What's the proper notation for holding one note of a chord while playing the other notes staccato?

I want to hold down the A key on the piano for 3 beats. During the first of these 3 beats ONLY the A key is held, but during the second and third beats, I press the C and E keys staccato on the beat.

Effectively I want a sound like this:

two-handed version of bass note with two chords

However, I only want this sound to take place in the bass clef and be played with the left hand. Meanwhile the right hand is playing a melody.

I’ve tried finding an answer to this but most answers involve slurring the entire chord, where you press and hold the A, then press and hold the C, then press and hold the E. They don’t offer a way to lift your fingers from C and E without lifting your finger from A.

What’s the proper notation for what I’m trying to accomplish? I’m trying to take a small piece I prototyped on a piano and jot it down with some notation software, but nothing seems capable of producing the sound I want. Whenever I declare that the first note of the chord is a dotted half-note, I’m forbidden from placing additional notes in the measure (understandably – the measure already has 3 full beats)

Music: Practice & Theory Asked by stevendesu on December 27, 2020

3 Answers

3 Answers

OI vopiSeveral posts down, there is an example of correct notation.

enter image description here

I copied it from that post. One notates the sound as two voices (thus the quarter rest) with a dotted half in one voice and a quarter rest and two quarter notes in the other voice. It's a common notation when the keyboard plays more than one voice in each hand.

Correct answer by ttw on December 27, 2020

Regarding the question about notation software:

This requires a program that allows for multiple voices. Enter the dotted half-note in one voice, then enter the quarter-rest and two staccato chords as a second voice. The software will understand that the two voices are happening simultaneously and format them as desired.

For example, here are instructions for doing this in MuseScore.

Answered by Aaron on December 27, 2020

This is where using more than one voice comes into play.Split the bass clef into two voices one with stems pointing downwards, the others pointing upwards.

It's a common thing to do, when effectively there are two separate things happening simultaneously. So the A note underneath will be for three beats, and its stem facing down, and there's a rest above it for the 1st beat. Then come the two crotchets, with their staccato dots, on beats 2 and 3, and their stems up.

We have a lot of questions about 'how come there's 6 beats in a 3/4 bar', etc., and this is usually why!

Answered by Tim on December 27, 2020

Add your own answers!

Related Questions

Help understanding tendency tones

1  Asked on November 30, 2021 by youngcapone


How many semitones should I change to change melody but same chord

3  Asked on November 28, 2021 by melly-korlyony


TS vs TRS cables to connect mixer to Main Out interface

1  Asked on November 25, 2021 by zmani


Super Ultra Hyper Mega Meta Scales

6  Asked on November 21, 2021 by willross1


If your saxophone is leaking spit, can it damage the pads?

3  Asked on November 15, 2021 by gt_isnt_canon-1234


Double-klezmer notes

1  Asked on November 13, 2021 by ahmet-bilal


What are the Klezmer modes?

1  Asked on November 13, 2021 by xpro


What is the name of this this chord?

3  Asked on November 11, 2021


Note in parenthesis: optional or ghost note?

4  Asked on November 8, 2021 by wood


Ask a Question

Get help from others!

© 2022 All rights reserved.