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When I want to denote the staccato of a chord with some notes that are really close, like this: enter image description here

Do I need a dot over each note? Is one dot over one of the notes enough?

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3  
Shev, you would put both the sharp and natural on the left hand side of the two noteheads. – Bob Broadley Feb 21 at 11:00
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Although, some composers use split stems to reach pairs of noteheads like these. Bartok is an example. – Bob Broadley Feb 21 at 11:04
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Yes. That's right. – Bob Broadley Feb 21 at 11:40
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I would recommend making that G# an Ab. I've never seen "sharp,note,natural,note" before, and neither have I seen "sharp,natural,note,note". – SirPython Feb 21 at 14:08
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@SirPython - that may be one problem, another could be that the 'changed' note should be a G#, say, as an augmented, so it shouldn't be written as an Ab, but sometimes rules need to be broken. Isn't that why we make 'em? – Tim Feb 21 at 16:09
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Staccato is stem specific rather than head specific. Thus one dot will suffice. The other way would be to make the note actually exactly as long (short!) as you want, then put the appropriate rest. Staccato itself, to me, is a bit vague, and can be interpreted in subtly different ways, as far as note length - brevity - is concerned.

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It is not vague it means detached. – Neil Meyer Feb 21 at 11:41
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@NeilMeyer - not every performer will play staccato the same is what I mean. One person's detached is another's... When there is a specific note length followed by a rest, then it's absolute. – Tim Feb 21 at 11:58
    
I know that a rest would be more precise, but I was wondering for the staccato of a chord – Shevliaskovic Feb 21 at 12:47
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For me, staccato has the same length regardless of tempo, whereas a note value is affected by tempo. If i were re-interpreting something and changing the tempo, or using rubato, the difference between staccato and a precise note value would matter. I see them as two very different things and personally would not be inclined to substitute one for the other. Dots go with stems gets you +1 though. – Todd Wilcox Feb 21 at 16:40
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@Tim There are no hard and fast rules for this, but I personally don't think of it that way. Staccato is an effect that I take to be (fairly) consistent for a given note, independent of its length. In the end, it's a matter of feel; sometimes a "harder" staccato is called for, and sometimes a "softer" one is more appropriate. All of the attempts to make various distinctions in staccato in my comment to NeilMeyer didn't really take, primarily because the tendency of 20th-century composers for performance micromanagement never really took either. – BobRodes Feb 22 at 2:57

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