What is the score indicating here? This is Norton's Misty Day - it's a pretty straightforward piano score, then on the measure before this, the treble clef switches to bass clef and this measure is scored. Hairpins and pedal I think can be ignored while I'm learning the notes, but I'm puzzled by:

  • the line from bottom stave to top stave
  • are there three voices? and the line indicates a voice moves to the top stave? Should the right hand continue to play everything in the top stave?

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2 Answers 2


Voice leading. Right hand keeps playing top staff and left hand bottom staff, but the melody line continues where the voice leading line leads: the listener should not notice that the melody line is now being played with the right hand.


This line helps the eye track the melody across different clefs, instruments, or voices. Here indicates the melody moving from the high voice in the bass clef to the low voice in the tenor clef. In piano scores, the marking is intended to guide phrasing. For example, this melody bit should probably be "brought out" - it is unlikely that the composer intended to let this line get covered up or lost in the rest of the harmony notes.

Bonus point: this notation is also commonly found in barbershop sheet music for the same reasons when the melody moves from one singer to another.

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