Hi all,First of all to Michael:
Michael, I'm afraid that your score, right now (in the image shown anyhow) is a bit of a mess...
I'll number (bullet point) the things I have to say, since they are quite a lot...
1. The use of 4 (!!!!) staves here is rather unnecessary. I do recall one instance, on the top of my head that uses 4 staves (the Rach Prelude in C# minor), but in that case there's a melody going on in the two additional staves, plus a lot of jumps here and there. So...
2. In continuing the above you could just have a rest below/above the first chord and get going with 2 staves, instead of 4.
3. The wavy line next to the first chord, is simply too long. I understand that you probably mean that you want the notes start from bottom to top, but with such large gap between them, it's a bit of an issue if the pianist will know what you mean.
4. The use of the 8va signs is also rather unnecessary! Pianists can, usually, read a few ledger lines above and below the last/first line of the staff. If you are to use an 8ba sign, you need to have an extensive passage going on above/below the normal register. In your score I'd argue that only the last two chords, in the 2nd staff from the top would need an 8va sign...
5. If you are to place an 8va/8vb above a single chord, then there's no need for the dotted line to carry on for the duration of the note. So both the 8va and 8vb sign in the top most and bottom most staves, should just be the text and no dotted line.
6. Now the most important part
. As I understand it you want a quick (I'm assuming that, since I don't know the tempo) succession of chords, going upwards, the left hand playing first and then the right hand playing the same chord, but an octave higher, right?
In that case the best solution, I find, is to use cross staff beams, rather than a constant use of rests. If you connect every four chords, then everyone will see that we're actually talking about a stream of 16th notes and "nothing more" (not to degrade the composition or anything here, of course! :)).
I think that it's quite frequent to come up with such solutions, and the added bonuses include that:
* You ditch the use of rests all together.
* You show the actual rhythm of the passage.
* It looks clearer (I think).
Something to think about...To everyone now:
The two mentioned books by Gardner and Ted Ross, are both very useful, but, especially in the case of Ted Ross, not only it's hard to find (I've got it in a CD/DVD format, as a PDF book, that I bought from the States), but it's also mainly concerned with the old ways of notation (the traditional engraving system). This means that it deals with curves, distances, and tools not used anymore pretty much.
While it's extremely exciting, and it has come in handy to me, in very specific situations, it's exactly that: Very rare to come in handy. Unless you want to dive in Finale/Sibelius and destroy all settings to create your own (which is fine to do actually, but takes quite a while), then the times that the Ted Ross book will come in useful are very few.
The Gardner book is much better in that term, but it still is lacking any modern practice, and does deal with notating, still mostly about the traditional sense, which is obsolete right now...
I'd recommend two other books that are very useful:
The first one is "Behind Bars", by Ellain Gould. Amazon link here
It covers almost all the ground to digital means and comes in a great format, for a hard cover book! I've used it quite a lot.
I will admit that sometimes I feel it's lacking for my own questions, but none the less, I think that I'm definitely not the average user.
The other book, for modern/contemporary practice is Kurt Stone's "Music Notation in the Twentieth Century". Amazon Link here
This provides ample of ideas for contemporary composing, notating and arranging, and deals with probably about 90% of the questions one may have about "how on earth to notate that".
I will admit (once more... yes, I'm repeating myself) that I find that the more I delve into contemporary music, notating and publishing, the more I find that I start to drift away from that book. Perhaps because it's the 21st century, or perhaps because I'm too adventurous or something...
The rest have been covered by others, so there's no need for me to reply to the three initial questions.
Hope this helps a bit!