I'm very new to composing and notating, and sheet music has never been my forte (no pun intended). I've already composed a piece and I'm now trying to notate it. What I want is two voices - in the lower, a G half-diminshed 7 chord rising and falling over 2 octaves, and in the upper voice a simple, rising melody.

It sounds like this when I play it, but I'm stuck on how to notate it.

I tried it like this:

enter image description here But this has a few problems.

First off, it doesn't include the final fall from the F down to the Bb after the last melody note (listen to the recording to see what I mean).

And second, although the 32nd notes are so fast you can't even really tell, I feel like the 32nd note rest every time there is a melody note is the wrong rhythm. But if I don't have it, the rests get very complicated and the whole thing just sort of falls apart.

So how should I notate this? I'm completely stuck, and I feel like I'm missing something obvious.

  • Just to rule this out, is there a missing F at the top part of this arpeggio? I figure that if you played ---> [G Bb Db F] [G Bb Db F] [ _ F Db Bb] [Gb F Db Bb] <--- you wouldn't have need of a 32nd rest at the end, and your melody would still line up with the lowest note of the pattern in the LH, which is what you appear to want in the graphic you posted. On the other hand, that would somewhat lessen the "free-flowing" character of the pattern. But, I'm asking just for now whether the F is intentionally omitted.
    – Neal
    Jan 1, 2018 at 20:19
  • "Cross-staff notation" would make it more readable. Jan 1, 2018 at 21:30
  • Ancient question, but I don't think the answer you got is actually what you wanted. I hear no rest at all between the 1/32 note in the third beat and the one before that. So you should actually double the rest at the start of the second beat, to make it add up.
    – user21820
    Aug 31, 2022 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


Notated piece I quite like this line, OP. Not sure how I didn't see this post before, but here goes. From listening to your recording here's the notation I came up with. I did away with the bass clef since the line doesn't go low enough to justify it. I'm not sure how you fingered it (whether it was a two hand arpeggio or not) but using two treble clefs will work if you would rather notate it split hand. I also changed the rhythm because that's the way you played it. You put more length into certain notes, mainly the first G, high F, and low Bb. You also syncopated a bit with your high Bb.

I feel like this makes it more clear than splitting it up. It also gives it a much more interesting rhythm than straight 32nd notes and quarter notes, which again is the way you played it. The dynamics also make it more clear that you're emphasizing the Bb, giving the whole line a duality of sorts by arpeggiating G minor yet playing with the idea of becoming major. I would love to see where the rest of this goes.


1: Can you show the next bar? (ie where you say the problem is)

2: I listened to the video on half speed and it sounds like the high A is not where you want it to be- in the little space before the start of the 3rd beat. It is therefore clashing with the LH G and Bb.

3: Your notation appears to be fine- the LH notes are pointing down and the RH notes are pointing up.

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