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I am studying Variation 18 from a Rhapsody of a Theme of Paganini. I have stumbled uppon a confusing set of notes. I see this comming back in the measures. In the first picture below you start, for the right hand with, AD. This is surrounded with a green square. This chord has 2 a length of 2 whole notes. Then shortly after, the measure says that I need to hit the A again. This is surrounded by a red square. I find this confusing. If I would hit the A for a second time it would contradict with the length of the chord AC. Something similar also happens in the second image. Could anyone please explain how I should play those notes for the right hand?

Third measure of Variaton 18.

Fourth measure of Variation 18

Variation 18 starts at page 70.

  • It does help a little indeed. Thank you for referring to this. The part of the practical description is the most helpful. :) – Clifford Jun 23 at 17:04
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You have made a couple of errors here I'm afraid.

You have misnamed a few of the notes. The right hand part is in the treble clef at this point I think and, if I remember correctly, its in D flat major so there is a key signature of 5 flats. Also you have referred to something as a "whole note", which means something else in music.

Now to your counting issue: there are mutiple voices (i.e. parts) at work here and they need to be viewed seperately.

The first chord in the right hand (f and d flat) lasts for two crotchets (UK) or quarter notes (US). Anyway that is followed by the triplet (B flat,C,D flat) making a third crotchet all adding up to three crotchets.

The second voice on the upper staff starts with a rest (of a single triplet) and is followed by 5 further triplet notes, making two crotchets. The last triplet is tied to a crotchet making, again, a total of three crotchets. The left hand part pretty much follows the same pattern as the second voice of the right hand.

The second example should now be a bit more obvious I hope. By the way I'm pretty sure that right hand part is in treble clef so the first notes are F and A flat. And yes you do play the F again because its in the other voice part.

Hope that helps

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  • It is indeed in D flat major. It think that my confusion is caused by the multiple voices. So the first voice of the right hand is thus the chord F flat, D flat and the triplet B flat, C, D flat. The second voice of the right hand are the remaining notes. But should I play, the first note first, and then play the second voice? – Clifford Jun 23 at 11:44
  • I mean first voice first and then the second voice? – Clifford Jun 23 at 12:06
  • Never mind. I will pedal the whole bar such that both voices can be played simultainesly. – Clifford Jun 23 at 12:17
  • @Clifford - There is no F flat. Ony F natural. – Tim Jun 23 at 12:46
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Apart from - don't play the notes you named!

It's in 3/4, but could have been called 9/8, as there are plenty of triplets around. Looking at the stem direction, it's written in two parts for the r.h. and sort of two parts (missing rests) for l.h.

As such, the top part r.h. has a minim, followed by a crotchet's worth of triplet quavers. That adds up. Stems down - triplet quaver rest, then two triplets, and yes, that F does get played again. There isn't a simpler way to write what he wanted, and it's nowhere near unusual to see 'impossible to play' notes like this.

Pedalling is often at the discretion of the player, and here, I'd probably pedal the whole bar, or at least the first two-thirds.That way, there's no need to hold down the top Dâ™­.

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    So stem up is voice one, stem down is voice two. Aha I see. – Clifford Jun 23 at 11:59
  • Oké thnx, I think I understand it a little better. I think If I would pedal the whole bar I can play both voices symultaniously. – Clifford Jun 23 at 12:14

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