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#1380842 - 02/23/10 01:18 AM Excessive ledger lines?  
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[Linked Image]
(Click takes you to imageshack, not imslp)

I'm working on Grieg's Lyric Piece Op.57 No.6 (Heimweh/Home-Sickness) at the moment, and these are measures 36-41 (no numbers in my edition, so I counted it quickly and may be wrong). I'm working from a Dover edition, but it looks just like the image above (Edition Peters, from IMSLP). I don't have any questions about playing it, and apologies if I'm bringing up something that's been beaten to death before...I did a quick search and found general questions about ledger lines, but not exactly my question.

I'm wondering, is there anyone that prefers this amount of ledger-lines over using 8va? And what motivates an engraver/typesetter(/composer) to do it one way or the other? I realize that this is fairly simple to read, but it just seems awkward to me.

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#1380847 - 02/23/10 01:27 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]  
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Seems like you don't like it -- and I'm with you.
BTW I don't think those kinds of notes are 'fairly simple to read.' I have a helluva time with them. I'm a good sight reader and score reader, but not with notes like that. They never stop being a pain in the neck.

Literally. smile

Because I lean forward, stare at the notes, lean back, lean forward again, then finally break down and count the dam lines -- like, "OK, let's see, what would that be......A, C, E, G, B!! Cool, it's a B! No wait a minute, it's B-sharp. Or did I miss a line or two, maybe it's a D-sharp or F-sharp.....

I can't stand those.

#1380849 - 02/23/10 01:31 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Oh, no, I agree with you completely...it drives me crazy. When I say "not that difficult to read," I don't mean that I could just pick up in the middle of it and tell you what the notes were after that many ledger lines. But, the intervals are small enough that I can keep decent track of where I am from an "easy" starting point like the E# in the second line.

But yeah..to just take a single note out of it takes me a while. Adjust the lamp, clean my glasses, go get some coffee, etc... smile

#1380850 - 02/23/10 01:38 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]  
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There are a few issues with this particular phrase that makes the use of the 8va sign a little problematic.

1. Both hands, after a little while, end up in the upper staff. Which makes things complicated (the 8va sign applies for both hands?)
2. There is polyphonic texture on the right hand, which again would weild the question (the 8va applies for both voices?_
3. Finally the left hand is rather close, and bringing the right hand an octave down, would probably create a mess in the mind of the performer, with notes seemingly cross refferencing all the time.

I agree they are tiresome a little, but it does stand that it might be more trouble than it's worth to put an 8va sign.

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#1380851 - 02/23/10 01:39 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]  
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Originally Posted by buck2202
....Adjust the lamp, clean my glasses, go get some coffee, etc... smile

......sometimes magnifying glass......

#1380853 - 02/23/10 01:42 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
There are a few issues with this particular phrase that makes the use of the 8va sign a little problematic.

1. Both hands, after a little while, end up in the upper staff. Which makes things complicated (the 8va sign applies for both hands?)

Good point but I don't think it would be an issue. If the upper staff had an 8va sign, it would clearly apply just to that staff.

Quote
....3. Finally the left hand is rather close, and bringing the right hand an octave down, would probably create a mess in the mind of the performer, with notes seemingly cross referencing all the time.

Yes (good get!) -- and I think that could very well be why it's notated the way it is.

#1380856 - 02/23/10 01:55 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Sometimes I prefer 8va - but to be honest, it's sometines used pointlessly. If there's excessive ledger lines, it can be a pain. But to be honest, I'm so used to them now I can just read them like there on the stave.


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#1380859 - 02/23/10 02:02 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Oh, that's interesting. Actually this whole "Molto piu vivo" section has both hands in the treble clef, and I can see how it might be a little unusual to have the left hand "appear" to be playing higher notes with 8va.

However, this is from Op.62 No.1 (Sylph) that I played a little while ago. It's in the same edition, so presumably was edited by the same person, or (hopefully) at least with a similar style. Why no ledger lines here, then? Would it have crossed some line between 'awkward' and 'inappropriate'?
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#1380866 - 02/23/10 02:28 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]  
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Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc...

buck: I can't be sure (didn't edit the score). What I can see as differences between the two examples you posted are:
1. The first is flowing, while the second is an exact repetition one octave lower (the second time). Might be easier for the eye.
2. Cross staffing on the second example wouldn't exactly work, because the beams could get in the way (despite one would turn the upper staff lines upwards, there would still be a continuous beam, which could complicate things).
3. Since there is no cross staffing, one of the things I mentioned above (1 I think) dissappears (no problem with voicing, which voice the 8va applies, etc...

