Music Notation
is QUICK and



to conventional
music notation.

Musician, teacher or representative of a
school or institute?

To be very clear!

NOTUS is not intended to replace conventional music notation! Such an attempt is silly and also impossible.

On the other hand, NOTUS is the only real alternative for all those who are excluded from studying music because of difficulties in learning the complex conventional music notation. NOTUS offers them altogether a fully-fledged study of notated music.

NOTUS is therefore not a competitor but a necessary and additional second music notation!


Do you want to reduce your STUDENT DROPOUT RATE due to conventional music notation?
Do you think a COMPLETE and fully functional alternative to conventional notation is IMPOSSIBLE?
Do you wish more people studied notated music?
Do you want to reach NEW target groups and students?

Do you think NOTUS is just another alternative system serving as a temporary bridge to conventional music notation, not suited for developing a LIFELONG connection to MUSIC and PIANO?

Discover the SECRETS of the UNIQUE NOTUS system in these two videos!
STUDY the PEDAGOGICAL and DIDACTIC advantages of
NOTUS’s octave-based notation vs the conventional notation
its five staff lines and multiple clefs.

There’s also a brochure to supplement the video.

The NOTUS brochure is a part of the FREE download NOTUS PACKAGE. The brochure provides info on the goal and target group of NOTUS and contains a short summary of its principal innovations and pedagogical advantages as compared to conventional notation. Plus a number of comparative scores (NOTUS versus conventional notation) for various instruments and grades and the
case study ‘NOTUS notation for accordion’.

After 100 years NOTUS reconciles the wishes of two important music innovators.

Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)
composer – music innovator

The need for a new notation, or a radical improvement of the old, is greater than it seems, and the ingenious minds that have tackled the problem is greater than one might think.’
(from his book ‘Style and idea’- 1924).

NOTUS is that radical improvement!


Zoltan Kodály (1882-1967)
composer – musicologist – pedagogue

Kodály was convinced that music should be for everyone. NOTUS has the same philosophy.

Music is spiritual nourishment. That is why I was looking for a way to make music accessible for everyone.
‘Kodály Choir Method’ – UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Interested to see the didactic approach developed in practice with the requisite music theory and piano technique?

Simply download the first 37 pages of the NOTUS PIANO FOUNDATION Textbook (notes E, G and C).

Didactics proven effective through academic, music-pedagogical research.

That this didactic approach is genuinely effective and positively received was confirmed in a practical two-year (2018 and 2019) music-pedagogical research project on “Learning the Piano with NOTUS” at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Belgium.
The new piano didactics for the first three to four months, together with the follow-up books based on compositions and exercises from classical piano courses, prove that a very solid combination of past and future is both possible and worthwhile.

Download for free the report on the NOTUS pedagogical research.


NOTUS Music Notation is not only for piano, but for all instruments. NOTUS started with piano because it was deemed the most logical instrument to use, with its 7-octave range and the fact that it can be played with both hands.

NOTUS has assessed which other instruments would benefit from a NOTUS correction. For example, a NOTUS variation has been created for the notation of the ‘contemporary drum kit’. In NOTUS, up to 17 drum parts can be notated on the same staff … A very large number, allowing the full notation of the drum kit.

A very simple and clear notation has also been devised for accordion (both hands) in collaboration with two professional accordionists.
This can be used for both chromatic accordion or Stradella Bass with RH keyboard. If you want to know more about drum or accordion notation, please contact us


In contrast to studying with conventional music notation, where learning to read pitch takes years and often hinders the study of music and instruments, with NOTUS mastering the piano keyboard and all its notes is FINISHED within THE FIRST 3 to 4 MONTHS of study. From there, things continue very smoothly with a rapid evolution that delights both the pupil and the teacher.

This specific didactic approach to ‘NOTUS in 3 to 4 months’ is the subject of the NOTUS PIANO FOUNDATION textbook. In NOTUS, only seven notes on three staff lines need to be learned – i.e. one ‘octave group’ – regardless of the octave pitch. This facilitates the principle of ‘note-by-note learning’, while the practice of that note remains anchored on its fixed piano key position across all octave groups. The automatic result is an immediate understanding of the keyboard layout.
This is not possible with the conventional five-line notation as there are simply too many staff positions to learn and its notation does not reflect the repeating octave pattern. The ‘note-by-note learning principle’ in NOTUS piano didactics is combined with the gradual inclusion of the necessary music theory (see left for how this is developed in the NOTUS PIANO FOUNDATION textbook).

