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#2052891 - 03/23/13 10:30 AM 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
In the measure below, am I naming the notes properly (letters in red)?

And if so, how do you play A5 as written (seems like overlap)? I came across this and it puzzled me.

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#2052903 - 03/23/13 10:54 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3197
Loc: Maine
Because you are playing with the pedal, you can have the sound sustain but you don't have to physically hold down the first RH chord for a full two beats. Release the RH before the second beat, and A5 will be free for you to play it with your LH.
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#2052904 - 03/23/13 10:58 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Assuming Middle C is C4 (making the lower left key A1) the answer is yes and no.

The first group of notes on the upper staff would be: F4, A5 & D5.

The second group of notes there would be: G4 & E5

The notes on the lower staff (assuming the G Clef is intended) are D5 & A6. If the Bass Clef was intended here then the notes are: F3 and C4.

The "overlap" would be with the D5, and not the A (assuming the lower Clef is G). However the 8va applies only to the Right Hand as indicated (if both hands were to be played 8va the notation should specify this exactly), so these notes would be played an octave higher, and so no actual overlap occurs.

Above applies with or without the pedal smile


Edited by TrapperJohn (03/23/13 11:11 AM)
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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

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#2052913 - 03/23/13 11:29 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: TrapperJohn]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Assuming Middle C is C4 (making the lower left key A1) the answer is yes and no.

The first group of notes on the upper staff would be: F4, A5 & D5.

The second group of notes there would be: G4 & E5

The notes on the lower staff (assuming the G Clef is intended) are D5 & A6. If the Bass Clef was intended here then the notes are: F3 and C4.

The "overlap" would be with the D5, and not the A (assuming the lower Clef is G). However the 8va applies only to the Right Hand as indicated (if both hands were to be played 8va the notation should specify this exactly), so these notes would be played an octave higher, and so no actual overlap occurs.

Above applies with or without the pedal smile


8va on the upper staff? Does that not make the notes one octave higher than written? I am just making sure I understand this nomenclature.
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#2052932 - 03/23/13 12:15 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3197
Loc: Maine
Scorpio, I find Trapper John's explanation to be completely confusing and mostly inapplicable, filled as it is with references to hypotheticals other than what is in the music as notated.

You have labeled the notes correctly. Contra Trapper John, using C4 for middle C as you have done makes the lowest note on the piano A0, not A1. The first C is C1.

The 8va sign here applies only to the RH, and does make the notes one octave higher than written, which your note names reflect.

As I see it, the overlap you are looking at is between the A5 played on beat one of the RH and the A5 played on beat two of the LH. You use the pedal to create the overlap in sound while avoiding the physical overlap of playing a key which is already being held down.

It occurs to me that there is another kind of overlap, which is that the RH and LH are playing in overlapping areas of the piano. You play this with one hand slightly higher (vertically) and closer to the fall board, with the other hand slightly lower (vertically) and closer to the front edges of the keys. So one hand is vertically above the other hand.

As far as I can tell, Trapper John was only considering whether the same notes were being played on the first beat, and concluded (correctly) that they're not.
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#2053059 - 03/23/13 05:42 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: PianoStudent88]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
PianoStudent88, Thank you very much for your response. It is an interesting exercise. Now I need to go practice it and see if I don't tangle up my hands. laugh
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#2053121 - 03/23/13 07:37 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: PianoStudent88]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Scorpio,

You have labeled the notes correctly. Contra Trapper John, using C4 for middle C as you have done makes the lowest note on the piano A0, not A1. The first C is C1.




The lowest note on the far left hand side of an 88 key keyboard is A0, and not A1?

Is this standard notational practice, or is it your assumption because it is lower than the first C (C1)?
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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#2053140 - 03/23/13 08:07 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3197
Loc: Maine
The naming of A0 and C1 as I described them are standard.

The octave numbers change at C, not at A. That is, ascending A0 B0 C1 D1 E1 F1 G1 A1 B1 C2 D2 etc. (I've left out the black keys, for brevity.)
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#2053323 - 03/24/13 08:02 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Live and learn - thanks for the "music lesson"...
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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#2053484 - 03/24/13 01:29 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: TrapperJohn]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Scorpio,

You have labeled the notes correctly. Contra Trapper John, using C4 for middle C as you have done makes the lowest note on the piano A0, not A1. The first C is C1.




The lowest note on the far left hand side of an 88 key keyboard is A0, and not A1?

