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  1. 6/8 time
  2. A (note)
  3. Abc notation
  4. Accidental
  5. Articulation
  6. B (note)
  7. Bar
  8. Beam
  9. Braille Music
  10. Breath mark
  11. Canntaireachd
  12. Chord
  13. Cinquillo
  14. Clef
  15. Coda
  16. Copyist
  17. Da capo
  18. Dal segno
  19. Dotted note
  20. Double whole note
  21. Drum tablature
  22. Dynamics
  23. Eight note
  24. Ekphonetic notation
  25. Fermata
  26. Figured bass
  27. Fingering
  28. Flat
  29. Ghost note
  30. Glissando
  31. Gongche notation
  32. Grace note
  33. Grand staff
  34. Graphic notation
  35. GUIDO music notation
  36. Guido of Arezzo
  37. Halfnote
  38. Harmony
  39. Hundred twenty-eighth note
  40. Italian musical terms used in English
  41. Kepatihan
  42. Key
  43. Keyboard tablature
  44. Key signature
  45. Klavarskribo
  46. Leadsheet
  47. Ledger line
  48. Legato
  49. Letter notation
  50. Ligature
  51. Marcato
  52. Mensural notation
  53. Mensurstriche
  54. Metre
  55. Modern musical symbols
  56. Musical notation
  57. Musical scale
  58. Musical terminology
  59. Music engraving
  60. Music theory
  61. Nashville notation
  62. Natural sign
  63. Neume
  64. Note
  65. Note value
  66. Numbered musical notation
  67. Numerical sight-singing
  68. Octave
  69. Ornament
  70. Parsonscode
  71. Partbook
  72. Pizzicato
  73. Portamento
  74. Prolation
  75. Qinpu
  76. Quarter note
  77. Rastrum
  78. Rehearsal letter
  79. Repeat
  80. Rest
  81. Rhythm
  82. Rythmic mode
  83. Rhythmic notation
  84. Saptak
  85. Scientific pitch notation
  86. Shape note
  87. Sharp
  88. Sheet music
  89. Sixteenth note
  90. Sixty-fourth note
  91. Slash notation
  92. Slur
  93. Sound painting
  94. Staccatissimo
  95. Staccato
  96. Staff
  97. Swung note
  98. Tablature
  99. Tacet
  100. Tempo
  101. Tenuto
  102. Thirty-second note
  103. Tie
  104. Time signature
  105. Time unit box system (TUBS)
  106. Tongan music notation
  107. Triple metre
  108. Tuplet
  109. Unfigured bass
  110. Virtual music score
  111. Vocal score
  112. Whole note
  113. Znamennoe singing

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Klavarskribo is a music notation that was introduced in 1931 by the Dutchman Cornelis Pot. The name means "keyboard writing" in Esperanto. It differs from conventional music notation in a number of ways and is intended to be easily readable.


Cornelis Pot came from a family of ship-builders and was managing director of Smit Slikkerveer, a factory which made dynamos for ships. He had also a passion for music and wanted others to be enabled to enjoy music by playing and by singing. He studied alternative music notations and from them developed his idea of Klavarskribo. He expected the music world to embrace his invention and when that proved not to be the case he was very disappointed. Music teachers also showed no interest, on the contrary: they felt themselves threatened and opposed the dissemination of Klavarskribo. Having the financial means Pot was able, by himself, to start and publish written courses and have music transcribed. In the nineteen thirties the number of klavar users grew enormously and much sheet music was transcribed and published in the klavar notation. During World War II these activities stopped, but after that period he started with a new élan. The Klavarskribo Institute, set up by Cor Pot, expanded so much that at one time as many as fifty people were employed there. Courses in English, French and German were prepared.

