I have difficulties in interpreting two peculiar notes in Mozart's K.331 Andante Grazioso. I hope you can help in improving my performance.

First question is about the D note evidenced with the arrow:

D note

How should I play that? It seems part of the previous chord, but the score shows it detached, so I am not sure how to approach that.

Another, maybe easier, question is about the very last A of the score (before the variations), you can see that with an arrow.

A note

It shows both up and down stems. Is there a particular way I should interpret it?

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    Your second question is answered here already: why-does-this-note-have-a-stem-pointing-up-and-another-pointing-down – Arsak Apr 24 '19 at 12:33
  • @Arsak thanks! I've read the answers before posting, and I was wondering not about the reason (which I understood from that Q), but the interpretation of that note. If something should be "expressed" more with that (I'm a rookie!). – senseiwa Apr 24 '19 at 12:55
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    Since it's the root note of the key, and the final note of the whole phrase or line, it'll be more emphasised anyway. But having two tails doesn't mean it's twice as loud! – Tim Apr 24 '19 at 13:13

In the first case, because the D has its head so close to the E, it needs to be printed as it is. Otherwise it would be a big blob. Also, it belongs to the lower part of the tune, so its stem is pointing down. You play D, E, G♯ and B all together.

Although it's not all written out satb, there are parts where stems go up, stems go down, but not in the usual tidy way. The last A note'belongs' to both s and a parts, thus has two stems. It gets played as the one note, A.

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  • Thanks! I still have a doubt about whether the A expresses something more since it belongs to two parts. Is expression here a little different than one with a simple A with just one stem? – senseiwa Apr 24 '19 at 12:57
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    @senseiwa The notes played are the same. The stemming is solely there because the part is written for multiple "voices". While it may not directly affect performance, it imparts understanding to the multiple melodic lines occurring simultaneously -- namely that both the soprano and alto voices resolve to a unison note. If it were notated with a single stem, the impression would be that one of those voices just doesn't resolve. – Tristan Apr 24 '19 at 14:04

This 3 part setting becomes devided in 4 parts in the last bar where as the down stemmed notes in the upper stave are the continuation of the tenor voice. The chord with the D you’re asking is containing even 5 tones and in cases like this one note has to be placed a few behind the others for better reading and for notation reasons.

The final A of this section belongs to the sopran and alto as Tim explained and no, you can‘t play it in a special way. But in the first example you might actually emphasize the tenor line of the last bar with that D as sixth parallels of the soprano.

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  • You've mistaken the blunt end of the arrow as important. It isn't. The issue is at the sharp end of the arrow (isn't it always?!) – Tim Apr 24 '19 at 9:41
  • You’re right, Tim. But I understood the previous chord. I see now it was concerning the problem of notation ... I will edit the first part of my answer. – Albrecht Hügli Apr 24 '19 at 9:46

Like most piano scores, this one contains both literal 'what note to play' instructions and musical explanation. Looking at your second example, the final A is played only once. It is the culmination of two musical lines - the little C#, B, A rundown and the G#, A under it. The composer considers it useful to show this, and I agree.

A similar 2-part texture is happening in your first example. The D is offset for a simply practical reason. See below for the (obviously unacceptable) alternative.

enter image description here

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    I'm used to seeing the D slightly to the right of the other 3 notes, but still attached to the same stave, so neither the way your image shows it nor the way it's written in the question above. If you look at the following link, the second to last bar on the first page you'll see what I mean. The A is slightly to the right, but still attached.: slideshare.net/tzinde/piano-sheet-music-nightwish-ever-dream – MeanGreen Apr 24 '19 at 12:22
  • Yes, @MeanGreen, this also happens, when there's no desire or need to indicate polyphony. – Laurence Payne Apr 24 '19 at 16:44

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