Have you or someone you know struggled to learn to read sheet music… perhaps even given up playing an instrument because this barrier was too much to overcome? WYSIWYP is a new notation designed to make reading music as simple and as intuitive as possible for beginning students of music while still retaining all the capabilities of traditional notation.
The Simplified Notation app for Sheet Music (SNapp) is a cross-platform browser app for displaying sheet music in WYSIWYP format. Your local music store isn’t selling WYSIWYP sheet music (yet) so it’s a must.
Of course learning to play a musical instrument takes enormous time and practice, but this technique allows the student to focus on playing and spend less time learning to read sheet music.
Traditional notation vs WYSIWYP - a quick summary
All octaves have the same format and staves expand/contract to fit the range of the score (red lines are C, blue lines are F).
Noteheads explicitly indicate naturals (circles) and sharps/flats (combination symbol or triangles up/down). There is no need to remember key signatures.
Note duration is explicitly shown as stripes on a true timeline.
Tic marks on the timeline show the beat - no need for time signature since beats per measure is explicit.
About this website
This website is an example of how the WYSIWYP alternative notation could be discovered on the internet by students struggling to learn to read sheet music. Use of Alternative Notations is not likely to be directed top-down from schools of music, but rather spread like a meme on the internet in a bottom-up manner.
There are many proposed Alternative Notations and one has achieved some level of acceptance (Klavarskribo). However, while most others also provide a logical approach, they do not necessarily lead to easier learning for beginning students. The goal of the WYSIWYP project is to make music notation simple and intuitive. This new notation can be learned in less than an hour. Furthermore, compared to other Alternative Notations, it is not so far afield from Traditional Notation that transitioning to it should be less difficult when the student is ready.
The website is incomplete but is a work on progress. Questions and constructive comments are welcome. Contact me at
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all Researchers of Music
The value of the WYSIWYP Alternative Notation is unproven. Therefore, there is another target audience for this website. Academics in the areas of musicology and/or music education may find that Alternative Notations in general would be an interesting research project. Such research might reveal whether they have merit in helping students to read and play music, and as a result, reduce student dropout rates and lead to lifelong playing. It's a goldmine of research possibilities and could lead to being in the forefront of a revolution in music education.
Read my pitch for this research here. I hope it piques your interest. And if it does, please also read my pitch for including WYSIWYP as one of the candidates for research. Contact me at email address above.