Week 1: only the note E and exercises using the 7 piano keys representing E.
Week 2: the note G and its 7 corresponding piano keys, plus exercises covering both E and G.
Week 3+4: the note C and its 8 corresponding piano keys, plus exercises and pieces using notes from the first chord C-E-G.
Week 5+6: the notes D and F and their corresponding piano keys, plus exercises in five-finger position and short pieces using the notes C-D-E-F-G.
Week 7+8+9: the notes A and B and their corresponding piano keys, plus exercises and pieces with the 7 foundational notes in various registers.
Only once the pupil has become familiar with the seven naturals and their corresponding notes and (white) piano keys, are the semitones introduced together with the FLAT- and SHARPnoteheads and the corresponding (black) piano keys.
Week 10+11: theory of semitones, notes and corresponding black keys C-sharp/D-flat and D-sharp/E-flat with a number of exercises and short pieces.
Week 12+13+14: notes and black keys F-sharp/G-flat, G-sharp/A-flat and A-sharp/B-flat with exercises and short pieces.

The pupil is now familiar with all the notes and piano keys, the foundations of music theory and the foundational rhythms 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4. Now the pupil can concentrate on the other musical aspects and refinements offered by NOTUS Music Notation. This is the subject of the NOTUS PIANO Textbooks 1, 2, etc.
This didactic approach is much simpler, easier and quicker to learn than the much-used, conventional ten finger positions, each with ten notes, that mainly serve to cause confusion and distress in beginners. The reason being that it is only much later that they only get to understand the bigger picture of the repetition of the 7 octaves.

What about after the first 3 to 4 months?

A new book to study, PIANO TEXTBOOK 1, is on the way. Its 100 pages have been adapted to encourage the playing of all the notes and keys of the piano keyboard. In this textbook, the focus is on better piano technique, playing accents, correct dynamics, articulation and interpretation. Textbook 1 can be used for 6 to 8 months, depending on the development and commitment of the student. During the third trimester of the first year, simple four-handed piano is also introduced, which allows the students to enter a whole new world of music once again. This is followed by NOTUS PIANO Textbook 2, etc. An edition with pieces for piano four hands is also available.
The NOTUS PIANO Textbooks boast a broad study repertoire that is more extensive than conventional notation. With Notus, the student can read notes well and play in all keys (observing the single-symbol FLAT- and SHARPnoteheads used both on the staff and in key signatures), which makes it easier to learn a new piece without fear.
The lessons proceed smoothly and positively as both pupil and teacher appreciate the impressive week-by-week progress!
Please look at the sample pages of the publications in the webshop and the list of composers and their pieces included in the first three NOTUS PIANO Textbooks.

Not enough musical scores to play?

Needless to say, not all piano scores have been transcribed to NOTUS. But that is far from necessary. People who start with or switch to NOTUS are beginners. They much prefer to make music with fewer scores at their disposal than NOT being able to make music despite the existence of hundreds of thousands of impenetrable scores in conventional musical notation!

Currently (June 2021) there are about 400 pages of NOTUS piano literature, of which 205 are compositions (list of composers and compositions HERE), 16 simple four-handed piano pieces, 55 pages of specific exercises and 60 pages of music theory, including all major and minor scales and their fingering.
All this is spread out, according to the degree of difficulty, over three NOTUS PIANO Textbooks (the fourth and an additional ‘Piano Four Hands’ are in development) and several separate editions. Several pages of literature are added each month …
And there are free blank staves and a transcription guideline (as part ot the free download package) available if one wants to transcribe or compose a specific piece oneself.


What about MICROTONES and ethnic music?

Ethnic music with microtones cannot be notated with sufficient detail using the non-standardized conventional signs for quarter tones and three-quarter tones. Ethnic music converted to conventional musical notation is therefore always a weak derivative of the richness of tones in ethnic compositions or folk music and does ethnic music an injustice.

In NOTUS, clear and logical derivatives of the FLAT- and SHARP-noteheads have been created to allow easy notation down to a 1/8 tone. The wealth of tones in ethnic music can therefore be notated in more detail and accuracy. NOTUS microtonal notation can of course also be used for Western microtonal compositions.

Would you like to know more about the NOTUS microtonal notation? Contact us:

WHAT are people saying about NOTUS? NOVICES – TEACHERS – COMPOSERS

Anne D.M. — age 58 — housewife

1st year ‘PIANO with NOTUS’

I’ve got the hang of playing the piano thanks to NOTUS. It’s enriched my life significantly. An hour of piano every day after breakfast has become an enjoyable ritual.
I never thought I could learn at this age what I so wanted to learn when I was younger (but never managed to due to circumstances).
But now I know: I can do it!
Thank you, NOTUS!

Sabine R. — age 57

composer / teacher / pianist

With 30 years of experience in adult education, I was very interested to work on the music-pedagogical research project on NOTUS.
I now have 2.5 years of practical experience with NOTUS and have adopted this didactic approach in my own teaching.
In the third trimester of the first year, it was surprising to me that the adults were able to play a new piece so well after just one week and with abundant attention being paid to tempo and dynamics.
It’s so straight-forward to decipher a NOTUS score that one ends up with more time to work on issues of musicality. As a teacher I find this especially agreeable.
Having worried that it would be too early to introduce four-hand piano in the first year, it actually proved very successful, with the NOTUS learners responding intuitively to each other.
Such good results in the short term serve to boost the learner’s motivation and their desire to make further progress. This enthusiasm is a fantastic result for NOTUS! As such, I would absolutely recommend NOTUS for people who find conventional notation a limitation.

