Modules for extending musical notation

- By the help of these modules an infinite number of microtones can be notated with only a few basic signs.
- The notation of rhythm becomes more logical and more diverse.
- Changing single tones repetitively becomes feasible.
- Transitions and shades of tones can be notated much more exactly.
Staffless notation is possible.

Modules can be combined with the usual notation, so that comprehensive view and quick understanding when reading the notes can be maintained.
As far as the modules are presented here I have developed them over several decades. The “initial spark” was that in the past I could not find a solution for notating microtones which would have satisfied me. I hope to be able to fill this gap with module one.

The notation A – consisting of all elements introduced under „Modules“ can be freely used by everybody. Should you use elements of “Notation A” please indicate on your notes: “Uses Notation A. Explanations see Date”. In case the notation is changed, the previous versions will always be saved under the date of the change, so that the status of the development can be always followed up.
Gladly I will publish here notes not subject to PRS for Music (Performing Rights Society) (in Germany:GEMA), using elements of “Notation A” and make them available for free download. Please send them to “
If your notes are PRS chargeable I will gladly insert a link to the shop where your notes are available under the condition that your notes use elements of “Notation A”.


Comparison between “"Notation A" und "Helmholtz-Ellis-Notation"


The Helmholtz-Ellis-Notation takes a way that is similar to the "Notation A". However, I was not satisfied by this solution with the chromatic signs either. With “Notation A” I took a different way, which really offers many advantages when compared to the Helmholtz-Ellis Notation.


-    Tunings are easier to determine in "Notation A",
-    Transpositions are feasible more easily.
-    Notation in other line systems or completely without lines becomes possible.
 -    Every imaginable prime number is in "Notation A" representable as a sign – in contrast to the Helmholtz-Ellis Notation .
-    Transpositions other than the twelve-step one are representable by "Notation A", even half-tempered tunings.
-    Stretchings and compressions are representable.
-    The signs of the notation are more logical, that is why they are more intuitively to comprehend.
-    The signs are applicable to the rhythm as well.
-    You sense  a pure third not as a Pythagoreical third played deeper, that is why the signs of the Helmholtz-Ellis-Notation in the worst case can even be misleading.
-    The possibilities of the Helmholtz-Ellis-Notation are covered by module 1/1 to module ¼, but already these modules go much further than the "Helmholtz-Ellis-Notation". All further issues and modules offer new and additional chances.
-    The conclusion is: "Notation A" goes much further than the Helmholtz-Ellis Notation.


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© Andreas Rüsing 2016