Numbered Notes by Jason MacCoy

Numbered Notes is an alternative music notation system introduced by Jason MacCoy in 2009.  It uses the numbers from 1 to 12 to designate notes.  There have been two major versions of the system.  The first version (2009-2012) places the notes on a chromatic staff, while the second version (2012-) uses a flat staff.

Version 1 (Chromatic staff)

This version was presented at from 2009 to 2012.  It uses a chromatic (12-note) staff with lines placed three semitones apart, and features a “counts per measure” timing system in which notes are modified to be “fractional” or “multiple” in a consistent way.  Details can be found in this post.  See also this page on our main site. Below is the start of Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca” rendered in Numbered Notes. The full piece is available here.


To render a LilyPond file (.ly) in this version of Numbered Notes, follow the instructions at our LilyPond page, using “StaffNumberedNotes” from the provided file.

Version 2 (Flat staff)

This version was introduced in 2012 and features a text-based notation in which notes are laid out in a row and apostrophes next to a note are used to show range instead of vertical position on a staff.  Details can be found at