All this is just guessing on the age of Finale, right? I've never ever used typography or engraving, so I'm quite uncertain if there are other practical issues... :-/

#1380881 - 02/23/10 03:12 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.

#1380887 - 02/23/10 03:31 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.


Sancte bovinus, what a dunce the editor was! (Maybe Grieg too.)

#1380903 - 02/23/10 04:32 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: landorrano]  
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Schubert did the Same with his impromptu no 2 en E flat major. There are more than 6 ledger lines! Or seven. But I think that the piece wouldn't look simple with an 8va and could cause confusion. Is that the case?


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#1380905 - 02/23/10 04:49 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: SamOnThePiano]  
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I'm with you. They are driving me crazy in Clair de Lune. When I compose pop-jazz, I use 8va.

#1380918 - 02/23/10 06:14 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.
Nope,

It would still weild the very same question: "The 8va applies to all voices, all layers, all hands, or only the upper one"?

Honestly, with cross staff, the 8va sign is actually quite risky to use.

(At least my take from the end of the editor/composer/publisher)

#1380947 - 02/23/10 07:49 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: buck2202]  
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Originally Posted by buck2202
[Linked Image]

I'm wondering, is there anyone that prefers this amount of ledger-lines over using 8va? And what motivates an engraver/typesetter(/composer) to do it one way or the other? I realize that this is fairly simple to read, but it just seems awkward to me.


I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.

#1380978 - 02/23/10 09:09 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]  
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Nikolas,

I don't see your point. 8va applies to the notes on one staff. It does not apply by hand or by voice. It would be perfectly clear if used in this context.


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#1381003 - 02/23/10 09:58 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon

I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.


I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue, but I did want to say that I think this is one of the funniest one-liners I've seen on PW in ages. thumb


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#1381005 - 02/23/10 10:02 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon
slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"
laugh


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#1381046 - 02/23/10 11:16 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: gooddog]  
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Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va.

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#1381054 - 02/23/10 11:27 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: dannylux]  
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My trusty mnemonic (ACE) comes in handy and my brains have gotten used to it. A C E for the notes on the lines starting with the first ledger line. You can read them really quick once you program the mnemonic in. I admit,sheepishly, that while reading both staffs comes automatically to me now, I STILL need said mnemonic to sight read the silly ledger lines..

#1381058 - 02/23/10 11:34 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Andromaque]  
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For me it just depends on the length of the passage. Extended passages in 8va are always nice, but for short passages, I find the 8va line and mental gymnastics to be not worth the bother.


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#1381075 - 02/23/10 11:53 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Kreisler]  
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I hate 8va i can read all ledger lines in the treble and bass clef very fast i work on them too much write it down and make practice improve your sight reading


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

#1381086 - 02/23/10 12:06 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Marc: The last 2 bars in the 1st example (1st post) has both hands playing from the same staff, the upper one. Where do you apply the 8va? To all voices? To the right hand? To all hands? etc......

That would be very easily taken care of: all the notes would just be written an octave lower (and the 8va sign would apply to all of them).
No problem.
Nope,
It would still weild the very same question: "The 8va applies to all voices, all layers, all hands, or only the upper one"?.....

Nikolas -- I gotta believe you're just not picturing it. Remember, for this point we're talking only about the last 2 measures of the example in the 1st post.
There would be no ambiguity, because the voices are in basically the same range and quite close together. I'm sure that if it were written and you were looking at it, you'd have no doubt that it would apply to both voices -- nor would anyone else.

#1381092 - 02/23/10 12:11 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Monica K.]  
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Originally Posted by Monica K.
Originally Posted by Damon

I wouldn't say I prefer this (slaps head and says "I could have had an 8va"), but it doesn't bother me or slow me down anymore.

I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue, but I did want to say that I think this is one of the funniest one-liners I've seen on PW in ages. thumb

YES!! Thanks for highlighting it -- I hadn't gotten Damon's brilliant 'reverse-alpha-numeric pun.' smile

#1381094 - 02/23/10 12:12 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Monica K.]  
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Originally Posted by Monica K.
I don't have an opinion on the ledger line issue.....

