# Which is the correct note timing?

• Feb 14, 2021 - 18:15

I am working on an adaption of the Hans Zimmer piece, "Chevaliers De Salgreal". I've discovered that I can alter the timing of a note a variety of ways, but due to being a complete novice in music notation, I have no idea if one way is better than another. Here is an example. Pay attention to measures 12 and 14.

The measures play exactly the same timing, whether I use an 8th, quarter or full note. The only difference is the rests. How does one tell which notes to use?

The problem here is it's physically impossible to both hold the C in the LH while also playing it as a sixteenth note in the RH. Not if you play it only a single piano, anyhow So it's not really ever going to sound like this notation seems to be suggesting, regardless of the duration your write for the LH. That said, I'd notate the LH the length you would like to hear it, and then a pianist can decide for themselves whether to accomplish that using the damper pedal, by not playing the note in the RH also, or otherwise playing something a bit different from what is written here.

If this is your own adaptation, I'd strongly suggest rearranging that measure to not have that overlap - alter the RH pattern to not include the same note at the LH.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc: I just have a lot to learn. I understand what you say. Thanks. The issue is my assumption that the bass clef is played by the left hand. In the actual playing of the song made by the pianist who wrote this arrangement, he wrote the 1st note of measures 12 and 14 to be played by the right hand, but in fact, he played them with a finger of the left hand. He held the octave in measures 11 and 13 just until he played the last note in the measures, then moved on to the next measure. His music did not specify a pedal, but in watching him play the piece on YouTube, he did hold the pedal sustain throughout both measures. So, I made the change in the sheet music to reflect use of the left hand, not realizing I had to remove his hold into measures 12 and 14. I have eliminated the hold entirely now, letting the pedal sustain hold the bass octaves, as below. Is this OK?

By the way, there is a strange rest at the top of the bass octave in measure 11. I can't get rid of it. Clicking on it selects it, but I can't delete it. Do you know how it got there, or how to remove it?

Lastly, what is the correct answer to my original question? Should I use a whole dotted note, a 1/2 note with rests, a 1/4 note with rests, etc. in measure 12 and 14?

As a pianist, I would normally just play the C3 note in the left hand in measure 12 with my right hand since my right hand would already be on the note, which would also solve the overlap problem. As a side note, I might consider moving the A3 note in measure 11 to the right hand as it does seem to be part of the melody, and it can be played by overlapping your index finger over your thumb. However, it isn't that important, especially since you are sustaining the pedal and the fact that it seems like you are trying to make the score reflect on how the pianist who wrote this arrangement played it. To get rid of the rests above the notes in measure 11, make sure to change the notes you want to stay as voice 1, change the rests to a different voice, and then delete the rests. The problem with this solution is that it would then appear that the dotted whole note and the dotted quarter note would be the same voice, making it appear to be an error in music notation. To solve that, you could change only the top note of the dotted whole note chord to a dotted half note in the same voice as the dotted quarter note. For the original question, try to see if you could fit all of the note values in the same voice on the same staff to see any overlap problems, or you can remove the pedal and adjust the music notation while listening to it; although, I believe it should be an eighth note in measure 12 and a sixteenth note in measure 14 to reflect the melody in the right hand.

Attachment Size
Chevaliers De Sangreal.png 1.22 MB

It's always easier to attach if you attach your actual score rather than just a picture. As it is, I don't see any unnecessary rests in your image. The ones in measure 11 above are necessary in order to show the pianist on what beat the dotted quarter arrives on. Yes, in this particular case, he can deduce it from the position relative to the top staff, but he shouldn't have to - the notation should show that, and does. Voice 1 is the rests followed by the dotted quarter, voice 2 is the dotted whole note. All looks correct to me.