Notation Conventions

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caostotale
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Notation Conventions

Post by caostotale » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:01 pm

Hey guys,

I wasn't sure what would be a good name for this kind of thread, but I wanted to start a thread where I could ask questions about notes in scores that I'm not sure about.

Today, I've been looking at Szymanowski's Etude, op. 4/1 in Eb minor and found myself wondering about a small detail in the second measure. I was wondering if the accidental D natural in the right hand is supposed to hold for the D-line note that appears in the next triplet, which is supposed to be played an octave higher. What are the conventions for using the octave-up/octave-down symbols regarding accidentals that appear to hold out?

Thanks in advance,

Justin

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by rob » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:12 pm

Good thread. I have a few bits on notation & will see if any can be posted.

Justin - the answer is yes. The natural is indeed carried over to the next D in the same bar since it is notated at the same 'level'. The idea of course is that tonality is usually stable enough within such short periods that confirming the natural is felt unnecessary. But you are right to question it since it IS played at a higher octave. Personally I would have repeated the natural sign because of the pitch change. I wonder if a newer edition might actually do this? I would also not be entirely happy with the placing of the octave higher start mark, although in context it is perfectly clear enough (I draw a thin upright line between notes to show a start and an end of octave shifts).

Of course, the conventions started to change when greater chromaticism, atonality and dodecaphonic writing came onto the scene. Some composers from Schoenberg onwards have stated in their scores that accidentals ONLY apply to the note which they immediately precede. But it is common for such music not to carry key signatures - although no doubt there are exceptions.

I hope that helps? Gorgeous music btw.

Rob

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by caostotale » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:51 pm

Thanks for the response, Rob. Being a huge fan of pieces from Szymanowski's period forward, I've been running into more and more of this sort of thing.

Justin

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by rob » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:18 pm

Most of the stuff I have on Notation is very copyright so I may not be able to post much. Anyway, here is a start, although the book is somewhat long in the tooth now!
Gehrkens Music Notation & Terminology 1921.part1.rar
Gehrkens Music Notation & Terminology 1921.part2.rar
I'm sure I've seen various resources online which discuss Notation, but the one I remember best, which make an entertaining read is at: http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donb ... tremes.htm
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by burstroman » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:33 pm

Thanks in advance for any answers. In the Canciones y Danzas of F. Mompou, I am curious about what appear to be "tie markings" but the notes appear to be tied to nothing. Help please about the meaning of these.

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by fredbucket » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:49 pm

burstroman wrote:Thanks in advance for any answers. In the Canciones y Danzas of F. Mompou, I am curious about what appear to be "tie markings" but the notes appear to be tied to nothing. Help please about the meaning of these.
I would interpret that as letting the notes sustain for as long as you can before the next change of pedal.

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Fred

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by Timtin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:41 pm

With an accidental, I'm never too sure about when to bother with
including a sharp/flat/natural sign to negate it. Obviously, an
accidental ceases to be effective at the end of the bar it occurs in.
If the next 'normal' note is in the next bar on, then it seems reasonable
to include the negating sign to avoid any confusion, but how far on does
one continue before forgetting about the previous accidental? A set
number of bars? Until the next stave? Until the next page? Help!!!

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by fredbucket » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:13 am

Timtin wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:41 pm
How far on does one continue before forgetting about the previous accidental? A set number of bars? Until the next stave? Until the next page? Help!!!
There's no hard and fast rule about this of course, but my view would be that the closer the two notes are together, there more advisable it is to include the courtesy accidental, but I wouldn't go past one bar. The only exception might be if the courtesy accidental is part of a group of notes such as B-Cnatural-Dsharp-E, just to emphahise that it is not Csharp.

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Fred

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by Timtin » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:42 am

Thank you Fred for a) teaching me the correct terminology
of 'courtesy accidental', and b) confirming my fear that
there is no precise rule. As a lover of consistency, I don't
like seeing scores where some accidentals are later cancelled
and others aren't. It's a bit like football in the UK right now -
some games in the same competition have VAR and others don't!

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Re: Notation Conventions

Post by HullandHellandHalifax » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:43 am

Hi Timtin,
Fred is absolutely right of course but I would go further and say that historically courtesy accidentals were always placed in the bar after for clarity and "courtesy", in the modern era however it is now deemed unnecessary to use courtesy accidentals in the bar following a sharpening or flattening of a note which personally I do not like, how can you be sure the proof reading picked up on every mistake? For me in the bar where you would formerly use a courtesy accidental use it if it makes the reading of the chord, passage, whatever, easier for the player, further in a bar where a lot of "accidental" activity is taking place I would use the courtesy accidental more than once, so that for the player there is ease of reading and clarity of intention.
regards
Brian :) #

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