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What is the meaning of the straight lines between notes in opposite staves, as shown in the picture? I keep seeing it, but Google and Wikipedia are not helping me.

enter image description here

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I just have to ask, where did this music come from? I keep seeing questions like this with such terrible formatting. – MattPutnam Feb 16 at 23:48
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At a guess, this is from the Ricercar a 6 from the Musical Offering, @MattPutnam. That is why the "surplus" of rests. To be fair, this would be a very difficult piece to format on a Grand Staff. – Patrx2 Feb 17 at 0:54
up vote 19 down vote accepted

It means quite simply that the voice in question is moving between the clefs (and usually between the hands as well). In this case, the voice starting with G above middle C falls an octave to be continued in the left hand until it returns to G below middle C, then rises back up an octave to be played in the right hand.

Edit: Here is the original score of this passage (m.10ff of the Ricercar a 6 from the Musical Offering). Looking at the range of the individual voices, you can well imagine the number of times voices will cross between staves when this is transcribed to a Grand Staff.

enter image description here

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If it is for piano then it could be consider to be a Glissandi or Glissando. What guitar players know as a slide.

Example of how this is notated.

Gliss

gliss2

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Glissando can be applied to other instruments, right? Besides that, gliss is what came to my mind as well. +1 – Shevliaskovic Mar 6 at 13:18
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It could be a glissando (which is normally specified with gliss. over the line), but in this case it isn't; it's voice crossings. I've added the original score to my answer so you can see how the voices were originally notated. – Patrx2 Mar 6 at 13:27

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