Untitled by Johann Ailler


A chromatic scale from C to C.

Johann Ailler’s untitled 4-line system (introduced in 1904) is the earliest of the four-line-staff designs, although Albert Brennink was not aware of its existence until after he had designed his 4-line system.

Ailler’s system does not cycle on the octave as Brennink’s and Parncutt’s do.  (See criterion 9.)  One of Ailler’s illustrations of his system shows that when two staves are stacked vertically he only placed one ledger line between them, as shown above.  So the bottom line of the lower staff is E, as with the traditional treble clef, but the bottom line of the upper staff is D.

The Music Notation Project (following in the footsteps of the MNMA) presented Ailler’s system as if it did cycle at the octave, with two ledger lines between stacked staves, until this error was pointed out by Albert Brennink, and corrected in December 2015.

Earliest documentation: 1904

Source: Directory of Music Notation Proposals, section/page: 10/7, 11/3, 13/13

Similar Notations: Untitled by Franz Grassl

Manuscript Paper: Discontinuous Staves Continuous Staves