Which of the two is easier? (from Bass key to Treble key and back)

• Sep 14, 2020 - 19:25

I'm not sure if this is the right place for the question that I have now, but hey, if it's not, let me know and kick me out the back door. :-)

The scores that I have always need to be played by others. Sometimes I wonder if some of the parts are easy to read and play for them. I could change it, but I'm not always sure if it's wise to do so. Since I don't play the scores myself, I'm a bit in the dark. Here's one example.

In the example below the lower staff of the piano goes from bass clef to treble clef and back:

In this example there's space in the upper bar of the piano. Is it easier if these notes are moved "upstairs" to the upper staff of the piano? Like in the next example:

The second approach can have the disadvantage that things get crowded up there. Also, maybe the original placement also suggests which hands to use for which notes?

Can I have some reactions?

- I have different, but similar questions from time to time.
- The scores are usually played by a pianist at an audition. I don't know who the pianist is until at the audition, so I can't ask him or her. Also, usually there are several people auditioning. That's also why auditions aren't right place for these types of questions.


The pianist will figure either out. Personally, I find the second easier to read, but I'm not a player.

I also find the first measure harder to read than the clef changes.

Is this a piano reduction?

I prefer 2 but I'd enter the left-hand notes in their correct stave and use cross-staff notation to move them. I would also flip the top notes stem-up to avoid conflict.

Yes, I also see clef changes in piano music all the time also.
Perhaps, for future questions of this type, You could put something in the title that you are looking for answers from piano players. That might attract them. I might have answered anyway.

My thought is this: This is a reduction for piano for audition purposes. Consider leaving in only notes that give the flavor of the music rather than every note in various clusters. They tend to not sound as good on piano as they did for whatever instruments are original. Would be easier on the pianist also. Someone reading this with little or no prep time might not play all the notes anyway.
Just an easy to ignore suggestion.

Mike, even if you don't play the piano yourself, your reaction is also useful. If you see this in piano music for less professional level scores too, then that also answers my question.

Underquark, I guess I'm not advanced enough with MuseScore to use cross-staff notation, but thank you for your remark.

Bob, you are right that I could put something in the title that I'm looking for answers from piano players. I'll do that next time.

Thank you all !!

If I were writing for myself, I would write as follows.


It is easier for me to read it (I play the piano). //No Clef changes, no Staff changes.
And yes I wrote the melody above (with 8va) in the same way.

I suggest you ask at least one of the pianists who played your score.
My reading / playing / writing habits may differ from theirs.

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