Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
koosmann
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:21 pm

Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by koosmann » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:10 pm

I'm working through Falla's homage to Debussy right now and I'm stuck on one of the symbols used (and google hasn't helped yet). I know that a dot over/under a note makes it staccato, but what does an x over/under a note indicate?

I've attached a snippet of the score where it comes up.

Thanks for the help!
IMG_8734.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tormodg
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 11:13 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by tormodg » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:21 pm

I believe this means that you mute the strings in question with the side of your right hand so the notes are muffled. Or simply just touch (don't press) the strings with your left fingers.
2017 Yngvar Thomassen spruce
1994 Alhambra 6P (cedar, battered, broken and repaired)
+ various steel string and electric guitars

Sold: 2014 Alhambra Linea Profesional (spruce)

DerekB
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:22 am
Location: Bollington, Cheshire UK

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by DerekB » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:27 pm

The Trinity grade 8 book includes this piece. The xs are shown above the note and there is a footnote which says "emphasise and slightly hold the note".
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

Ana Espinosa 2014 Swiss spruce/IRW
Yulong Guo 2009 640mm scale cedar/IRW

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10181
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by lagartija » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:59 pm

DerekB wrote:The Trinity grade 8 book includes this piece. The xs are shown above the note and there is a footnote which says "emphasise and slightly hold the note".
That's interesting...
All the notation I've seen shows tenuto with a straight line over the note. Learn something new here every day! I've never seen an x used .

(I use an x under a note to signify exactly when I am damping a note already played, but that is a personal notation. )
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

Guero
Posts: 433
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:14 am
Location: Baltic Sea, Germany

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Guero » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:48 pm

DerekB wrote:"emphasise and slightly hold the note".
My Chester Music Edition explains:

"Les sons marqués du signe x doivent être accentúes, d'après les nuances et très légèrement retenus."

I`d say that "hold back" is more precise than than just "hold".

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by stevel » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:59 pm

Yeah, there's a tenuto marking right after the 2nd occurrence, so I'd say they were definitely intended for more than just a tenuto (or tenuto accent).

Maybe performed more like a "Fermata Accent"

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1043
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:45 am

Guero and DerekB are correct - but don't overlook the qualifier "very lightly".

Falla was an absolute stickler for detail and collaborated with Llobet at length to create exactly the effects he was looking for.

Rey de la Torre (who studied the work with Llobet) said:
"I wouldn’t make any changes in it. Eliminating those unison C’s and D’s is not just a minor detail. It takes away something that’s very idiomatic, very guitaristic. There is an explanation on the score that the notes marked with an x should be held back a little bit — this creates suspense, suspended time, that is very important. It could not be done by just tenuto, so he had to notate an indication for it. The section at the end of the first page where he indicates a tempo molto ritmico — since there is a sinuous Habanera feeling, (not rubato, a little irregular in the rhythm), if those five bars are done absolutely molto ritmico, strict tempo right in the middle of the piece, it enhances the irregularity of that which surrounds it. It’s very important to do it exactly as written.

Also note that in measure 1, beat two (for example) these symbols are applied to the melody - only the lower voice should be articulated staccato. Almost nobody, including the teacher of a "masterclass" lauded on this very board, gets this right.

User avatar
petermc61
Posts: 5995
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by petermc61 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:05 am

Way too complex all those answers. You can solve the dilemma but just using a minuscule amount of white-out!

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2120
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:50 am

petermc61 wrote:Way too complex all those answers. You can solve the dilemma but just using a minuscule amount of white-out!
A teaching colleague, years ago, told me that he'd played the Homenaje in his diploma recital. In the viva voce part at the end, the examiner, looking at the score, remarked upon all the articulations marked. Yes, my friend nodded in agreement, there are lots.

"So why didn't you do them?" came the question.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1043
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:55 am

petermc61 wrote:Way too complex all those answers. You can solve the dilemma but just using a minuscule amount of white-out!
Brilliant - we could get rid of a few of those darned pesky notes too.
Stephen Kenyon wrote:"So why didn't you do them?" came the question.
Did he pass?

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2120
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:18 am

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Stephen Kenyon wrote:"So why didn't you do them?" came the question.
Did he pass?
I think so. Never did work out whether he was worried about it, whether he was reflecting on his past weaknesses, or what.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

DerekB
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:22 am
Location: Bollington, Cheshire UK

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by DerekB » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:43 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
petermc61 wrote:Way too complex all those answers. You can solve the dilemma but just using a minuscule amount of white-out!
A teaching colleague, years ago, told me that he'd played the Homenaje in his diploma recital. In the viva voce part at the end, the examiner, looking at the score, remarked upon all the articulations marked. Yes, my friend nodded in agreement, there are lots.

"So why didn't you do them?" came the question.
That's why it won't be one of my choices when I take my grade 8.
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

Ana Espinosa 2014 Swiss spruce/IRW
Yulong Guo 2009 640mm scale cedar/IRW

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2120
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:50 am

DerekB wrote:
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
"So why didn't you do them?" came the question.
That's why it won't be one of my choices when I take my grade 8.
Why not do it and use it as the incentive to learn the required techniques?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
Christopher Freitag
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Notation question: x's above/under notes?

Post by Christopher Freitag » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm

Ben Verdery has an excellent blog post on this piece along with a great recording. Search "Verdery homenaje" to find both.
Chris Freitag
cjfguitar

2013 German Vasquez Rubio Concert Special "Bernardi"; German spruce/Brazilian rosewood
2014 Garrett (Gary) Lee spruce/cedar double top; Brazilian rosewood

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”