In this version of sheet music "The Rain" by Joe Hisaishi, how should I read this line?

It seems that voice y in measure 42 is missing one eighth note (between eighth note B in treble clef and quarter note F in bass clef) and has one redundant quarter rest?

"The Rain", Joe Hisaishi, mm. 41 – 44

original image:

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4 Answers 4


Treat the B in m. 42 beat 1 as though it is a quarter-note.

Two alternative notations are given below.

  • The first keeps "voice y" intact and uses left- and right-hand brackets to show how to play it.
  • The second adds a quarter-note stem to the right-hand chord and removes the quarter rest.

Voice intact with handedness brackets

Double-stem on melody note


It appears that the typesetter took the upper section of the bass clef as a single part, and this part has a crotchet rest for the first beat of bar 42. The low B in the right hand is regarded as part of the right hand part. The diagonal lines do not show where the part moves from staff to staff (as would naturally understand them), but instead show how the melody moves from one part to another. This approach is consistent mathematically.

I would prefer to regard that B as a note in a part that moves between staves. If the music is understood this way the crotchet rest should not be present, and the low B in the right hand is a crotchet. It only appears to be a quaver, because the extension of the stem coincides with the stem of the quaver in the right hand accompaniment part. Aaron's answer shows two other ways of notating it.


I would play the music as notated and not treat that "Voice Y" B in Bar 42 as a quarter note.

That "Voice Y" B 8th note is immediately followed by another 8th note on the exact same B. This means you need to re-strike it an 8th note in.

Using lines to show the voice is noble, but don't always assume the voice has to be continuous, with no rests.

  • 1
    I wonder if you misunderstood my post. Of course one re-strikes the eighth note, but musically, it's a quarter note.
    – Aaron
    Mar 20, 2023 at 6:17
  • 2
    Isn't it B natural?
    – Tim
    Mar 20, 2023 at 8:44
  • @Tim - Whoops, it is a B natural. Edited my answer accordingly.
    – Dekkadeci
    Mar 21, 2023 at 5:25

There are three musical 'voices' going on here. The bass line, the mid-range melody and the 8th-note accompaniment in the upper stave.

Ideally, this would be played by three instruments. A cello or double bass on the bottom, a tenor-range melody instrument, a keyboard on top. At the point in question, the melody instrument could then hold a full quarter note on that B, while the keyboard could also play its 8th note.

But we're covering all three 'instruments' with one piano keyboard! We must compromise. It is technically impossible to literally hold the melody note full length while also playing the figuration above. But it's quite possible to give the impression that this is happening! This happens a lot in piano music. Don't worry about it.

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