Logo UAB

Musical Notation I

Code: 100654 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500240 Musicology OB 3 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Maria Incoronata Colantuono

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

The professor of this course will be Maria Incoronata Colantuono

External teachers

Maria Incoronata Colantuono


A good level of musical language

Objectives and Contextualisation

The student will learn the basis theoretical and practice, and will transcribe and perform the Medieval Music written in the main systems of notation



  • Demonstrate a sufficient level of knowledge of historical and current musical language and theory, including the rudiments of harmony and counterpoint, to be able to correctly approach the study of composition.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Know and understand the historical evolution of music, its technical, stylistic, aesthetic and interpretative characteristics from a diachronic perspective.
  • Producing innovative and competitive proposals in research and professional activity.
  • Relate knowledge acquired to musical praxis, working with musicians through the analysis and contextualisation of different repertoires, both related to historical music and to the different manifestations of contemporary music.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire fluency of sightreading to practical musical ends.
  2. Apply different models of musical notation in musical praxis.
  3. Be familiar with editions of early music.
  4. Carry out projects with musicological content, preparing a work plan and methodology appropriate to the object and timing of the research.
  5. Discuss musical theory and praxis with musicians.
  6. Identify the main systems of writing in Western music, both vocal and instrumental (10th to 17th centuries).
  7. Identifying the context of the historical processes.
  8. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  9. Integrate knowledge acquired in the production of clear and concise appropriate to the academic and specialist communication.
  10. Make condifent use of vocabulary relative to musical paleography.
  11. Make historical distinctions between the different systems of musical notation.
  12. Produce correct, precise and clear argumental and terminological writing of knowledge acquired, both in the area of musical specialisation and dissemination.
  13. Transcribe the main systems of Western music according to the modern conventions of notation and edition.
  14. Use the appropriate terminology in the construction of an academic text.
  15. Write critical papers on musicology that are planned and organised efficiently.


  1. Gregorian semiology
  2. Neumatic notation
  3. Earlier polyphonic notation
  4. Modal notation
  5. Mensural Notation
  6. Notation of the French Ars nova
  7. Italian Notation around 1300


Development of the syllabus through practical classes based on the musical fragments, after explaining the theoretical-practical principles on which they are based.

Resolution, with the active participation of the student, of how many transcription exercises are commissioned.


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Face-to-face lessons, theoric and practice 45 1.8 1, 2, 5, 11, 3, 7, 6, 13, 10
Type: Autonomous      
Reading of specific bibliography (books and articles) 7 0.28 12, 14, 7, 8, 4, 9, 15
Study of the course 30 1.2 1, 2, 12, 5, 11, 3, 14, 7, 6, 8, 4, 9, 15, 13, 10
Transcription excercices 62 2.48 12, 11, 3, 14, 6, 4, 15, 13, 10



  1. Two partial exams (30%) and final exam (40%). Exams will consist of the transcription of one or more musical fragments.
  2. Each test must be able to be justified orally, if necessary, during group or individual tutoring sessions.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Final exam of the subject: can be found in the list of Degree information

Review final exams: January 12, 2022


The re-evaluation exam of the subject will consist of the transcription of musical fragments, with the same learning results of the final exam which also includes parts of the continuous evaluation process. A student will be “not evaluable” if he has not attended any of the ordinary partial exams of the subject.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Final exam 40% 2 0.08 1, 2, 12, 5, 11, 3, 14, 7, 6, 8, 4, 9, 15, 13, 10
Test 1 30% 2 0.08 12, 11, 14, 6, 8, 9, 13, 10
Test 2 30% 2 0.08 12, 11, 14, 6, 8, 9, 13, 10


Apel, W., The Notation of Polyphonic Music 900-1600 (Cambridge, 1953/5ª edic., etc.)

Hiley D. - Szendrei J., Notation, § III.1, Plainchant, in Groveonline

Colette M. N. - Popin M.– Vendrix PH., Histoire de la notation du Moyen Âge à la Renaissance, Paris, Minerve, 2003

Kelly TH. F., Capturing Music. The Story of Notation, New York, W.W. Norton, 2014

Schimd M.E., La notazione musicale. Scrittura e composizione tra il 900 e il 1900, a cura di A. Cecchi, Roma, Astrolabio, 2017


Paléographie musicale: les principaux manuscrits de chant grégorien, ambrosien, mozarabe, gallican, Solesmes, 1889-.

Les Clausulae a deux voix du Manuscrit de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteus 29.1, pub. par R. A. Baltzer, Paris, L’Oiseau-Lyre, 1995 (“Le Magnus Liber Organi de Notre-Dame de Paris”, 5).

The music treatise of Anonymous IV. A new translation,  J. Yudkin ed. (MSD 41, 1985)

Franconis de Colonia, Ars cantus mensurabilis, G. Reaney & A. Gilles eds. (CSM 18, 1974)

Philippi de Vitriaco, Ars nova, G. Reaney, A. Gilles & J. Maillard eds. (CSM 8, 1964)

Fuller, S., “A Phantom Treatise of the Fourteenth Century? The Ars nova”, The Journal of Musicology IV/1 (1985/6), pp. 23-50

Tractatus figurarum, Ph. E. Schreur ed. (Lincoln-London, 1989)


There is not