Keyboardist Dave Stewart attempts to demystify the music notation process to enable the rock/pop musician to read, write and arrange music. The first five chapters deal with note names and their position on the treble and bass clefs, how to find these pitches on both the piano keyboard and guitar fretboard, as well as note and rest values, time signatures and key signatures. The novice is then taken through the corridors of the interval, major and minor scales, simple and complex chord construction (although with little or no guidelines as to their correct use in the context of harmony), inversions and alternative bass notes.
Obvious omissions are a listing of musical terms and signs covering tempo, velocity and expression, and a definition of harmonic (modern) and melodic (ancient) minor scales. The examples given are, in fact, the descending melodic minor scale.
Chapters follow on the rudiments of drum notation, how to write your compositions legibly, and a final chapter covers writing for non-rock musicians which simply lists the range and transpositional characteristics of orchestral instruments.
A selection of Dave Stewart's own scores, far too complex for a beginner, complete an otherwise easy to read, sometimes humourous, but never comprehensive guide to music notation