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Numbered Musical Notation; Is there an easy way to convert it?
Topic Started: 11 Jan 2017, 07:06 AM (540 Views)
Inline Ocarinist
Dear TONians,

I got some really nice songbooks with playbacks by Stein. The only problem is, the songs are written in numbered musical notation and I not familiar with it. Do I need to start learning it or is there a comfortable way to convert it into "normal" musical notation?

I hope somebody can help me :)

Thank you in advance
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
Stick with standard music notation. Anything else is just a crutch. You can get more than a lifetime worth of music to play for free that is in ABC format. Note: ABC format is a text file that is easily put into standard music notation by software which can be got free.

Here is a link to get you started: http://abcnotation.com/

You can access a free online tool here: http://www.mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php

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Inline Ocarinist
Thank you Harp Player for your reply but I didn't mean ABC notation. The notation is in numbered scores, I guess it is called JianPu. Do you know a converter tool for this too?
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
I did a quick search on Jianpu and found a wikipedia page that describes the system and how it relates to the system that most of us know who read sheet music. Basically, the numbers correspond to a note in a given scale (ex: for a C major scale: 1=C, 2=D, 3=E, etc.). There are other symbols that are used to indicate duration and range of the notes as well.

Here's the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbered_musical_notation
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
11 Jan 2017, 06:01 PM
Thank you Harp Player for your reply but I didn't mean ABC notation. The notation is in numbered scores, I guess it is called JianPu. Do you know a converter tool for this too?
I don't know anything about JianPu, and I have no desire to learn it.

I have seen a kid post some numbered notation on here a few times maybe you can ask him about them?

Here is a link to his latest posting:

Edited by Harp Player, 11 Jan 2017, 07:45 PM.
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Mark Chan
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Jianpu is easy. It's good to know especially for Chinese music (because good luck finding those in staff notation).

Stein does a really good job at it (way better than STL since they tell you what 1 equals, and also what ocarina to use). They'll also tell you the original key too (like original key being Bb, but you use F fingering on F ocarina).

Anyways, to give you a basic starting point with Jianpu:

1 is the tonic, sort of. It's always the major even though it could be the relative minor. So if 1 = C, the key would be either C major or A minor. If 1 = F, it could be F major or D minor. You'd have to look at what note the piece ends in to know for sure.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
C, D, E, F, G, A, B
F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

A dot above the number means it's the next octave up, two dots means it's two octaves up, a dot below means octave below, and two dots means two octaves below. For example, if 1 is C5, one dot above would be C6, two dots would be C7, one dot below would be C4, and two dots below would be C3.

Number by itself is always a quarter note.
Number with one line under is an eighth note.
Number with two lines under is a sixteenth note.
Number with three lines is a 32nd note.
etc. etc. etc.

Think of those lines as flags in staff notation.

a dash is a continuation of a quarter notes time, so 1- is a half note, 1 -- is half note plus a quarter note time, and 1--- is a whole note.

0 is a rest.

A lot of symbols are similar or the same, so 3/4 and 4/4 would be the timing, or 120bpm would be the tempo, the | looking bars are the measures, the repeat bars are pretty much the same, mf is mezzo forte, f is forte, etc. Same stuff. Glissando is the same but with number instead of the note symbols.

You'll see ties across numbers. Those serve the same function as ties in staff notation.

Sometimes you'll see a > above a number, that means to take a breath (kinda like a short rest)

There's a lot more, but those are the basics.

Here's something that you can practice with:


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