Why specify the D double sharp here and then an E later in the measure? Why not just an E in the first place? Am I just missing something blatantly obvious?La Campanella m37

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    Does this answer your question? Purpose of double-sharps and double-flats? – guidot Nov 22 '20 at 22:13
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    @guidot FYI: Not a dup. Error in the OP score. – Aaron Nov 22 '20 at 23:04
  • @Aaron: I admit, that the piece is mentioned in the title, but the text of the question seems pretty independent from it. – guidot Nov 23 '20 at 7:55
  • It's a note which is already sharp, according to the key signature, which the composer wanted to be sharpened. – AJFaraday Nov 23 '20 at 9:46

It's an error in the score. The Dx on the & of beat 2 should be a Cx.

The below image comes from the Breitkopf and Härtel first edition on IMSLP. Other scores there corroborate. The Busoni edition ("Franz Liszt: Complete Etudes for Solo Piano, Series II" [1988, Dover]) also agrees.

La Campanella m38 (actually 37)

EDIT: As pointed out in the comments (@James Martin), the lower E on beat 5 should be a D#.

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    There is another discrepancy later in the bar as well, with the lower D# written as an E. – James Martin Nov 23 '20 at 9:43
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    With multiple errors in one bar, I wouldn’t be inclined to trust this edition very far! I’d strongly recommend OP to just use one of the versions from IMSLP instead. – PLL Nov 23 '20 at 12:19
  • Thank you! I have been staring at this measure for days wondering what I’m missing. I’ve only ever played for fun, so I appreciate the help. – gimmethedeetz Nov 23 '20 at 23:16

Unfortunately the only thing d double sharp and e have in common is their position on a piano keyboard. Composers and music theorist prefer more subtle issues like tonality of the piece and the function the note has within that. Under this view there is no similarity.

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    Aside from the fact that (as Aaron’s answer shows) the actual answer to this question is that it’s a typo, you are also severely overstating the distinction. Certainly there’s a meaningful distinction between Dx and E, but “no similarity apart from their position on the keyboard” isn’t true at all: they’re enharmonically equivalent, and there are many ways in which traditional harmony makes use of such equivalence. – PLL Nov 23 '20 at 12:16

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