Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/16
according as the upper or lower octave is to be added (Ex. 11). The word 8va (or sometimes 8va alta or 8va bassa) written above a passage does not add octaves, but merely transposes the passage an octave higher or lower : so also in clarinet music the word chalumeau is used to signify that the passage is to be played an octave lower than written (Ex. 12). All these alterations, which can scarcely be considered abbreviations except that they spare the use of ledger-lines, are counteracted, and the passage restored to its usual position, by the use of the word loco, or in clarinet music by clarinette.
In orchestral music it often happens that certain of the instruments play in unison; when this is the case the parts are sometimes not all written in the score, but the lines belonging to one or more of the instruments are left blank, and the words coi violini or col basso, etc., are added, to indicate that the instruments in question have to play in unison with the violins or basses, as the case may be, or when two instruments of the same kind, such as first and second violins, have to play in unison, the word unisono or col primo is placed instead of the notes in the line belonging to the second. Where two parts are written on one staff in a score the sign ‘a 2’ denotes that both play the same notes ; and ‘a 1’ that the second of the two is resting.—The indication ‘a 3’ ‘a 4’ at the head of fugues indicates the number of parts or voices in which the fugue is written.
An abbreviation which is often very troublesome to the conductor occurs in manuscript scores, when a considerable part of the composition is repeated without alteration, and the corresponding number of bars are left vacant, with the remark come sopra (as above). This is not met with in printed scores.There are also abbreviations relating to the theory of music, some of which are of great value. In figured bass, for instance, the various chords are expressed by figures, and the authors of several modern theoretical works have invented or availed themselves of various methods of shortly expressing the different chords and intervals. Thus we find major chords expressed by large Roman numerals, and minor chords by small ones, the particular number employed denoting the degree of the scale upon which the chord is based. Gottfried Weber represents an interval by a number with one or two dots before it to express minor or diminished, and one or two after it for major or augmented, and André makes use of a triangle, [symbol], to express a common chord, and a square, [symbol], for a chord of the seventh, the inversions being indicated by one, two, or three small vertical lines across their base, and the classification into major, minor, diminished, or augmented by the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4, placed in the centre.
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