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The Notation

Music in its theory is pure maths. I did hate maths in school, but it is simple as that. Mathematics in this way is not difficult, because it is just about deviding time.

To simplify reading of music there are some marks that devide music into parts. These are called bars.

On the left side you can spot the note value pyramid. It describes how to understand semi-breve, minim, crotchet, quaver or semi-quavers... In English much more complex in words as in German.

There is a step-by-step instruction in the BodhránReader to work on the ideas of note values.

Other musicians use small or large beakers etc... to show how rhythm is devided.

In the same amount of time I play semi-breve I can play 8 quavers (third line in the pyramid)

Short Description

On the left side you see the notation explanation taken from the BodhránReader. The staffs consists just of 3 lines. Two of them as dotted. This is to point out that you don't have to play a very defined pitch like in melodies but that the scale is "natural". You play higher or lower....

Because of the fact that Bodhrán can play "melodies" this notation does not use the lines of staff to describe ways to hit the drum like in drum kit notations. 

The charm of this notation is that you can use parts of the notation like the symbols on top to read the rhythm. Sometimes I use rhythm syllables (represented by charakters) in the bottom of staffs.

Short Prehistory

Starting to drum I just worked on rhythms by listening and watching other players.

As time goes by I presented the bodhrán to others and after a while it was not enough just with showing and adapting. Many wanted to have things written down to have the rhythms for later... this is very OK.

I had to learn how to write rhythms. Starting with arrows etc... like Steafan Hannigan did, I enhanced my way of writing by time... This is no critics to Steafan because arrows are really fine in many ways.

If you cope with complex structures it is not enough and I found out that I had to use other elements of written music as well.

During frame drum festivals and classes by famous percussionists like Murat Coşkun, Behnam and Reza Samani, Katharina Dustmann, Michael Metzler, Glen Velez, Hakim Ludin, Andrea Piccioni, Yshai Afterman, Sebastian Flaig, David Kuckhermann, Mel Mercier and many others... I learned many ways of writing and learning..

Lots of stuff... The notation I use is a result of all these influences and my own thinking.

The notation is constantly evolving like after I started to use MuseScore 3 to write my patterns.


Down with accent

Up with accent




Area Flat


Area Pushed


repeat previous bar

repeat two bars before