Please could someone clarify what the highlighted note combination means? The source is the song "Paint it Black" sheet music for guitar and piano.


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    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


quite simple:

The 3. verse contains two syllable below the 2nd. quarter (Maybe) and the 2. verse two syllable below the 4th. quarter (people)

so if you play or sing the tune of the 3. verse you have to play or sing 2 eight notes, and dito in the 2. verse.

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    Nice! FWIW, in instrumental music, with more formal notation, the "alternate" notes would be marked with a "2" or "3" to indicate on which verses they should be used. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 13:44
  • An alternative version for notating this is to write it as 2 eight notes tied together, but the tie is a dotted or dashed line instead of a solid. So in the verse where the lyrics are one syllable, the tie applies and otherwise sing it as separate eight notes
    – Johan
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 14:28

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