Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
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The following beaming appears in Variation 5 of the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op. 26. The thirty second note accompaniment is beamed in groups of four throughout the variation except at the arrow:
This apparent anomaly was “corrected” in the first edition and in later editions, including Schenker’s. This is a shame.
A look at this measure in the Theme shows why I think Beethoven beamed this as a group of 8 notes. The middle voice voices move directly to C on the second eighth note beat of the measure to form a new harmony:
In Variation 5 the C also arrives on the second beat, but delayed by two passing notes. Since this is the only spot in this phrase in which the harmonic notes do not fall on the beat, Beethoven was concerned that the passage might be construed as shown in the first example in the following illustration, leading players to place undue emphasis on the passing notes:
The position of the slurs is also of interest. Beethoven prefers to place slurs over the note heads whenever possible, presumably so that they more closely reflect the shape of the melodic line. He does this even when it creates engraving difficulties. The first edition could only partially honor his positioning. Later editions ignore it completely.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
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