Consider the placement of accents for chords that are split between the bass and treble (Chopin Mazurka op. 59, no 3, bar 34) :

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and bar 101:

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I suddenly became unsure if the accent for the second case (bar 101) is only for the treble chord (Ciss octave) and not to be played for the b in the bass?

1 Answer 1


Typesetters add modifying symbols such as stress marks, dots, staccato's etc. per voice or staff, not per system. So in your second example, the accent mark is only applying to the right hand octave.

  • Thanks! This seems like a reasonable assumption. So for the case of bar 34, the accent applies to both staffs? But if it instead was moved below the bass staff, it would only apply to the bass? Apr 17, 2014 at 13:36
  • From a musical point of view, I would only put emphasis on the right hand in bar 34. It's the upper F# that's important, as it is being tied to the next measure. All other notes on this last beat are on the non emphatic part of the cadence. Also, based on the context of the following measures, you see a pattern of stressed third beats in the melody (the upper notes of the right hand), but not in the accompaniment. I'm not sure why the editor put the accent mark between the two staves, but it seems to belong to the upper F#.
    – 1sloc
    Apr 17, 2014 at 17:03

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