First voice and second voice have the same pitch but different lengths?

• Apr 20, 2021 - 13:59

I saw this in this music ( ). The green note below is a second voice, right? And the first voice has a note with the same pitch. Aren't two voices supposed to be played in one piano by the same person? Then, when you are actually playing it on the piano, how are you supposed to play the two at the same time? The B3 in the first voice is a dummy?


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Indeed, it's not physically possible to actually play the same note with two different lengths. In some cases it can make sense to notate things this way if logically/conceptually there really are two clear independent voices and both "should" have that same note but for different durations. Fugues are full of that sort of thing. But in this case, I think it's a mistake - there' no reason I can see for that half note Bb to exist. It makes it seem like the first half of the measure is meant to be a four-part texture, then it drops to three for the second half of the measure. I'd say the person who arranged this made a questionable choice.

But for comparison, look at the left hand in the very next measure. There you have a low G as a half note but also as part of an eighth note line. Here I'd argue this does make some logical sense, even though you can't physically sustain the G (except through use of the damper pedal, which would be totally appropriate). The G "belongs" to the "bass" part but also to the "arpeggio " part.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks. I get the logical necessity. By the way, how come the next measure's second voice has only one minim without a rest? It must be second voice, because when I tried to add a minim in the first voice, that overwrote the existing four quavers, but I could not add it there without adding a half rest before it. Did he intentionally hide the half rest? If so, why hide the rest, is that a common thing for a second voice?

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In reply to by musescore_king

Hide the rest is one way to recreate that notation, deleting it is another. The latter comes with a downside though, it creates 'holes' in the notation and those make it difficult to enter a note in those places, should the need arise. The former has the disadvantage to still show 'grey' in MuseScore (it won't print though).
Choose your poison (none is deadly ;-) )

In reply to by musescore_king

The usual rule is that is permissible to not show leading reads if the first note of the voice occurs simultaneously with another note in another voice on the same staff. The idea being, it needs to be 100% clear from looking at this staff what beat that half note occurs on. In this case, it is, so it permissible to skip the rest. Whether it is advisable or not is another matter, that depends on how important the arranger / editor feels it is to show the independence of the voices.

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