What do the brackets in the image shown below mean?:

Image of brackets

  • 2
    The given answers are surely correct. But could we also ask what sense it makes a) to notate it b) to put the paranthesis as the left hand has nothing else to fo? Mar 3, 2019 at 16:07
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    It makes sense to notate it, when two independent voices converge temporarily on the same pitch. The notation indicates that the same note "belongs" equally to both voices even if it is only played by one hand. For example, I have seen the same notation in an edition of Bach two-part inventions (invention #8 in particular) Mar 4, 2019 at 2:57

2 Answers 2


My guess (I cannot really see the notes for the upper voice): The same note is already played by your right hand. Both voices share the same note but it obviously only needs to be played once. That's why it is written in brackets for the left hand.

  • Yeah it is the same note now that I look at it. Thanks
    – klippy
    Mar 3, 2019 at 12:13

Your image is clipped, but I'm guessing the top note is two ledger lines below the staff?

That would make the right hand note A. The A in parenthesis is telling you it's the same note as the left hand top staff line. So it's an optional way to play it, using the left hand instead of the right.

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