Leonard Ornstein's Tarantelle M.1 From Leonard Ornstein's Tarantelle (1963)
Unlike pedal markings, these are above the bottom staff. I feel like it could be phrasing, but that's normally indicated by the beaming of the notes. What do these groupings mean?

  • @AndrewLi That would make sense if this was 9/8. – Okoyos Mar 16 '18 at 5:43

It is phrasing. It's a kind of regrouping of the beats in the left hand, from 4 beats in the bar to 3. It's much more visual using the brackets than just using phrase marks.

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    Wouldn't this normally be notated using note beaming? I think that would be equally as visual. – Okoyos Mar 16 '18 at 9:45
  • @Okoyos note beaming is usually broken at the start of each beat. I have seen beaming,e.g., of groups of 6 16th notes in 4/4 time, but that's a bit easier to interpret than beaming eighth notes in 6/8 or 12/8 time. – Carl Witthoft Mar 16 '18 at 11:19
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    @Okoyos it occurs to me also that, since this is a piano piece, beaming the LH part but not the RH part would make it visually tough to identify synchronized notes. – Carl Witthoft Mar 16 '18 at 11:21
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    @Okoyos Yeah, if this were written by Bartók I think it would definitely be shown with a beaming pattern. But not everyone likes that notation method because it can be hard to read. It looks to me that this composer is trying to find a compromise that preserves the readability of proper 12/8 beam patterns but still shows the anti-metric grouping. It also might be someone dealing with a notation program that can’t do the other beaming easily—note the strangely uncentered 12/8, this doesn’t look like a high quality program. – Pat Muchmore Mar 16 '18 at 11:59
  • @PatMuchmore Also included in Tarantelle are some double beaming in the left hand. I would think that also signifies phrasing, so it seems odd that they would have two different ways of expressing phrasing. Why do you think that is? – Okoyos Mar 16 '18 at 12:31

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