2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
81 members (Abdol, 8ude, BeWater, anotherscott, brdwyguy, AndrewJCW, 18 invisible), 716 guests, and 588 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
why is sheet music black?
#1478016 07/20/10 04:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
I tried searchin'...

Is there a particular reason why sheet music has stayed black through the ages even with the advent of colored ink, colored printing, computers, cheap colored printers, monster sized flat screens, 3d ray traced computer games... (need i go on?)

Is it safe to use color yet???

Yeah, it's me, the "I hate sheet music" guy...
I've finally bit the bullet and have committed myself
to writing the code to do standard notation.

ARRRRRRGH !! (sorry, had to get that out of my system)

Ok, I would think that using RED for right hand notes and
BLUE for left hand notes could eliminate a lot of
problematic things with sheet music reading.

Instead of using lower staff for left hand and upper staff
for right, just have a grand staff with red and blue notes
per hand put on whichever half of the grand staff they're on.

That way, you eliminate a LOT of ledger lines and
frackin 8va/8vb's

Granted, that wouldn't be "standard notation".
So I gotta know:

WHY JUST BLACK ??




http://PianoCheetah.app - my weird piano practice program
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478020 07/20/10 04:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
hmmm, this would also make all sheet music red, white, and blue.


http://PianoCheetah.app - my weird piano practice program
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478023 07/20/10 04:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
why is sheet music black?...why is the grass green and the sky blue?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: why is sheet music black?
stores #1478026 07/20/10 04:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,169
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,169
Originally Posted by stores
why is sheet music black?...why is the grass green and the sky blue?


And, why is book, newspaper and magazine print black?

Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478029 07/20/10 05:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,686
D
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,686
Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel


WHY JUST BLACK ??




Black has better contrast than colors, making the score easier to read.

Re: why is sheet music black?
Damon #1478033 07/20/10 05:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,453
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,453
It is indeed about the contrast I think, that's why books are also printed in black.
I think you can change the colour of the notes in Sibelius and Finale by the way if you really hate black.



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


Re: why is sheet music black?
beet31425 #1478034 07/20/10 05:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
My kids' school books ain't black.
Magazines ain't black.
Maybe news and fiction, but the goal there isn't to teach you anything.
Actually, just fiction, news has moved to the web and tv and that ain't black.

Most teaching material has moved to color aaaaages ago.
And for good reason.

Would you want this forum software to be just black?
Ok, ya might smile


Next time you see a new piano student struggling with ledger lines and 8va/8vb, just remember: red, white, and blue laugh



http://PianoCheetah.app - my weird piano practice program
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478053 07/20/10 05:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,686
D
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,686
Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel
My kids' school books ain't black.
Magazines ain't black.
Maybe news and fiction, but the goal there isn't to teach you anything.
Actually, just fiction, news has moved to the web and tv and that ain't black.

Most teaching material has moved to color aaaaages ago.
And for good reason.

Would you want this forum software to be just black?
Ok, ya might smile


Next time you see a new piano student struggling with ledger lines and 8va/8vb, just remember: red, white, and blue laugh



I think your method would unfairly inconvenience color blind pianists and increase the wrinkles around the eyes of anyone squinting at your scores.

If you're playing tonal music in a competence related repertoire, ledger lines shouldn't even be an issue. You can practically guess them if you are familiar with the tune.

Last edited by Damon; 07/20/10 05:53 PM. Reason: switched 'your' to 'you're'
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478054 07/20/10 05:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Color printing is a lot more expensive.

And the vast majority of teaching materials are still black and white. Copy and Risograph machines run black, which is why every worksheet I've seen in schools are black (although occasionally on colored paper.)

And what magazines aren't black? I've never seen an article in Time, Cyclist, or even Glamour that was green or red. Sure, they highlight articles with colored text and pictures, but it's not the norm.

Then, how do you account for colorblindess?

Also, I assume you're talking about sheet music, because most educational piano materials do use color. Not for the music itself, but in many other aspects of the layout (like in school textbooks.)

It's an interesting idea, but accounting for cost, standardization, color-blindness, and demonstrating that color will actually fix the problem you perceive is going to be tricky.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478057 07/20/10 05:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 621
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 621
This is silly.

OK, you don't like the standard musical notation.

Tough.

Deal with it.

Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478058 07/20/10 05:55 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,587
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,587
Originally Posted by Stephen Hazel
I tried searchin'...

Is there a particular reason why sheet music has stayed black through the ages even with the advent of colored ink, colored printing, computers, cheap colored printers, [...]


Well, for one thing we can start with the tradition of printing with black ink on white paper. It's by far the easiest to read and by far more economical to produce than colour printing.

I would think that multi-coloured scores would be considerably more expensive to produce and, hence, more expensive for the consumer. Aren't music scores expensive enough already?

I would find multi-coloured scores very tiring to read. Some print media may go to colour for headlines and side-bars to attract the readers' attention, but most extensive texts are continued to be printed in black on white.

In fact, some very basic beginners' books do have coloured notes, but once you've learned to read music notation, what would be the point of continuously having to pay for coloured scores when you no longer need the "crutch" of coloured notes?

Also consider those readers who have trouble distinguishing certain colours; it could make scores even harder for them to read than for those of us who do read print colours readily.