Zoë P. — age 32 — architect

2nd year ‘PIANO with NOTUS’

In conventional notation, the
reading of the treble clef is not all
that difficult. It’s really the sharps, flats and other symbols – not to mention the notes suspended above or below the staff –
that make it so difficult.

NOTUS provides a good solution to these issues. In NOTUS, the notation is written in octave groups that are consistent whatever the
pitch. This makes it quick and easy to learn, flattening the learning curve remarkably.
NOTUS is the perfect alternative for those looking for an approach more suited to them or who find the threshold of conventional notation too high.

Tania  D. B. — age 59 — designer

3rd year ‘PIANO with NOTUS’

Following an accident, I was left with a brain injury and sought to use music in my rehabilitation, as it is known that music stimulates the brain in many ways.

Thanks to its consistent internal logic, NOTUS is quick to learn: I was able to play a piece from Erik Satie’s Enfantines after just one year at the piano. The following year I practised Satie’s Gymnopédie nr. 2 and many other pieces. With my slower-working brain, I prefer beautiful, slow piano pieces or pieces for one hand.

Without NOTUS I would certainly have given up long ago because I would not have been able to learn the technical side of an instrument and master the complex conventional notation at the same time.

Kathleen T. — age 68 — retiree

1st year ‘PIANO with NOTUS’

I chose to try NOTUS Music Notation because with conventional notation I was obliged to follow lessons together with children and at their pace. With NOTUS Music Notation
I save time and am able to learn notation at the same time as actually playing the piano.
I find NOTUS to be clear, logical and much simpler than conventional notation.

Daniel V. — age 24

pianist / teacher

I teach piano according to the NOTUS method. Because the very clear notation on three staff lines remains the same across the whole keyboard, there are only seven basic notes to learn.
This considerably reduces the time needed to master the entire piano keyboard.

It is also true that second and third year students rarely make reading errors with NOTUS.
This is in contrast to conventional notation, where reading errors are common in the first years.
Looking back on my own training, during the first year we were forced to limit ourselves to the middle register of the piano.
Everything beyond that contained too much information for a beginner.
This difficult information was gradually learned over several years. As a result, a lot of repertoire remained closed for a long time.
First-year NOTUS learners do not experience this hindrance and after three months can already read and play all white keys in all registers with competence.

Frank A. — age 52

composer / teacher / pianist 

Through my critical assessment of the NOTUS Handbook, I understood that NOTUS was primarily focused on a specific target group and
that NOTUS corrected a number of illogical weaknesses in conventional music notation in an exceptionally clear and efficient manner. Drawing on his background in graphic design,
Erwin Clauws has developed a radical new system that meets the requirements of contemporary visual communication.

A great many advantages of the system were shown during the academic music-pedagogical research project. NOTUS is clearly past its developmental phase. NOTUS deserves widespread recognition
and practical application.
In short, the creation of NOTUS is not only admirable but necessary for a wide range of people looking to begin music lessons.

Ray T. — age 80

Learning piano independently.

I am the perfect NOTUS student – 80 years old and I am learning to play the piano independently.

I took piano lessons when I was 12 years old and haven’t played since. I hated standard music notation because I found it so illogical and awkward.

In contrast, NOTUS is so logical that I am particularly intrigued by it!
I know some music history and understand how current music notation has evolved after centuries of adhoc changes but this is no excuse, music deserves something better!
And that is clearly NOTUS!


Every day we seek to expand our network with additional piano teachers, schools, institutions and cultural or education centers that want to introduce or incorporate NOTUS piano lessons.

Do you believe in the potential of NOTUS? Reach new target audiences by joining our network and becoming a licensed NOTUS piano teacher or institution.

Please email us your name and the address the location where the lessons will take place. Please also include information about your music education and a PDF or PNG/JPG of your music diploma. Email
We will contact you soon to talk about our collaboration, after which you will be listed on the site.

Contact us for a group INTRODUCTION with or without WORKSHOP or FORUM on the PEDAGOGICAL and DIDACTIC ADVANTAGES of NOTUS.

NOTUS is already suitable for the notation of ACCORDION, DRUMKIT and the notation of MICROTONES up to 1/8 tone for a detailed notation of ETHNIC and EASTERN MUSIC. Perhaps you have another instrument in mind or even a totally different application for NOTUS?
Contact us at
We are open to all initiatives that promote music making with notated music and increase the number of musicians worldwide.
We believe strongly that culture is a beneficial agent for greater peace, good health and mutual respect!

NOTUS Piano course covering the first
three notes for FREE!