3/4 Piano notation question

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
Post Reply
User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 207
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

3/4 Piano notation question

Post by Fred G. Unn »

I'm aware of the standard convention that when notating syncopated rhythms in 3/4 you are supposed to show at least 2 beats. (Gould pg 168) I just wanted to clarify how everyone here applies that to piano music, or any other instrument with 2 staves. Does a beat in another staff count as exposing the beat? What about a different voice/layer in the same staff?

In the below example, bar 1 is "correct" as 2 beats are shown. and showing the second beat more quickly clarifies the beat structure. What about bar 2? Each is notated correctly on their own, but what is the correct notation for a grand staff? Same with bar 3. Does the eighth rest on beat 2 allow the bottom to become a dotted quarter as well? Or does that too strongly imply 6/8? Should the top become an eighth tied to a quarter? Leave it as is?

Image

I have a gazillion rhythms similar to these to edit, so just wanted to make sure I knew the "proper" way before I waste a couple of hours doing them wrong. Thanks for any advice!

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1727
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: 3/4 Piano notation question

Post by John Ruggero »

If the rhythm is to be felt as a syncopation and not a hemiola, I would write both hands with the tie. Writing it differently in each hand would be a rare effect that might mean that one hand is syncopated and the other is in straight 6/8. I don't think that the 1/8 rest counts since those who don't use dotted quarter rests in 6/8 pair it with a quarter rest to show half a measure of 6/8.

And if this is an orchestral piano part, it would be particularly important to follow Gould's (and Arnstein's) advice.
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,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
Fred G. Unn
Posts: 207
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 13:24
Location: NYCish

Re: 3/4 Piano notation question

Post by Fred G. Unn »

Thanks! I'll use the ties.

Post Reply