Musical notation

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Musical notation is a visual representation of music, often to be read by a performer or someone studying the music.

Notation systems[edit | edit source]

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Toki Pona music is usually notated as classical European sheet music. This has the advantage of ease of input (through scorewriter software such as MuseScore) and accessibility to other musicians. However, some original notation systems have been proposed.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

sitelen Lasina[edit | edit source]

Lyrics transcribed in sitelen Lasina can be written using the same method as English, using a hyphen (-) to connect syllables (or morae) of a word, and an extended underline (_) for melisma. The main detail to be aware of is syllable boundaries, specifically distinguishing the coda nasal (in a CVn syllable) from a syllable-initial n.

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

Writing lyrics in sitelen pona is unstandardized. Because glyphs can denote multiple morae and syllables, place within a word is not notated. Combined glyphs tend to be avoided so that each individual word is notated alongside the notes it corresponds to.

One strategy is to elongate each glyph to span across the width of all of the corresponding notes.[citation needed…]

nasin sitelen kalama[edit | edit source]

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Systems based on nasin sitelen kalama, which requires using morae instead of syllables, have been proposed.
For example, (ke)(-)(pe)(-)(ke)(-)(n) can be written as (kepeken 󱦜)(󱦜)(󱦜)(󱦜)

For longer words, it has been suggested to use the colon for the last note. However, this mixes mora dots and word dots in a way that is probably not in general use so far, and would be read differently by different readers. For example, (kepeken 󱦜)(󱦜)(󱦜)(󱦝)

It has also been suggested to drop the first dot so that each note gets only one lyric glyph: (kepeken)(󱦜)(󱦜)(󱦜)