On the "Domenico Scarlatti: Sonates, Volume 10" edition of Scarlatti Sonata in F minor K.466 (obtainable from imslp), there are two occasions where the letter "G" is marked above a note, in bar 20 and 59 respectively:

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What is the purpose of the letter "G" at that position? I observed that:

  1. The two instances are related, since the second section of the sonata is a development of the first section.
  2. The interval is an augmented octave.
  3. The upper note is executed as scored in all recordings, i.e. Ab on the first occasion and Db on the second.
  4. The score is written for the harpsichord.

Piano scores occasionally clarify which hand you need to use.

Since Scarlatti was Italian, in his scores he would occasionally write M ("manca") for left hand and D ("destra") for right hand.

But since the edition you're looking at was published in Paris, they've translated these into French. The G stands for "gauche," or "left." (Right would be "droite.")

PS - Those intervals actually aren't augmented octaves, but rather minor ninths. I'm being pedantic, but it actually makes a difference!

  • Interesting! I would have been a while figuring that out myself. Not that it would make much difference to me; if I thought I could do it more easily with the right hand (I don't in this case) I would. Call me a rebel...
    – BobRodes
    Dec 11 '17 at 22:18

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