But times changed: television was introduced and making music at home decreased. After Pot’s death in 1977 the financial means of the Klavarskribo Foundation, established after his death, were much more limited. The Klavarskribo Foundation in Ridderkerk (the Netherlands, near Rotterdam) is concerned with transcribing and publishing music mainly for church organists, an important supportive group. Also written courses for a number of instruments, guitar, accordion, recorder and in particular piano, and other keyboard instruments, are available. At the moment the number of klavar notation users in the Netherlands and abroad is estimated to be at least 10,000.


A keyboard with the stave growing out of it
A keyboard with the stave growing out of it
A melody with the note stems pointing to the right, indicating that the right hand should be used
A melody with the note stems pointing to the right, indicating that the right hand should be used
A measure in three-time with bar lines and count lines
A measure in three-time with bar lines and count lines

The klavar notation distinguishes itself from the conventional notation in several ways. The stave on which the notes are written is vertical so the music is read from top to bottom. On this stave each note has its own individual position, low notes on the left and high notes on the right as on the piano. This stave consists of groups of two and three vertical lines. These lines correspond to the black notes of the piano keyboard. Black notes are written on the five black lines and white notes are written in the seven white spaces between the lines. Therefore sharps and flats are no longer needed, as each note has its own place in the octave. The evident correspondence between the stave and a piano induced Pot to use the name Klavarskribo. Though the klavar notation is a universal notation which can be used for all instruments and for singing, it is at its greatest advantage with instruments where a number of notes have to be played simultaneously: the keyboard instruments.

Duration and rhythm are shown graphically. A piece of music is divided in bars of equal length, which are subdivided into “counts” or beats. Short horizontal bar lines show the division between the bars, dotted lines indicate the counts. All notes are provided with stems (stems to the right: play with the right hand, stems to the left: left hand). These are placed so as to indicate in the measuring system exactly when a note must be played or sung. A note always lasts till the next one of the same hand or part appears, unless a stop sign or continuation dot is used. Therefore there is no connection between shape or colour of a note and the duration of a note. The various kinds of “rest” signs, different note heads, tied notes and different clefs are thus rendered unnecessary.

The klavar notation uses one clef: the centre of the keyboard is indicated by making the lines representing C♯ and D♯ as dotted lines. So Middle C can easily be located. There are no different clefs for the left and the right hand.

This design enables the player to see clearly, after a short explanation, how the notation ´works´, so that a beginner can start playing almost immediately. The player can see exactly which note or chord to play and which hand to use. The notation asks for action.

Klavar is not only for beginners. The fact that even the most difficult music of composers such as Chopin and Liszt is available in the klavar notation shows that very advanced players are using klavar. Almost all currently played music for organ, piano, accordion etc is available in the klavar notation. The Klavarskribo Foundation has transcribed over 25,000 pieces and provides catalogues for the instruments piano, reed organ, accordion, (orchestra), electronic organ, keyboard and guitar. Besides, the PC software KlavarScript is much used, which enables music in the traditional notation to be transcribed to the klavar notation through midi files or after scanning it in or playing it in through an electronic keyboard.


In the Netherlands the Klavarskribo Foundation and the Klavar Vereniging Nederland (Dutch Klavar Union), are the two main organisations. The latter, active since 1978, has 800 members and its objective is, in cooperation with the Foundation, to promote the klavar notation and keep it going. The Union keeps a register of teachers in the Netherlands who are willing to teach using klavar. It tries to stimulate klavar users to take lessons from these teachers in order to improve their level of playing as much as possible.

Both the Klavarskribo Foundation and the Dutch Klavar Union consider it their task to point out to those who wish to make music or who are starting to do so, the advantages of using the klavar notation.

Sheet music and courses in several languages are available from:

Klavarskribo Foundation
Postbus 39, 2980 AA RIDDERKERK
the Netherlands,

Piano, Organ, Accordion and Guitar Courses in English and sheet music are also available from

The Klavar Music Foundation of Great Britain, founded in 1976
Affiliated to the KMF of GB is the Hong Kong Klavar Music Club (Founded 1984).

See also


The Klavar Music School International Limited. Website: Online Store:

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