Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
MUC 126A
Course Title:
Computer Notation and Scoring 1
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Uses Sibelius, Finale, or other software to generate music notation and charts to transcribe music and to create scores, harmonizations, and orchestrations.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Apply accepted practices for music notation and chart page layout;
  • Transcribe music from recorded source materials or known music;
  • Create readable lead sheets for original and/or cover songs and instrumental pieces;
  • Compose additional vocal and/or instrumental parts from a single melody line

Course Activities and Design

  • Discussion and application of music notation rules and accepted
  • Introduction to notation software, basic operations and techniques;
  • Creation of lead sheets, including melody, chords, lyrics, and music flow (repeats, etc.);
  • Discussion and application of techniques for harmonizing and orchestration;
  • Creation of multi-part scores, and extraction of individual parts from the score, including necessary transpositions;
  • Playback of scores in class.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • In-class quizzes may be used to evaluate students€™ understanding of notation rules and practice. For example: placement of note stems for single and dual parts; proper use of meter and correct placement of partial measures; proper use of repeats, endings, D.S., D.C., fine, coda, etc.; identification and correct usage of key signatures.
  • Projects to be completed in lab demonstrate skills for proper notation
    and use of software. For example:
    • Transcribe melody lines and chordal harmony from recorded source
    • Create lead sheets for original or cover songs, clearly showing melody and song form, along with chord symbols, lyrics, and any other necessary markings or instructions.
    • Create harmonizations, counterpoint and/or riffs (2-3 additional parts) from a single melody line (using one of the lead sheets as a starting point).
    • Present as a concert pitch multi-staff score, or as a choral score with SATB and accompaniment parts.
    • Create parts extracted from the score for individual musicians and singers. Transpose as necessary for certain instruments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Review of music notation practice and guidelines;
  • Music dictation practice;
  • Music notation in the software environment;
  • Starting a new score;
  • Adding instruments / staves to the score;
  • Methods for inputting notes to the score;
  • Editing tools;
  • Adding title, composer, publisher and copyright information;
  • Adding lyrics, chord symbols, and other text;
  • Adding repeats, endings, and other music flow markings;
  • Adding articulation marks, slurs, dynamics and other markings;
  • Page layout and formatting for lead sheet, score, parts;
  • Transcribing by ear from recorded material;
  • Review of basic harmonization techniques;
  • Writing harmonies and other support parts;
  • Extracting individual parts from score, with transposition;
  • Playing back the score;
  • Printing the score and parts;
  • Overview of different notation software applications.