The final section of Scott Joplin's "Solace" has notes in the left hand that look like this:

X: 1
M: 2/4
L: 1/16
K: Fmaj clef=bass
%%score (T B)
[V:T] C,,3G,[EC]2G,2
[V:B] C,,6G,2

Somehow you're supposed to hold down the dotted quarter while playing the other notes more two octaves away.

Should I not try to interpret this literally -- like an orchestral reduction, or what the composer would want played if you were recording for a piano roll or if you had an extra hand? Implicit pedal markings?

  • @Aaron yes, pedal is one possible answer My question is whether that is also the correct answer in this specific case Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 13:44
  • It is. That's why I voted it as a duplicate. Otherwise I or others would have left a case-specific answer.
    – Aaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2021 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


This is piano music. A piano has a sustain pedal. Depress it as you play the low C, release it with the final G. Or, rather than releasing, 'change' pedal there, up and immediately down again. As well as simply sustaining, the pedal adds resonance. Could be a good idea to keep that resonance going.

  • My ragtime band played this in the 70's, and the trombone just held the bass C. Worked very well also. Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 15:23
  • Yes. Piano players often have to 'fake' something which is easy and routine in instrumental scores.
    – Laurence
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 17:16

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