I can't see any rationale to changing to coloured scores.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: why is sheet music black?
BruceD #1478070 07/20/10 06:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
B
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 450
I don't really get what you hope to achieve here? There is an established methodology for notation that, whilst not absolutely perfect, nonetheless conveys an enormous amount of information very efficiently. It is also largely standardised. So, by introducing another form of notation, whom do you serve? I can't see that it will be the student, since at some point, they are going to have to learn traditional notation anyhow.

I also happen to be partially colourblind, so I guess I'm naturally prejudiced against any introduction of colour into notation!


Re: why is sheet music black?
BruceD #1478079 07/20/10 06:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
One of the major reasons is the same as brake lights are RED (not blue, for instance), and the keys of a piano are aproximately black and white, to avoid visual confusion and get better contrast in several different situations (a blue brake light at night in a far distance would be bad, especially in a raining day).

Of course you can highlight with whatever colors the parts of the score you are having problem. I really think colors can be useful in memorization, I used to highlight the parts of my study books I needed to pay attention, but colors are very personal, ask anyone the color of F major and they'll say different colors. I'd paint it with green. If someone has in mind another color, it could be confusing when one have to memorize the colored score. So you cannot set as a standard any color system IMO.

Re: why is sheet music black?
deAlmeida #1478093 07/20/10 07:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,219
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,219
Some color-blind people do not see the brake light as red.

A friend who was virtually completely color-blind said they taught him to look at traffic lights by position, not color, as the top, being the most important (stop), was red, yellow in the middle, and green at the bottom green (USA traffic lights).

Using your color scheme, he would be unable to read notation.

Also, regarding printing in color, some colors fade more quickly than others, so you could be left with invisible ink on some of the scores.

And finally, printing in color requires multiple runs through the printing press, one for each color (several times the electrical usage), cleaning the press for each color, (nasty toxic chemicals are used, again for each color) etc., which adds up to major negative environmental impact,


Piano teacher.
Re: why is sheet music black?
rocket88 #1478103 07/20/10 07:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,941
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,941
Steve
have you thought of using black and grey? similar to the kind of grey used for ossia? What do you think?

Yes I use LH RH colours for beginners (green and blue as I don't like to look at red), and use personal colours for other aspects of music study/composition, but not often.

I think it's great fun and a challenge to construct alternative notations, why not! My students have come up with some bizarre notations for their own compositions when they are starting out, and I love deciphering the ideas.


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: why is sheet music black?
rocket88 #1478107 07/20/10 07:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 758
Wow!

Ok, black is good.

I can deal with black laugh


But, for the record:
- I never said nothin bout printing. Monster sized LCDs are gettin cheap.
- It wouldn't HAVE to be red and blue - that could work at least for not fully colorblind folks.

Ok, sorry for thinkin' folks couldn't turn scores colored if they wanted to.
That ain't hard to do.

My background with this is "Steve's tryin to write code for his dang midi sequencer to display sheet music and is getting a little frustrated with all the rules".
I can deal with it.
It'll take me some time, but I'll get it.

Sorry for kinda sorta unloadin' laugh

You may now return to your black sheet music laugh


http://PianoCheetah.app - my weird piano practice program
Re: why is sheet music black?
rocket88 #1478110 07/20/10 07:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 769
I'll put more 2 cents smile

The traffic lights are standard in most countries. Here is the same. Usually daltonic people cannot tell the difference between green and red, but this fact does not imply that the red light standard is useless to color-blind people in a far-way-break-light-in-a-raining-night situation, simply because the blue spectre tends to fade away, or being less perceived in such situations, than the red one, and it could get mixed with the regular lights. In fact, I think the reason why brake lights are not blue is the same reason as why the sky is blue smile . The blue spectre is scattered much more than the red one. That is, a far way blue dot will be perceived more blurry than a red one.

The physiological fact does not change the physical fact. When there is both colored light stimulus the colors cannot be differentiated by a color-blind person, but it does not imply that one color stands perceived as the other color in any situation.

What all of these has to do with why the score is black? Few laugh ! But it is a geek interesting topic. smirk

Last edited by al-mahed; 07/20/10 07:47 PM.
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478111 07/20/10 07:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,941
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,941
For on screen display of a midi style of notation you'd be crazy NOT to separate the hands with colour, wouldn't you? I can't believe you're not already using colour in this way!! (but don't have time to look up your site just now).


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: why is sheet music black?
Stephen Hazel #1478112 07/20/10 07:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,651
Why don't you have your sequencer display your sheets in purple, yellow and lime green? Choose any color you like...why should it matter what color you're reading to any of us (unless, of course, you're going to ask one of use to read from your sheets).



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: why is sheet music black?
stores #1478117 07/20/10 08:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,453
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,453
In Sibelius (I just checked) you just select a staff, right-click on it and choose the colour...



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Parents wanting more work - student not ready/interested
by Kyle J. Smith - 01/18/21 06:24 PM
Kurzweil ka130 vs Casio px770 vs...
by Ninchie007 - 01/18/21 04:45 PM
Refurb or Trade for a Rebuild
by brdwyguy - 01/18/21 04:22 PM
VST Spreadsheet not Available on Sticky Thread
by Harpuia - 01/18/21 02:57 PM
Roland FP Advice
by LongTimeNoSee - 01/18/21 01:49 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,365
Posts3,048,581
Members100,115
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4