I attach a picture where someone told me there are problems in some measures with the Imaginary Bar Line. What can be fixed in this example?



1 Answer 1


By "imaginary bar line," I assume your colleague refers to the practice of notation wherein large beats are clearly defined. This will be best explained by a re-notated example:

enter image description here

Above, notice how every single large beat (1, 2, 3, and 4) is clearly shown and not hidden in the middle of another pitch. This allows the performer (especially those sight reading) to clearly see how all of these subdivisions relate to beats 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Contrast this with your example:

enter image description here

Here it's not immediately clear to the performer where beat 2 is. Is it where the right hand plays that C? And where is beat 3? (It's hidden in the middle of that dotted-quarter C.) Beat 4 is thankfully clear in the right hand, but it's only made clear after a potential confusion on that next-to-last A.

In a perfect world, it's best to show all main beats in the music; in 4/4 time, this would mean showing beats 1, 2, 3, and 4. This isn't always possible, so you at least want to show beats 1 and 3.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.