I found this odd notation in some music by Verdi. The part is 9/8, and there are several notes with four bars. In particular, there are some dotted half notes connected with four bars, and 16/th notes with extra two bars. I believe it's some kind of tremolo. Does anybody know what it is exactly? Thanks!

Please note that there are FOUR bars, not three as covered in other questions.

Simon Boccanera, Verdi, Atto Primo

  • 1
    There are actually only two bars, the other two are for note value, not tremolo. Aug 23, 2015 at 2:02

2 Answers 2


This is an unmeasured tremolo between notes, as indicated by the two bars between the notes. You would perform this by alternating between the two sets of notes as many times as you can in the given duration.

You can read more about tremolo at this page

  • @user3338584 4 bars would indicate unmeasured tremolo again in your case because it's between half notes Aug 23, 2015 at 20:26

You alternate the higher note and the lower note quickly. This abbreviation saves the composer and the copyist some effort.

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