Category Archives: Sheet music

seven different forms of written music

Introducing seven different forms of written music


Generation of interesting and entertaining music is really a challenging task because every musician wants to discover something new for his/her listeners. As experienced musicians already know several tunes and musical notes but they always need good charts and written content for playing the kind of music they want. A descriptive piece of written music that effectively tells the musician that what they should play is defined as ‘good chart’ –


There are seven different forms of written music –

Songbooks, lead sheets, sheet music, chord charts, master rhythm charts, fake books, fully notated parts. The supplier of the chart is responsible to offer the right kind of chart that suggests the important gig or tune.


Compilation of tunes, along with chords and arrangement of recordings together forms songbooks. The songbook covers the introduction and ending of tunes and is written to be played on different styles and different instruments. The book contains full compilation of decade, style, artist and collection of movie themes etc. in other words, they play an important role for a musician as a reference source.

Lead sheets


These sheets are used by singers, arrangers and accompanists often that contain melody lines, lyrics and chords. Generally the lead sheet is used for copywriting the song which contains a page or two. It never contains any music notation, that’s why; anyone who is copying the music needs to be specialized in preparation of written music. It means one needs to understand the form direction and symbols to play songs with lead sheets.

Sheet music

When songs are printed by the publisher that contains lyrics, melody, chords, instrumental part and form of music, it is called the sheet music. It is written for guitar and piano, both although the sheet music is not always the complete version of actual recording but good to play a song when you are doing ‘takedown’, it means writing down the music when you listen the song. Good observation and ‘ears’ means special attention over the song while listening it leads towards the good ‘takedown’.

Chord charts

This chart contains chords, meter i.e. the way in which song is counted and also the form of song. This chart never contains specific instrumental notes and melody to play. This chart plays an important role in following conditions –

  • When over needs to be improved through chords
  • A part of music is known already but the reference of form of chords is needed
  • The last minute chart needs to be written without any option for elaboration

Master rhythm charts


These charts are designed for rhythm sections such as base, guitar, piano and drums. This kind of chart contains the general idea for sketching the tune, a master copy and specification of chords. They are designed mainly for the musicians. It contains key rhythm, chords, key melodic parts, key background vocals and dynamics.

Fake books

A large book of tunes that contains just lyrics, chords and melody lines is called as fake book. Here, you won’t find the guitar part, piano part or the bass part, this is why, and it is known as a fake book. To use a fake book properly, you need to be expert in improvising the style of tunes.

Notated parts


The notated part of music is useful for one when it requires playing the music specifically in fully notated version. Everything is written on pages under notated parts means what to play, how to play and when to play. The notes cover dynamics, rhythms and notational expressions.