I was watching Liszt B minor Sonata on YouTube with the sheet music when I came across what looks like a Slur covering the grand stave. I haven’t seen this before, if it’s common one obviously needs to study more music but what’s its purpose here and how would you play this? Is it just a way of connecting the right hand and left hand as smoothly as possible?

slur extending grand staff

It’s measure five, going into six. Oh, Liszt.

2 Answers 2


Yes, this is very common in piano music. A musical phrase doesn't care whether it's all played by one hand, or split between the two. Here's some more examples from earlier in the same piece. Note the one in the bottom line. The engraver COULD have attempted a complicated curve, taking the phrase mark down to the lower stave and up again. But I think the musical intention is quite clear without doing that.

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Yes, it's as simple as that. The phrase is all eight notes, played as in one breath.

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