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accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
#1989048 11/20/12 06:21 PM
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My apologies. I'm sure there is an answer buried in history, but...


When an accidental is applied to a note, I understand that it applies until end of bar and for a held note, into the tail in a next bar.

I also understand that it MUST be restated in the other staff.

What I don't understand is if it applies to other octaves within the bar within the staff.

I've heard some people say that the accidental only applies within the octave.

Others that say if the same note happens in another octave later in the bar that the accidental is assumed.

Still others that say that if 2 C#s (say) are to be played at the same time then BOTH must have an accidental (and then there is argument about whether it's a courtesy accidental or a REQUIred accidental)


Is there consensus that an accidental applies only to the octave it's stated in? (for the given staff and bar)



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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989119 11/20/12 09:32 PM
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My understanding, borne out by evidence in traditional scores, is that an accidental applies only to the note before which it is placed, but does apply to subsequent notes of the same pitch within the measure. It does not apply to other notes of the same name at different octaves within the measure.

There has been some mention recently that in contemporary scores the rule is somewhat different, but I can't quote it because I don't know what it is.

Regards,


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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989123 11/20/12 09:41 PM
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Thanks Bruce,

I think I -have- seen scores where an accidental applies across octaves (still within the staff and bar).

But, in general, I THINK the consensus is that the accidental applies for the note within the bar ONLY for that octave (of which the staff is a more general case of octave).



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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989131 11/20/12 09:51 PM
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As far as I know, it is exactly as Bruce said, but unfortunately some composers don't know...



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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989148 11/20/12 10:16 PM
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Bruce is correct. And when there may be a question, a competent editor will add cautionary or parenthetical accidentals to clarify the situation.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989150 11/20/12 10:23 PM
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Thanks yall. That's GOOD enough fer me.

within the octave it is.
(restate on each octave and on each staff, and for 8va changes, etc.)

'preciate it - I know I can always rely on you folks smile

Last edited by Stephen Hazel; 11/20/12 10:24 PM.

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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989165 11/20/12 11:16 PM
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What Bruce says. However, because of most of my music and other music I edit is rather dissonant, and the chances of hitting a chord with both C# and C are quite high, I put a cautionary natural in the natural C. Just in case... Makes things much cleared.

(Heh... of course I did miss at least one such case in a recently printed book, but I think it's clear since it's in a different staff and different hand)...

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Kreisler #1989169 11/20/12 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
And when there may be a question, a competent editor will add cautionary or parenthetical accidentals to clarify the situation.

I think this is the main point. If the edition is decent, we shouldn't have to know the answer to the OP's question. If that situation does comes up, (an accidental on a note, and no disambiguation on an octave note), it's just as likely to be a typo as following any rule.

I was just reading through some Messiaen today and came across a chord with a low G# and a high G without any marking on it. Rather than use the rule, I'm concluding that this is a typo, and I think the high G is actually more likely to be missing a sharp than a cautionary natural.

-J

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
beet31425 #1989185 11/21/12 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I was just reading through some Messiaen today and came across a chord with a low G# and a high G without any marking on it. Rather than use the rule, I'm concluding that this is a typo, and I think the high G is actually more likely to be missing a sharp than a cautionary natural.

-J
Jason,

You should check around the score and see if there are any repetitions of that passage, or similar chords, or other stuff to make it clear if it's a G# or G... With Messiaen one can't tell the same way they can with a Beethoven work... It could very well be a G natural and a sharp above... :-/

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989188 11/21/12 12:51 AM
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By the way, this is one of the mistakes made by a composer that irritate me the most when I am sight-reading (and it is clear it is not intentional)...



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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
BruceD #1989382 11/21/12 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
My understanding, borne out by evidence in traditional scores, is that an accidental applies only to the note before which it is placed, but does apply to subsequent notes of the same pitch within the measure. It does not apply to other notes of the same name at different octaves within the measure.

There has been some mention recently that in contemporary scores the rule is somewhat different, but I can't quote it because I don't know what it is.

