I've got a trumpet part which is divisi (upper and lower part on one staff). The upper part starts with a F, which has an accidental sharp in front of it. The 3rd note of the lower part is a F as well... Does the accidental also apply to this note?

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    Possible duplicate of Does an accidental apply to all octaves? – Tim H Apr 3 '19 at 18:58
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    Can you post a photo of the measure in question? It is hard to give an answer based on the information here. – Peter Apr 3 '19 at 19:00
  • normally yes, but it would be clear if you told at least what style this piece is in ... – Albrecht Hügli Apr 4 '19 at 9:49
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    @AlbrechtHügli I disagree. The parts are written into the same staff just to save page space. They are completely separate - you wouldn't have a violinist play an accidental just because the clarinet had one in the score! – Carl Witthoft Apr 4 '19 at 13:07
  • @ Carl: we even don't know whether this F# is an accidental or a key sign (what my assumption is) as long we can't see a copy. I'm asking about the style because this would be the only explanation that there could be such strange voicing. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 4 '19 at 13:36

Best practice is to put the accidental in both parts. We could argue the point in polyphonic keyboard music. But this is actually two seperate PLAYERS. Tell them both!

I'm assuming the two F notes are in the same octave. If not, the rule is clear. An accidental only affects the octave it's in. But, nonetheless, a cautionary natural where it ISN'T required would be sensible.

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    This is definitely best practice, but it's very possible that the publisher/composer wasn't following best practices in this case. – Peter Apr 3 '19 at 19:27
  • An accidental only affects the octave it's in. This is correct. But I would like to know the composer's name. Either there should be notated a Gb in the upper voice or - that would be nice of him - a (natural ) F in the 3rd. ... – Albrecht Hügli Apr 5 '19 at 14:22

A "divisi" score is just a way to reduce the amount of paper used. If the same two parts were written as "Horn 1" and "Horn 2" there would be no question that the accidental only applies to the part it's written into.

Therefore, divisi parts follow only their own accidentals, just as they follow only their own slur/staccato, dynamics, etc.


The upper part starts with a F, which has an accidental sharp in front of it.

My assumption is: this is not an accidental but a key sign that says: we are in major G or minor e (trumpet setting!). If you have other parts for C-instruments with one flat in front (after the clef) or Eb-Horns with 2# (F# and C#) this answer is the right one:

The key sign applies to all parts.

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    How can you say that without seeing the actual score? – Carl Witthoft Apr 4 '19 at 19:07
  • Because I want to see the proof :) I’ve written it in my commentaries below the question. Ok. My opininion is my assumption. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 4 '19 at 19:44
  • We actually do know that it is NOT a key signature sharp, because the OP did write that it is an accidental sharp. – Lars Peter Schultz Apr 4 '19 at 22:36
  • Yes, we no nothing. We don't know anything about OP, nothing about the sheet notation, nothing about the title of the piece, nothing about the composer, nothing about the style. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 5 '19 at 14:24

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