13 horrifying music notations that will make you want to tear up your sheet music

26 January 2022, 13:52 | Updated: 4 February 2022, 11:24

Evan Chow performs version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

By Siena Linton

We thought we’d seen it all, but these are some truly harrowing examples of classical sheet music. Paganini has nothing on these.

We’ve all experienced the unpleasant feeling of intimidation that a complicated piece of sheet music can cause.

Thankfully, a new Twitter account called Threatening Music Notation is now documenting the most horrifying scores all in one convenient place. Thanks, we hate it.

  1. “Conductors actually have a really important role in the orchestra, they bring the score to life”

    The score:

  2. When gymnasts retrain as musicians

    Triple stopping? Demi semi quavers? Trills?! This seems like a sure way to strain something.

  3. Now this is just downright terrifying.

  4. Um, sure...

    Some of the best musical creativity happens when composers leave room for a performer’s interpretation. This seems a bit on the nose, though.

  5. White Noise, colourised (2022)

  6. Less of the passive aggression, please and thank you.

  7. *cries in piano*

  8. I will never, ever, complain about E flat minor, ever again.

  9. Ah, finally. A piece at my ability level.

  10. Um, what else are you supposed to do?

  11. There’s a lot to unpack here.

    Let’s start with the instrument choice: why?

  12. So deafening silence isn’t just a figure of speech?

    Demonstration definitely needed for this one...

  13. In conclusion, consider us well and truly threatened.

For even more horrifying music scores, head over to @ThreatNotation on Twitter. Alternatively, please consider therapy.