Is this standard notational practice, or is it your assumption because it is lower than the first C (C1)?

This is standard notation. The A in the left hand is written as the first leger line above the staff, treble clef.

So the A, marked to be held, is the same A, written as second space A in the treble but played up an octave.

Thus the same note is duplicated in both hands. PP88 has it correct. The RH notes are held on the pedal, then the LH re-hits the same A. It is sloppy notation only because it is standard to assume people will understand that what is written is physically impossible. In other words, it is not mathematically correct. You can't hold a note in one hand while hitting it again with the other, but as PP88 said the pedal allows us to "cheat".

The method of numbering letters such as A1 and A5 can be highly confusing. Once upon a time we could simply assume that the bottom note on a piano is A, case closed, but now with DPs that have fewer keys, it can be a mess. You are better off naming a note as "second space treble clef" or "first leger line above the treble clef."
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#2053487 - 03/24/13 01:35 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
I simply go by the fact that middle C is C4 and all notes above it are "4" until the next C. I use middle C as the reference. That way if a piano doesn't have the standard number of keys, you still have middle C.

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#2053765 - 03/25/13 01:10 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7776
Loc: New York City
Just to clarify what has been said so far, and to add some new material on this topic that hasn't been mentioned, for the OP, the following is standard for an 88 key piano:

The lowest note is A0.
The lowest C is C1.
The highest note is C8.
Each octave is comprised of twelve keys, from C to B.
Each C is numbered according to the octave above it, not the one below. Therefore, middle C is C4 because octave 4 is above it and octave 3 is below.
If a B or a C is notated enharmonically (Cb or B#), then the letter name and not the position on the keyboard is used. For example, middle C is C4, but when referred to as B# it is B#3, because it's a raised B3. Similarly, B3 is Cb4 because it's a lowered C4.
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#2053835 - 03/25/13 07:17 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
thumb Thank you all! I am sure this is not the last time I see something that puzzles me.
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#2054162 - 03/25/13 05:59 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3623
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#2054167 - 03/25/13 06:10 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 719
Loc: Hernando, MS
wouter79 That's a nice little picture. smile I like the highlighting of Middle C and the A440 (well usually 440) reference pitch.
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#2054441 - 03/26/13 08:44 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: fizikisto]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 453
Loc: England
I started reading this thread, trying to make sense of it, I'm now so mentally fatigued I'm going to have to lay on the couch for awhile to recover. laugh

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#2054451 - 03/26/13 09:08 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3623
bluebilly, bottomline is

>am I naming the notes properly (letters in red)?
yes

>And if so, how do you play A5 as written (seems like overlap)? I came across this and it puzzled me.

Use pedal
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#2055023 - 03/27/13 09:28 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: scorpio]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: bluebilly
I started reading this thread, trying to make sense of it, I'm now so mentally fatigued I'm going to have to lay on the couch for awhile to recover. laugh



Take 2 aspirin...no, make that 2 six packs and call us in the morning...

scorpio pretty much feels the same way, but he phrased it a little differently:


Originally Posted By: scorpio
thumb Thank you all! I am sure this is not the last time I see something that puzzles me.



But, probably the last time you ask about it here... laugh
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#2055032 - 03/27/13 09:54 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: wouter79]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11846
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: wouter79


>And if so, how do you play A5 as written (seems like overlap)? I came across this and it puzzled me.

Use pedal

I just played this as written "with pedal". You get a mysterious, washed-together sound in the higher registers, as if dreaming about castles and lollipops. The LH D sounds like it's a dotted half note because it sounds throughout. The Dm chord blends with the (do we assume an A7 chord with a missing C#?) next chord.

Or if you want the D to disappear in the right place, you could pedal at the A, but then it makes more sense to simply hit the A again with the RH.

If they wrote it this way, maybe they were going after this blended sound, and they wrote it this way so you play as written, and get the effect of a dotted note for the D.

I think we'd have to see more of the music, so that we get the atmosphere and feel of the piece.

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#2055044 - 03/27/13 10:38 AM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: wouter79]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: wouter79


Lol this one pic sums up the whole thread.


Edited by Lost Woods (03/27/13 10:38 AM)

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#2055388 - 03/27/13 11:08 PM Re: 8va notation question; a measure that puzzled me [Re: keystring]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2749
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: keystring
...
I think we'd have to see more of the music, so that we get the atmosphere and feel of the piece.


Right.
What piece is this excerpted from?
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