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Prelude in C counting question

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:55 pm
by Lloyd
In the last section of the second intermediate lesson, in the bass line, how would I determine from the music as written, on what count to play the E? I know from the previous sections that it's the second 1/8 note, but if I hadn't seen that, should there be a way for me to know what beat that E is played?

Re: Prelude in C counting question

Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:50 am
by FlatPanda

In some editions, you will see a ⅛ rest over the first half note.

In other editions the rest is missing and you have to "calculate" beforehand how much is "missing" for the second voice and keep that in mind while playing. When learning a piece, this is easy, it will get tricky only if you are sightreading a sheet.


Addendum: have a look at this answer: Although the topic is not related, the bottom line is related to your question: based on the stems! The stems are bound to the "grid of the rhythm". Thus, if you can count to any note (e.g. in the upper staff), where the stem aligns with the note in question (E in the bottom staff), you have the correct beat.

Re: Prelude in C counting question

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:57 am
by Lloyd
Thank you! That makes sense about the stems pointing up and belonging to the upper staff.

Re: Prelude in C counting question

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:17 pm
by FlatPanda
Take care! I didn't mean that if the stem is pointing upwards, then the note belongs to the upper staff! What I mean, if the stems of notes from the two staves align with each other, then they are on the same beat.

In the Prelude in C sheet music, the stems are pointing upwards because those notes are on the second voice on the bottom staff, thus overriding the default behaviour of higher notes, which should have a downward stem. More details on this topic here: ... ion_c.html

And actually this would be wrong here too. The E in question comes after a 1/16th rest on the bottom staff (my mistake in my former post). On the top staff you start with a 1/8th rest. See here: ... 1.png?dl=0

The first four notes of C4 (bottom staff), afterwards E4 (bottom staff), G4 (top staff), and C5 (top staff) are each their own "beat", and are played consecutively. The notes after: E4 (bottom staff) and E5 (top staff) are aligned, but because of the tie on the bottom, you don't play the E4, you just hold it. If there would be no tie, then those two notes would be played simultaneously.