and songbooks are quite unusable at gigs because of cumbersome page turns and bulkiness but in an emergency you use them and do what you can. If getting to use sheet music or songbooks for reside performance, either: 1. recopy the tune onto 1-3 pages or 2. photocopy it and tape the pages collectively (while, strictly speaking, this may well be deemed copyright infringement). Make confident to constantly present a copy for every single musician.

To play from songbooks and sheet music, a musician requirements to be capable to read the music notation, or at least improvise a element from the chord symbols, i.e., a guitar strum, bass groove, piano groove, and so on., or much better however, each. A vocalist can sing the words if they know the melody, or be capable to study the notated melody if they don’t know it.


Lead sheets include the chords, lyrics and melody line of the song and are mainly applied by singers, accompanists and arrangers, even though they seem on the bandstand now and again. Songwriters use lead sheets to copyright their songs, and quite frequently sheet music contains a lead sheet of the tune as a condensed version to use. As an alternative of obtaining 3 to six pages of sheet music to turn, a lead sheet is commonly one particular or two pages long. Lead sheets do not contain any music notation except the melody and chords, so a musician wants to know how to improvise when reading from one. A lead sheet is normally written out by a music copyist, who is someone who specializes in preparing written music. Playing from lead sheets minimally calls for playing an accompaniment from the chords and understanding the kind directions and symbols (the markings telling you to go to the verse or the chorus or the end, and so on.) and maximally getting superb accompaniment abilities and reading notation fluidly.

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