Regards,


I have seen some scores, such as Lutoslawski's Piano Concerto, where the accidental only applies to the note it precedes and does not carry to any subsequent notes. This is to reduce the clutter of natural signs.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
jeffreyjones #1989429 11/21/12 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by BruceD
My understanding, borne out by evidence in traditional scores, is that an accidental applies only to the note before which it is placed, but does apply to subsequent notes of the same pitch within the measure. It does not apply to other notes of the same name at different octaves within the measure.

There has been some mention recently that in contemporary scores the rule is somewhat different, but I can't quote it because I don't know what it is.

Regards,


I have seen some scores, such as Lutoslawski's Piano Concerto, where the accidental only applies to the note it precedes and does not carry to any subsequent notes. This is to reduce the clutter of natural signs.
Yes, I've seen that as well (perhaps the same score...), but there's always a very bold sign/ instructions/ something that states that this is the case...

It usually applies to the note the accidental is next to and nothing else UNLESS there's a repeated note (like a repetition of an F# for many times), in which case it applies for the whole group... This is why this system gets a bit complicated... :-/ And never won over many composers.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989634 11/22/12 01:10 AM
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Returning to the context of standard notation for a moment -- what about a second note in the same measure, same pitch, same octave, but different staff? Does an accidental on the first note apply to the second? I think it does.

Last edited by Ferdinand; 11/22/12 01:12 AM.
Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Ferdinand #1989636 11/22/12 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Returning to the context of standard notation for a moment -- what about a second note in the same measure, same pitch, same octave, but different staff? Does an accidental on the first note apply to the second? I think it does.


No, I don't think so. The composer might intentionally put the notes on different staffs in order to highlight that they're played with different hands and that they're different notes.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Ferdinand #1989639 11/22/12 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Returning to the context of standard notation for a moment -- what about a second note in the same measure, same pitch, same octave, but different staff? Does an accidental on the first note apply to the second? I think it does.


I don't think so. Here is an example. In the right hand the 2nd A is natural but in the left hand the composer surely wants an A flat.

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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Stephen Hazel #1989641 11/22/12 01:59 AM
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I don't think so either.



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Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
Damon #1989645 11/22/12 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Returning to the context of standard notation for a moment -- what about a second note in the same measure, same pitch, same octave, but different staff? Does an accidental on the first note apply to the second? I think it does.


I don't think so. Here is an example. In the right hand the 2nd A is natural but in the left hand the composer surely wants an A flat.

[Linked Image]


Au bord d'un source, nice example.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
jeffreyjones #1989819 11/22/12 03:10 PM
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I stand corrected.

I checked the Henle edition of Bach for examples. Partita #4, Ouverture, bar 91 has F natural in highest voice, treble clef, and later in the measure the same pitch in middle voice, bass clef. The second occurrence does have the natural sign. Same thing in the next bar with g sharp marked both times.

However in the Allemande the notation is inconsistent. Bar 9 has A sharp in top voice, treble clef, and another A, same measure, middle voice, bass clef, with no marking. It is clearly meant to be A natural. But -- in the parallel passage in bar 11 with G sharp and G natural, there is a natural sign on the second G. I suppose it's a courtesy accidental, but there are no parentheses.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
jeffreyjones #1989879 11/22/12 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Returning to the context of standard notation for a moment -- what about a second note in the same measure, same pitch, same octave, but different staff? Does an accidental on the first note apply to the second? I think it does.


I don't think so. Here is an example. In the right hand the 2nd A is natural but in the left hand the composer surely wants an A flat.

[Linked Image]


Au bord d'un source, nice example.


Good eye! I've been working on this and it sounds peculiar at slow speeds but fantastic up to tempo so I was doubting what I was reading at times. That made me immediately think of this ornament in regards to accidentals.
Au bord d'un source, nice example.

Re: accidental within a bar within a staff within an OCTAVE ??
jeffreyjones #1989897 11/22/12 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
[...]Au bord d'un une source, nice example.


BruceD
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