Kievan (Square or Synodal) notation is a type of five-line musical notation used in the chantbooks of the Russian Orthodox Church. Variants of Kievan notation are also used in Prostopinje chantbooks of the Carpatho-Russians.
Kievan Notation symbols have been encoded in Unicode (beginning with version 8.0)
in the Musical Symbols block at
U+1D1DE and following. To enter Kievan Notation
symbols in a text, you will need a font that supports these codepoints. We suggest:
The Metasuprasl font, provided by the Slavonic Computining Initiative.
Metasuprasl Regular is a font for typesetting Kievan notation inline. In the SIL Graphite version, the half note with the long stem up and short stem down may be accessed by setting the salt feature to 1 (true). In the OpenType version, the same variant is available as stylistic alternative (salt) 1.
Kievan Square Notation is fully supported in LilyPond, which is a free music engraving program, devoted to producing the highest-quality sheet music possible. To familiarize yourself with LilyPond, please see:
Download the latest version of LilyPond to get started.
Some examples of scores in square notation produced using LilyPond:
Here are some utilities offered on other websites to help convert your scores to LilyPond:
You can typeset Kievan Square Notation in other software products, such as NoteWorthy Composer and Finale, by overriding the default font for musical symbols. We offer for this purpose the Metasuprasl Notational font. You will need to modify the font metrics in the METAFONT file to suit your notational program. Then compile into a Type1 font using mf2pt1.
A. Andreev, Y. Shardt, and N. Simmons. Proposal to Encode Medieval East-Slavic Music Notation in Unicode [Accepted]
Documentation for SMuFL Standard Music Font Layout), a standard for encoding additional musical glyphs in the Private Use Area (PUA) of Unicode.
The repertoire of Znamenny, Demestvenny, and other notational systems has not yet been added to Unicode and adequate support for working with these notations on the computer is not yet available. We are working on a proposal to add the symbols for these notational systems.
While the proposal is being tested and approval is sought, the characters have been temporarily encoded in the Private Use Area of Unicode. To test the proposed methodology for working with Znamenny Notation, please see:
Private Use Area Policy (lists the codepoints)
Fonts for Znamenny Notation (using the proposed encoding methodology)
Znamenny Notation Manual (a sandbox for testing the font)
All of this material is ALPHA-PHASE SOFTWARE, comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, and is intended for SOFTWARE TESTING PURPOSES ONLY.