Actually my main opinion on the issue is I prefer to see it spelled leger. ha

#1381096 - 02/23/10 12:13 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: dannylux]  
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Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

LOL!
Great example!

But actually you don't.
There's also the "16va" sign.....although in this example I have to admit that the appearance on the page contributes to the feeling of the passage, and writing the notes an octave lower would impair that.

And I'd guess that's a big part of it in the Grieg example too.

#1381106 - 02/23/10 12:19 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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8va typically applies to the staff below it appears. When both staves are to be played 8va, editors will do one of two things - either place the 8va above each staff (which I've only seen once or twice, it's a horrible solution because it clutters the score), or write "Both hands 8va" (you often see this in elementary level method books.)

The reason it wasn't used in the Grieg example is:

1) If you're sight-reading the score, then it's very easy to miss the indication "8va", so having it there wouldn't be all that helpful.

2) If you're learning the piece, then it would only take a few seconds to write "E# Fx A C#" above the notes in the second line, and A#m, D#M over the triads.


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#1381113 - 02/23/10 12:32 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....


Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?


"Have patience with yourself. Your future is ahead of you. Rome was not built in one day." - Liszt
#1381114 - 02/23/10 12:34 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Harmonies]  
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Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!

Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile

#1381119 - 02/23/10 12:40 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!

Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Ted

#1381122 - 02/23/10 12:43 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ted.stanion]  
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Originally Posted by ted.stanion
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!

Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Ted


Likewise.


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#1381136 - 02/23/10 01:01 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: SamOnThePiano]  
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Originally Posted by Samuel.cho
Schubert did the Same with his impromptu no 2 en E flat major. There are more than 6 ledger lines! Or seven. But I think that the piece wouldn't look simple with an 8va and could cause confusion. Is that the case?


I'm not sure what confusion that might cause. While both the Peters and the Henle - the latter being a Urtext edition - observe the leger line (I count only up to 5), the ABRSM edition (edited by Howard Ferguson) never goes beyond three leger lines. The rest is all taken care of the 8va., and I see no cause for confusion at all.

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#1381139 - 02/23/10 01:05 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ted.stanion]  
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Originally Posted by ted.stanion
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!
Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Really??
Then I sukkk. smile

I could have sworn that what I've seen is the opposite.

#1381144 - 02/23/10 01:12 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by ted.stanion
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!
Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Really??
Then I sukkk. smile

I could have sworn that what I've seen is the opposite.


You surely don't suck. Unless it's an odd type of editing I'd imagine that it is in fact 15va and it's a minor oversight.

Crazier things have happened.


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#1381146 - 02/23/10 01:16 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Harmonies]  
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Can anyone think of pieces that have the "15va" so we can go and look?

(And of course I'd be delighted if someone can think of where it might say 16va.) ha

#1381153 - 02/23/10 01:21 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Ex:

C to C is 8 CDEFGABC
C to C to C is 15 CDEFGABCDEFGABC

Do not make the mistake of counting the same note twice.
You must have calculated it at 2 octaves (8 notes x 2) 16.
Not correct.

#1381155 - 02/23/10 01:21 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by ted.stanion
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Harmonies
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by dannylux
Sometimes you need ledger lines and 8va....

There's also the "16va" sign....

Wouldn't it be a "15va" sign?

LOLOLOL!!!!
Come to think of it, it sort of should be, but it isn't. smile


Actually, it should be and is. I've never seen 16va in a score, but I have seen 15va.

Really??
Then I sukkk. smile

I could have sworn that what I've seen is the opposite.


You might all be wrong, theoretically, at least, if one follows what is indicated by Dolmetsch Online :

8va = abbreviation for ottava alta
15ma = abbreviation for quindicessima alta, although I have never seen 15ma although I believe I have seen 15va.

Regards,


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#1381157 - 02/23/10 01:24 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Betty Patnude]  
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(We knew that) smile

#1381159 - 02/23/10 01:25 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: BruceD]  
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Yes, it's 15ma, but it's extremely rare.

Technically it's 8vb (ottava basso) for notating below the written pitch, but a lot of publishers seem to be lazy and use 8va for both.


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#1381162 - 02/23/10 01:28 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Yes, it's 15ma, but it's extremely rare.

Technically it's 8vb (ottava basso) for notating below the written pitch, but a lot of publishers seem to be lazy and use 8va for both.


