Occasionally I come across pieces of music written for wind ensembles (or similar groups) such that the final held note of a piece is notated like so:
In other words, the final note of the piece ends with a long note tied into an eighth in the last measure.
Yet in my experience this is taught to be no different than what I would consider a more standard notation:
I have always assumed there is no difference in performance between the two, and that the upper notation is simply a reminder to play the whole note full value.
Is this accurate, or are there other explanations that I'm not aware of? Perhaps the upper notation is a more modern version of the older tradition of leaving a fermata over the final barline?
A few additional remarks:
- The upper notation tends to occur in faster pieces, and almost never in slow tempi.
- The upper notation could make more sense if, say, some members of the ensemble actually articulate an eighth note on the downbeat of the last measure. But this is not always the case; in fact, it very rarely is, because often the entire ensemble will articulate that final pitch.
So is there a difference between the two notations, or is the upper notation just a friendly pedagogical reminder?