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what is the rule???


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dvstpt
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: what is the rule??? Reply with quote

Ok, so today we were in a master class, and we were reading an etude. In one of the measures there was an accidental on an f in the staff, making it sharp, and later on in that measure, an f on top of the staff. Then my teacher and I got into a debate because he said that accidentals carried through the octave, I said they didnt. I was taught in Jr. High that they DID carry though the octave, but earlier this year, my band director and another friend who is a music major told me they did not, so I assumed from then that they didnt. My teacher and I looked and asked many reliable sources and answers varied whether they did or didnt.

So, the question is, do accidentals carry through an octave or not?

(please put any proof in the answer if possible, b/c we also looked it up in a "music dictionary" and the text was unclear, not stating that they did, but never stating that they did not)

thanks


Last edited by dvstpt on Sat May 10, 2008 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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clankman
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say they do. The best proof I have to say is when you have a key signature with an F# that means F# on all octaves; not just the F on the bottom of the staff or the F on the top of the staff. Plus, that's the way I've always been taught.
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veery715
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the American History and Encyclopedia of Music:

"Where a sharp foreign to the key in which the piece is written is introduced
it is written before the note which it affects. Such a sharp is called an accidental, and
it affects all the notes of this same name in that bar unless revoked."

Notation usually specifies with a natural sign when an accidental is revoked.
A good test is to play it both ways and see if it is obvious which was intended.
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Nonsense Eliminator
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They don't.

Here are what a couple of books on my shelf say on the subject:

"In modern practice a sign affects the note immediately following and is valid for all the notes of the same pitch (but not in different octaves) within the same measure." -- Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music

"An accidental applies only to the note at its original pitch level. When that note is sounded at a different octave level, another accidental is needed." -- The Norton Manual of Music Notation

Also, the Wikipedia entry agrees on this, but we all know what that's worth! Another thing: If you enter music in Finale, when it plays it back, accidentals apply only in the octave in which they originally occur.

That said, some people, including some composers (and evidently some writers of music reference books!), don't know this rule. So there are instances where even though the notation says that the accidental should not apply, other factors might suggest that it should. Your ear (or study of a full score or different editions) may be a more reliable guide than what any number of reference books may claim is the rule.
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MisterE
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iīd say DONīT argue with your teacher, period! Much less in a master class setting!! Get informed outside the situation and make up yer own mind later. Just my opinion...
E
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real answer is: It depends.

I've seen some music where the accidental carries through, regardless of octave. This was a common practice for many, many years.

In the 20th century, however, the practice becomes that an accidental is only good for that specific note in that specific measure; not the octave above or the one below, or any other note.

That is how I was taught, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in error playing that way. I suppose any rule is possible, but the truth of the matter is if you apply the above policy, you will likely be fine.

Al
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sdgtpt
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MisterE wrote:
Iīd say DONīT argue with your teacher, period! Much less in a master class setting!! Get informed outside the situation and make up yer own mind later. Just my opinion...
E



I (the teacher) loved the debate.... these kids were asking great questions, which turned into a debate about the above topic. I couldn't have had more fun. Imagine being in a rehearsal space where the topic of conversation is about trumpet, accidentals, and performance practices of different time periods instead of "what's on TV, what video game is cool, and who is going out with who".
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sdgtpt
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dr_trumpet wrote:
The real answer is: It depends.

I've seen some music where the accidental carries through, regardless of octave. This was a common practice for many, many years.

In the 20th century, however, the practice becomes that an accidental is only good for that specific note in that specific measure; not the octave above or the one below, or any other note.

That is how I was taught, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've been in error playing that way. I suppose any rule is possible, but the truth of the matter is if you apply the above policy, you will likely be fine.

Al



I will second this opinion... as it is my own.
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trpthrld
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno - what'd yer ears tell ya?
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MisterE
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thatīs way cool!!! Seriously!! I just was thinking a little more from my personal upbringing/formation.... wouldnt-a-dunnit then, but then times have changed it would seem...
Allīs cool!
E
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nbotts
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good grief. I'm amazed that this was even a matter open for debate.
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jsnfmn
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vast majority of music that trumpet players play the accidental carries through only on the same octave, but take a look at the Bousquet studies and you'll find plenty of examples where it applies to all octaves of a note, you'll find the first examples in the very first study. These studies are the only place I can remember where this is an issue though.
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sdgtpt
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nbotts wrote:
Good grief. I'm amazed that this was even a matter open for debate.