Many editors leave out the 'va' after '8'; similarly, when needed, they may just write '15'

Regards,


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#1381184 - 02/23/10 01:41 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: BruceD]  
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I'm sure there's some good reason there's not a separate staff with a "super-treble" clef of its own, for those times when there are extended passages with "that many" ledger lines and some reason 8va won't serve.

Since there isn't--- flash cards. Tiresome, but time-tested. And practice.

Counting ledger lines is the express track to a migraine.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 02/23/10 01:42 PM.

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#1381299 - 02/23/10 03:37 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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I don't really mind for the piano.... Although if I really had to choose, I would go for the 8va....

On the other hand, for the flute I prefer the notes (ledger lines). I don't know, maybe because the fingerings for the highest octave are different, and when I see the notes, even if they have an 8va, I tend to see the fingerings for those notes in my mind... smirk



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#1381312 - 02/23/10 03:47 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
......for the flute I prefer the notes (ledger lines). I don't know, maybe because the fingerings for the highest octave are different, and when I see the notes, even if they have an 8va, I tend to see the fingerings for those notes in my mind... smirk

Interesting!!!!
I don't think too many of us knew about that......

#1381321 - 02/23/10 04:01 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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I'm with Kreisler generally on this issue:
Originally Posted by Kreisler
For me it just depends on the length of the passage. Extended passages in 8va are always nice, but for short passages, I find the 8va line and mental gymnastics to be not worth the bother.
I do lots of sight-reading in my line of work (and so read a lot by interval and shape) and unless the passage jumps around a great deal I find it easier to just follow the ledger lines up. The OP's example I would prefer as printed.

As well as the flute example CA mentions, it's a similar situation to a clef change in (for example) viola or cello music for just one or two notes. Most players would prefer to read the ledger line rather than re-orient themselves to the other clef then back again straight away. At least that's what string players who are more skilled than I am have told me.


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#1381335 - 02/23/10 04:24 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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There's always piccolo, which is written on the treble staff but sounds an octave higher than written. Not really the same thing, but an interesting tangent worth noting. (I hope!)

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I'm sure there's some good reason there's not a separate staff with a "super-treble" clef of its own, for those times when there are extended passages with "that many" ledger lines and some reason 8va won't serve.

Since there isn't--- flash cards. Tiresome, but time-tested. And practice.

Counting ledger lines is the express track to a migraine.


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#1381339 - 02/23/10 04:27 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I don't really mind for the piano.... Although if I really had to choose, I would go for the 8va....

On the other hand, for the flute I prefer the notes (ledger lines). I don't know, maybe because the fingerings for the highest octave are different, and when I see the notes, even if they have an 8va, I tend to see the fingerings for those notes in my mind... smirk


That's a very interesting fact that I didn't know. I can understand the preference, for flautists and for some other instrumentalists, to prefer notation using leger lines if the fingering is going to be different from octave to octave.

Regards,


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#1381381 - 02/23/10 05:26 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
On the other hand, for the flute I prefer the notes (ledger lines


Indeed - on the piano I'd prefer "8va" - but the quickest way to derail any high passage for violins, violas or celli in an orchestra is to write it "8va" - it throws everyone into an fit and causes whole sections to be hand-written out at correct pitch with ledger lines!!

Our orchestra (decent amateur group) has this exact problem at the moment - and because we cant read "8va" we have at least 70% of the strings playing one section an octave lower than it should be because "8va" is just NOT done!


Originally Posted by Currawong
it's a similar situation to a clef change in (for example) viola or cello music for just one or two notes. Most players would prefer to read the ledger line rather than re-orient themselves to the other clef then back again straight away. At least that's what string players who are more skilled than I am have told me.

Confirmed!!! (As a Viola player I HATE short excursions into the treble clef - but for a prolonged passage its fine.)

Last edited by DadAgain; 02/23/10 05:29 PM.

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#1381409 - 02/23/10 06:11 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: DadAgain]  
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Originally Posted by DadAgain
[...]
Indeed - on the piano I'd prefer "8va" - but the quickest way to derail any high passage for violins, violas or celli in an orchestra is to write it "8va" - it throws everyone into an fit and causes whole sections to be hand-written out at correct pitch with ledger lines!!


