Dodeka Musical Symbols: Find All Meanings and Definitions with Our New List

Posted on April 12, 2018

Learning how to read music is not only a question of pitch and rhythm. You’ve already probably figured that out. It is actually not uncommon for beginners to encounter symbols that they’ve never seen before on some more advanced scores.

In music notation, besides notes, there is a bunch of other symbols that aspiring musicians have to learn to grasp all the specificities and nuances of musical compositions. These symbols are called musical (or music) symbols and describe in more greater details every musical piece. They can for example describe the composition’s articulations - which are the transitions a player should consider when playing a single note or a specific set of notes - or its dynamics, that is to say, the loudness to which notes should be played. Other symbols give precise indications about the tempo, the rhythm, or the repetitions in the composition.

Alternative music notation - alternative symbols?

Creating an alternative music notation provided the opportunity to revise all the notation from scratch; from its core structure to the way musical symbols look like. We actually did both. We reinvented the way we write music and re-designed all musical symbols. The reason you might be wondering? Our objective was to create a logical, coherent and easier notational system and if we wanted to reach that goal we had to go through the full re-design of the notation, including the musical symbols.

Our approach in this process was to design symbols in a way that would make them easily and quickly recognisable by anyone. If anything, isn’t it the very purpose of a symbol to be recognised and understood independently of the language we speak? Following this approach, we crafted symbols from graphic representations only by removing all marks associated with a particular language.

Musical symbols redesigned

Here is a selection of some musical symbols redesigned in Dodeka:






Engage pedal


Repeat signs



Dodeka musical symbols list

To make your life easier when learning how to read music, we compiled all musical symbols and their meanings in a large list on our website. This way there’s no need to browse the Internet for hours anymore to find the meanings of arpeggios, crescendo, glissando and the likes. You can now quickly find all the definitions in Dodeka musical symbols list. So, if you want to take your musical knowledge to the next level, or are just curious to know how we redesigned those symbols, feel fee to check out the full list here.

** We are currently working on the Dodeka Music Library project, which seeks to translate as many sheet music as possible into the Dodeka notation. Check out our progress and get early access to the first ever Dodeka music library. **

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