notation system




uses an audio-visual tablature-notation system, that has been developped by the author specially for transcriptions of Kora music.

The notes are placed in a notation matrix as colored upper and lower case letters, from top to bottom there are the strings from highest to lowest pitch and from left to right there are the time units, divided into measures, beats and pulses.

The 21- or 23-string bridge is linked with the notation. The strings are "plucked" visually and the corresponding notes are played by Wave samples of Kora strings or Midi sounds.



notation

The strings of the Kora bridge (grey lines) correspond to the horizontal lines in the notation. The deepest string (note "F") is on the bottom line, the highest string (note "a") on top, the topmost line is for the percussive effect Bulukondingo Podi (knocking with right forefinger, note "x"). The lines are labelled with the notes at the left and right border of the notation.

Remark: here we use German notation "H" = "B" and "B" = "Bb"

The notes are placed on the horizontal string lines corresponding to their pitch and on the vertical pulse lines corresponding to the time sequence. Notes lying on the same vertical pulse line (chords) have to be played together. Pulses (the smallest time unit) are packed in beats and beats are packed again in bars (Kumbengo). The Kumbengo (= 1 or 2 bars) is the rhythmical ostinato base pattern that may be repeated and varied freely. The top border of the notation holds the numbering of the beats, the bottom border holds the numbering of the bars.

The colors of the notes signify which hand plays the string: red=left hand, blue = right hand.
Uppercase letters ("F", "G") and dark color: to be played with the thumb,
lowercase letters ("f", "g") and light color: to be played with the forefinger.

Usually the thumbs play the strings in the lower octaves and the forefingers play the upper octaves. However, this depends on the requirements of the music to be played. The strings in the middle range can be played with thumbs as well as with forefingers.


bridge

The strings are flashing in the color of the notes, they show the finger and the type of plucking when the notation is played or when the cursor moves across the notes.

The sounds of the strings are played by Wave Samples or Midi Output and their sound properties may be configured individually by Wave and Midi controls.

The tip of the bridge indicates the actual playing position in the format:

Bar.Beat.Pulse


types of plucking

"normal" notes ("F", "f"): the strings are plucked and fade out.

"dotted" notes ("F.", "f."): the strings are dampened immediately after plucking (Detero - technique).

displays the strings to be played with the thumb as an upward bowed arc in dark color, the strings to be played with the forefinger are visualized as a downward bowed arc in light color. The left hand fingers are shown in red and the right hand fingers in blue.
"dotted" notes - Detero - are shown as dotted line.

forefinger
left hand


pluck the string with left forefinger and let it fade out ("f ")

right hand


pluck the string with right forefinger and let it fade out ("g")


pluck and dampen the string ("f.")

pluck and dampen the string ("g.")


the back of the right forefinger knocks outwards on the wooden handle to produce a percussive effect (Bulukondingo Podi)
(" x")


thumb
left hand


pluck the string with left thumb and let it fade out ("G")

right hand


pluck the string with right thumb and let it fade out ("F")


pluck and dampen the string with left thumb ("G.")



pluck and dampen the string with right thumb ("F.")


time measure

A pulse (or tick) is the smallest metrical time unit to hold a note.

The notation is rhythmically subdivided by pulses or ticks (vertical thin lines), grouped to beats. Those again are grouped to bars - the Kumbengo, which is a cyclical repeated and varied ostinato pattern.

The beats (stronger vertical lines) are numbered at the upper border of the notation.

The bars (strongest vertical lines) are numbered at the lower border of the notation.

The actual playing position or the position of the cursor in the notation is shown in the lower tip of the bridge as: bar.beat.pulse

The metrum - that is the number of pulses per beat and the number of beats per bar - is freely adjustable to the desired time resolution.

The playing tempo is adjustable in beats per minute.




Copyright © 1997-2003 Harald Loquenz. All rights reserved

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