Why is that? Is it because there is a difference in fingering in different positions (3rd, 4th, etc.)? If that is the case, I can understand the confusion ("Oh! With everything else going on, I didn't see the 8va.") Otherwise, I don't understand why an "8va" would derail a string player to the extent that passages have to be rewritten. Is it a case of bad editing or inexperience on the part of the players?

All very interesting from a non-string-player's point of view.

Regards,


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#1381452 - 02/23/10 07:18 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Why is that? Is it because there is a difference in fingering in different positions (3rd, 4th, etc.)? ..Otherwise, I don't understand why an "8va" would derail a string player to the extent that passages have to be rewritten. Is it a case of bad editing or inexperience on the part of the players?


Yeah - an octave is a LONG way on a string instrument - so typically a phrase is going to be played in different positions, on different strings and completely different fingers.

I cant speak for all string players - but when looking at Piano music I 'see' A/B/C etc etc and can name any note in a split second without any thought.. When I look at Viola music I DONT!! - I see notes and think of them as possible positions on strings (tough to explain) - My mind never got into the 'labelling' and octaves have FAR less significance to me!

(For the record Piano was my principal instrument in my music degree but I was always a better Viola player than pianist - so I dont think its a lack of experience - just a different approach)


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#1381465 - 02/23/10 07:45 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: DadAgain]  
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Think about it this way, too: a phrase looks the same on the piano keyboard no matter which octave you play it in (so 8va indications can be helpful, simplifiying reading). But this is far from being so on a stringed instrument.


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#1381498 - 02/23/10 08:46 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Yes, it's 15ma, but it's extremely rare.

Technically it's 8vb (ottava basso) for notating below the written pitch, but a lot of publishers seem to be lazy and use 8va for both.


Agree. I recently saw 8vb and thought for a second it was a typo.

#1381537 - 02/23/10 09:51 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: riley80]  
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Originally Posted by riley80
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Yes, it's 15ma, but it's extremely rare.

Technically it's 8vb (ottava basso) for notating below the written pitch, but a lot of publishers seem to be lazy and use 8va for both.


Agree. I recently saw 8vb and thought for a second it was a typo.


I do a lot of music for beginner pianists, and I use 15ma all the time, often where a sequence was 8va and then repeated an octave higher. Sometimes, however, we just write in italics: play two octaves higher.

This frees the student from the stress of reading pressure, and they can focus simply on the performance of the piece over the whole keyboard.

Meantime, I do agree that on the whole ledger lines are easier to read in that they keep the geographical relationships clear in the notation.....


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#1381552 - 02/23/10 10:20 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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I've worked through some scores where the ledger lines were so close together that you could not see the breaks between them. It becomes a challenge then just to know which line is the top line of the staff and which lines are the ledger lines.

Rich


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#1381561 - 02/23/10 10:40 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: DadAgain]  
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Originally Posted by DadAgain
Originally Posted by BruceD
Why is that? Is it because there is a difference in fingering in different positions (3rd, 4th, etc.)? ..Otherwise, I don't understand why an "8va" would derail a string player to the extent that passages have to be rewritten. Is it a case of bad editing or inexperience on the part of the players?

Yeah - an octave is a LONG way on a string instrument - so typically a phrase is going to be played in different positions, on different strings and completely different fingers.....

Yes -- and as per that last part, it doesn't depend at all on "different positions." On string instruments, the same note in different octaves is played completely differently, even in the same position. There's no relation at all between how you play one "C" (or whatever note) and any other C.

I was surprised to learn what ChopinAddict said about the flute. I shouldn't have been, because I actually play violin and so I should have thought of how it is on other instruments besides the piano. I guess I've been doing too much piano. smile
And anyway.....I wouldn't have thought that the notation of piano music would have any effect from how it would be on other instruments. But maybe composers just get into the habit of observing such considerations, even when a piece is for an instrument where it doesn't matter in this way.

#1381631 - 02/24/10 12:48 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Here is a flute fingering chart, for those who are interested... smile



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#1381681 - 02/24/10 03:18 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I'm sure there's some good reason there's not a separate staff with a "super-treble" clef of its own, for those times when there are extended passages with "that many" ledger lines and some reason 8va won't serve.



Those kind of clefs do exist; I'm not sure why we don't see them more often in piano music. I seem to remember seeing them in 4-hand music sometimes.


