This is Keller’s preferred and recommended version of Express Stave, along with its Jazz Font variation.
The basic staff consists of three lines. The middle line represents D, while the top and bottom lines represent G#/Ab. Notehead color has an inverse correspondence with the 7-5 pattern of the piano key colors, with black noteheads for “white key” notes and white noteheads for “black key” notes. Black noteheads represent the notes that occur most often (ABCDEFG), especially in the more common keys that have fewer sharps or flats. This provides greater continuity with traditional notation where solid notes also occur more frequently than hollow notes (since they represent notes of smaller duration). This would probably make it easier to learn both systems and to switch back and forth between them. Keller also maintains that the B and F notes that do not touch a line are easier to draw by hand when they are black noteheads.
Between any two adjacent lines there are five elevations at which notes can be placed. The black notes B and F each sit midway between two lines, touching neither. The remaining notes all touch a line, either ‘lightly’ or with a slight overlap. These notes are distinguished by their notehead color, and in handwritten form no distinction in vertical position is required. Keller has aligned the staff with the 7-5 keyboard pattern and its two centers of symmetry, D and G#/Ab. This gives a symmetrical pattern of black and white notes around each line. By enclosing the white key set ABCDEFG, the staff resembles the traditional bass clef, but with two lines omitted.
Three original clef symbols are used, the F, B, and D clefs, shown here, which replace the traditional bass, treble and middle clefs respectively. (Notice how the symbols incorporate the notes F, B, and D.)
To the left of the staff a symbol is used to represent the black keys of the piano. This helps to identify the middle line of the staff as D, and the top and bottom lines as G#/Ab:
Rhythm notation is the same as in traditional notation, except that half notes (minims) and whole notes (semibreves) have a short vertical line on each side of the notehead. This is visually similar to a double-whole note (breve) in traditional notation. It is necessary in order to distinguish half notes from quarter notes (crotchets) since black/solid and white/hollow noteheads are used for pitch.
The pitch range can extend to two octaves through the use of D ledger lines a tritone above or below the one-octave staff. This ledger line appears for the five notes: C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, and E. Pitch ranges of three or more octaves can be achieved by vertically “stacking” standard one-octave staves, spacing them an octave apart, with the usual ledger line representing D occurring half way between them (see links to manuscript paper PDFs below).
Express Stave has an accompanying note naming scheme that retains the traditional names for the notes A B C D E F G, but introduces new names for the other five “black key” notes: H I J K L. The staff line for G#/Ab is then called L, and it ‘links’ each ‘register’ spanned by the staff, the set of twelve notes from A to L:
A – H – B – C – I – D – J – E – F – K – G – L
Source: John Keller. Keller introduced this version of Express Stave in January 2010 under the name “Express Stave, Reverse-Color” because it reversed the black/white notehead pattern of the original version of Express Stave that was introduced in November 2005. By February 2021 Keller had come to prefer the “reverse color” version and renamed it “Express Stave: Pianoforte Notation” to make it clear it was his preferred, recommended, and “official” version. See also 6-6 jazz font version introduced February 2009, and Tricolor Version introduced September 2010.
Similar notations: Diatonic Twinline Notation
Video Tutorial on YouTube: Music Theory and Express Stave Notation
Musical works in Express Stave are available on the Wiki
Other musical works are available from John Keller upon request.