Why? Would you care to elaborate? Maybe I'm missing something?
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with Richard and Al but also with trpthrld. In several well-used etude books the question should be solved easily if one actually listens to what he is playing.

I got into this debate with a HS director whose student I was preparing for All State last fall. The 8ve accidental was obviously supposed to carry through but he insisted otherwise. (Would've made a good lawyer, perhaps.) I can't remember how the kid handled it but she didn't make the cut. That one pitch wasn't the reason.
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dvstpt
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jsnfmn wrote:
The vast majority of music that trumpet players play the accidental carries through only on the same octave, but take a look at the Bousquet studies and you'll find plenty of examples where it applies to all octaves of a note, you'll find the first examples in the very first study. These studies are the only place I can remember where this is an issue though.



We were actually playing the Bousquet etudes.
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Jay Lichtmann
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In theory it is correct that accidentals effect the octave. 9 time out of 10 if a keyboard player agrees to this convention it works well. On a single line instrument however it's not as sure a bet. I chalk it up to laziness on the part of music copyists and composers. In most instances it is fairly easy to figure out the correct note when it in an accompanied part, it only gets difficult to figure out when it's an etude or unaccompanied solo. You gotta go with what sounds right to you. In an etude it really does not matter anyway, especially when the music is as cheesy as a Bousquet etude.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jay Lichtmann wrote:
In theory it is correct that accidentals effect the octave. 9 time out of 10 if a keyboard player agrees to this convention it works well. On a single line instrument however it's not as sure a bet. I chalk it up to laziness on the part of music copyists and composers. In most instances it is fairly easy to figure out the correct note when it in an accompanied part, it only gets difficult to figure out when it's an etude or unaccompanied solo. You gotta go with what sounds right to you. In an etude it really does not matter anyway, especially when the music is as cheesy as a Bousquet etude.


Finale as current provided does not alter an octave double when you add it manually. You have to alter the pitches yourself. So, when you put a Db in the lower octave, then go up an octave to enter a Db, you have to add the flat on that note too. The transpose up an octave does this as well, but that tool to me is cumbersome.
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trombapaul2
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MisterE wrote:
Iīd say DONīT argue with your teacher, period! Much less in a master class setting!! Get informed outside the situation and make up yer own mind later. Just my opinion...
E


What is wrong with arguing with a teacher. Most teachers I know (and that's
alot of them) actually enjoy having what they're teaching questioned. It
shows them that the student is actually thinking about what they're being
told rather than simply accepting it because "a teacher" said so. To be
told "because I'm a teacher and I said so" is unacceptable. Have them
prove their point (politely and respectfully). Most will be happy to do so.

Sorry for digressing from the original topic. Let the arguments resume!

Paul
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ProAm
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dvstpt wrote:
We were actually playing the Bousquet etudes.

That's exactly what I thinking of. In one of those etudes I've had to mark the octave to remember it.

Jay Lichtmann wrote:
9 time out of 10 if a keyboard player agrees to this convention it works well. On a single line instrument however it's not as sure a bet.

I have often benn caught when reading a line of a keyboard score and the accidental carries through to my line from a different line.

Jay Lichtmann wrote:
In an etude it really does not matter anyway, especially when the music is as cheesy as a Bousquet etude.

Cheesy? CHEESY???? Aw, them critters is FUN to play!!!
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Nonsense Eliminator
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at printed piano music you will find that accidentals are used for each octave in which the pitch occurs, even if they're sounded simultaneously. I'm not about to root through my entire library, but I readily found several examples of this usage in various editions, and no counterexamples.

I don't think there's any question what the rule is: accidentals only apply to the octave in which they appear. A substantial majority of credible sources make this assertion, although most sources ignore the issue entirely and thereby cloud the issue. The problem is that there are two questions which are answered by this rule: "How do I notate this?" and "How do I play this?" The answer to the first question is simple. The answer to the second is, "Assume that the accidental applies only to the octave in which it appears unless there is a good reason to do otherwise."

Certainly, these rules have evolved over time; until the 17th century, accidentals applied only to the note to which they were affixed, and didn't carry through the measure at all. However, almost all of the music we play was printed in the last hundred years, so modern rules generally apply.
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