#1381710 - 02/24/10 05:59 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: wr]  
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I'm sure there's some good reason there's not a separate staff with a "super-treble" clef of its own, for those times when there are extended passages with "that many" ledger lines and some reason 8va won't serve.



Those kind of clefs do exist; I'm not sure why we don't see them more often in piano music. I seem to remember seeing them in 4-hand music sometimes.



Cos it's easier to use 8va/15ma etc. if you are moving around the extremes, and it's extremely rare to have the whole piece needing to be in that one extreme register.


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#1382225 - 02/24/10 07:51 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I'm sure there's some good reason there's not a separate staff with a "super-treble" clef of its own, for those times when there are extended passages with "that many" ledger lines and some reason 8va won't serve.



Those kind of clefs do exist; I'm not sure why we don't see them more often in piano music. I seem to remember seeing them in 4-hand music sometimes.



Cos it's easier to use 8va/15ma etc. if you are moving around the extremes, and it's extremely rare to have the whole piece needing to be in that one extreme register.


You are probably right about the ease of use in most cases. And too, things tend to get standardized. But if I am understanding you correctly, the thing about a whole piece being in an extreme register doesn't really make too much sense, since clefs can (and often do) change anywhere during the course of a piece.

#1382458 - 02/25/10 05:08 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: wr]  
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I don't quite understand your question/observation, wr. Clefs only change if you are moving which register you are using. So if a whole piece was in an extreme register it might make sense to use a clef which signified that everything was two octaves higher than written, but if you are darting about high and low it is often less effort to keep things in the standard clef but signify the register change through 8va and 15ma. This is very clear to see at a glance (no checking what kind of a treble clef is being used).

Composers *should* be aiming to create scores that are the simplest series of instructions to follow in order to realise the music the composer has imagined. The more things to confuse the performer the greater chance that the music of the composer will be altered unintentionally.

Otherwise, you could do any fool thing with clefs - or with 8va/15ma for that matter.


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#1382545 - 02/25/10 09:41 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: riley80]  
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Originally Posted by riley80
Originally Posted by Kreisler
Yes, it's 15ma, but it's extremely rare.

Technically it's 8vb (ottava basso) for notating below the written pitch, but a lot of publishers seem to be lazy and use 8va for both.


Agree. I recently saw 8vb and thought for a second it was a typo.


_____________________________________________

Sorry to piggyback on my own post but.....
last night I saw the use of 8vb for one note! In that case, I'd have sooner seen it on legers.

#1382612 - 02/25/10 11:12 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: riley80]  
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I'm fine reading 5 leger lines; more than that gets tricky.

The way they're used in the original example looks fine to me; would be hard to reasonably notate otherwise.

What gets to me is music software or engravings that, in a high passage, run the ledger lines together horizontally, so it looks like you're reading a ten-line staff!

Also I hate the treble clef with the tiny 8 sign under it (used where a long passage is 8va, as an alternative to the 8va sign). The 8 is often so tiny, I practice the passage loco for quite a while before realizing it!


#1382622 - 02/25/10 11:24 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Thanks buck for the Grieg lyric piece Opus 57-6 ... m36-41

As experienced by the motley, these measures in the 6th keyboard octave are not easy to sight-read ... especially involving a whole passage of music ... shouldn’t Grieg have ducked down with an 8va to the 5th octave ... as suggested by many .

#1382636 - 02/25/10 11:41 AM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
I don't quite understand your question/observation, wr. Clefs only change if you are moving which register you are using. So if a whole piece was in an extreme register it might make sense to use a clef which signified that everything was two octaves higher than written, but if you are darting about high and low it is often less effort to keep things in the standard clef but signify the register change through 8va and 15ma......

Yes.....I haven't really understood how the clefs thing came into this discussion, even speaking as someone who's a little used to those different clefs.

BTW.....about the "tangential" discussion on the other thread.....may I put a reply on your blog? (I don't do PM). If so, let me know where I might do it. I think it's better not to get into it any more on the thread itself. Thanks very much again for your thoughts and support.

#1382649 - 02/25/10 12:01 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Quel minable!

#1382699 - 02/25/10 01:02 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: landorrano]  
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(Don't you want to put that in the "second person plural"?) ha

#1382735 - 02/25/10 01:43 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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You're pathetic, Mark C.

#1382739 - 02/25/10 01:46 PM Re: Excessive ledger lines? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
(Don't you want to put that in the "second person plural"?) ha


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