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Re: [Gnu-music-discuss] Accidental scope (Old subject was: Tie issues...

From: Peter Chubb
Subject: Re: [Gnu-music-discuss] Accidental scope (Old subject was: Tie issues...)
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 08:30:06 +1100 (EST)

>>>>> "Christian" == Christian Mondrup <address@hidden> writes:

>> In music written since the early 19th century this is in fact the case ---
>> an accidental applies to all subsequent notes of the same name on the
>> same stave whatever the octave until the next bar line.

Christian> the rule applies to notes within the same measure rather
Christian> than the same staff. This is an important difference.

Both are true --- an accidental applies in the same bar on the same
stave.  An accidental on the stave for the clarinet part doesn't apply 
to the flute, even in the same bar.

In fact, the rule for notes tied into the next bar is a special case
-- the rule in England before about 1920 was that the scope of an
accidental extended to the first note of the next bar, tied or not.
By the end of the period, most composers were writing a cautionary
accidental on the first note of a new bar in this case, except when
the note was tied in which case it was omitted.

It's all very complicated really.

In 14th and 15th century music, an accidental applied until the melody 
moved to a different hexachord.

In 15th and 16th century music, an accidental applied until the end of 
a `phrase' where a phrase was defined by the textual underlay, if any.

To determine precisely the scope of an accidental in a particular
piece one needs to know the conventions in place at the time by the
copyist.  And this is not straightforward.


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