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Thread: Accidentals with no barlines?

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    Default Accidentals with no barlines?

    I recently acquired a book of Satie's music. For pieces such as his second Gnossienne, which frequently uses accidentals but uses no barlines, what are the rules for carrying accidentals? I assume the accidental would just apply to the one note and not carry, but I want to be absolutely sure before starting his pieces, lest I accidentsally learn them wrong.

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    Junior Member HansMaestroMusic's Avatar
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    Is there a key signature at the beginning of mentioned pieces? If there is, then it accidentals would probably be carried until they were neutralized by a natural. If there is no key signature it is very possible it only applies to the one note.

    Also, look at the entire piece. If you see a certain note with an accidental attached to it numerous times throughout the piece, with no natural (or other accidental for that matter) on any of the same note preceding it (i.e: A, B, C#, D, E, D, C#, B, A), then it is most probable that the accidental only applies to the note it is given, and is presumed all notes are to be played in their natural state otherwise.

    Very interesting though, any Youtube links on Satie's work?

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    Just go to Youtube and stick Gnossienne into the search box - whole range of things.

    Satie applies accidentals to a phrase. If you look at the bit labelled Ne sortez pas the second group of notes starting on the b flat has accidentals. These are repeated in the next bit starting on a. There is then a sequence of chords and for the next bit starting on f in the right hand the accidentals are back. The next phrase is headed Dans une grande bonte starting on f in the right hand and the accidentals are repeated.

    Hope this helps.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    In this age of Youtube, Spotify etc. you could just listen to a few reputable pianists play and see what they do. The Gnossiennes are quite well known and I'm sure they are frequently recorded.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    The YouTube suggestion is surely the best approach. I would also be unclear about where the "statute of limitations", as I like to call it, applies in a piece without bar lines. Following more knowledgeable performers' lead is almost always a good idea.

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I'll try listening to other recordings, then.

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