with reference to this answer, tremolo notation,

It's not completely clear to me how one should interpret two bars placed on a half-note, in 4/4 (or 2/4) time. I'd always treated a two-bar marking as splitting the base-beat note into four pieces, so two bars on a half-note would mean playing sixteenths. However, some references such as dolmetsch indicate a double-slash half note to be played as eighth notes.

My particular concern in this case is the cello part to Dvorak's New World Symphony. What's the proper interpretation?

  • 2
    I think you're misinterpreting the dolmetsch reference, the example shows a single-slash half note to be played as eighth notes.
    – DallaLiyly
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 0:55
  • @MunchyWilly Ahhh, right .. my ancient eyes thought there were two,not one, slash thru the half note. Thanks for setting me straight. Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


While having each slash represent a division of the note into equal halves would be logical, this doesn't hold true when on a half note (or longer note). Rather, a better general rule is that each slash represents the number of beams equal to how many each note would have if written out.

Thus, 2 slashes on a half note mean that the note should be divided into sixteenth-notes (which have 2 beams).

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