D4 Piano Notation - Tied Note Underneath with Crossing of Left Hand in Bass Clef - Clef Issue?

Hi, I am working on a piano piece where I have low bass notes in octaves where i want the notes to sustain for the duration of two bars as shown below. I am hoping to cross the left hand into the treble clef but it puts the tied note into the new clef.

Example 2 is how i’m wanting it to look but i want the f# to be in the treble clef while the tied note stays in the bass clef. I’m not sure if I’m missing something obvious here or maybe I’ve got the notation wrong. Wondering if there is an option to force the tied notes to stay in position after a clef change or something similar. Cheers Simon

You’d have to cheat it graphically, by actually notating the semibreves/whole notes in the second bar as the D a third under the F (natural!) and the D an octave lower, then use slurs rather than ties to attach them to the semibreves/whole notes in bar 1.

With my pianist’s hat on, though, please don’t do this. An F above the bass staff is totally fine - two ledger lines is much more legible than the ambiguity you’re currently striving to achieve.


As you can see here. It’s starting to get pretty high with the ledger lines. Would this be acceptable for a pianist do you think? I guess it doesn’t bother me if i had to learn it but you never know. I’ve been in trouble before because of these sorts of things. Thanks so much for your help. There’s usually some way to get it done and I’ll try your suggestion unless you think I’m good to go with the ledger lines as they are. Cheers!

How about this quick example?

I untied the F to F octave, then nudged-up the F-F octave in the second bar to the top then used the slur. The slur is being adjusted in Engrave mode. But the playback won’t sound correct anyway.

One alternative would be to do something like this:

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Or this:

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That works, but there’s something weird about the top staff being taken by the left hand and simultaneously having notes that are pitched lower than the notes in the bottom staff. It just doesn’t sit right with me.

You could consider adding a temporary extra staff…

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Maybe with the mention of left-hand and right-hand, the music might sound clear.


Thanks so much guys. I’m thinking I’ll try and exchange the ties for slurs and keep it in the bass clef if I can. Hoping the pedal line keeps my bass sustained playback wise. If that doesn’t work I’m thinking extra stave but these are all great suggestions! Dorico forum is a benchmark for community support! I’m still waiting for a Mother’s Day picture mug from last week express posted and apparently they left it in the garden! Cheers Legends.


You can use your example 2 (see above), but don’t add the two whole-notes octave in the second bar, just use the first two whole-notes octave, with l.v (let vibrate or laissez vibrer), I’d maybe try this solution by also adding a pressed sustain pedal Ped. symbol.

Perfect! Thanks mate. Would I need a ped line as well do you think? Or just the ped marking with an l.v written next to the octave. I know I used to have an incomplete tie with an l.v in some percussion writing on occasion in Sibelius which I think was fine. This solution should definitely do the job as far as I’m concerned. Cheers again!

(You can also input octave lines that only apply to a specific voice, so you could show the F an octave below using the bass clef but with an 8va octave line? Apologies if that’s been suggested earlier in the thread, I confess I’ve not read every reply in great detail.)

Fwiw, I think this is a recipe for disaster. It appears at first glance that the note changes, so I suspect it would lead to errors, especially when sight reading. (I know you’re just trying to help the OP, but as a trained keyboardist I’d much prefer some of the latter examples which are much more easily parseable at a quick glance.)

I’d combine a Ped. indication (perhaps with l.v. ties on the low F’s) and omit the F’s in the second measure. It’s not as if one is holding down the low F with one’s hand while striking the other notes with the same hand.

This is surely a candidate for the third (sotenuto) pedal, which is not, of course, available on all pianos. I would indicate this and shorten the bass notes to one semibreve, with laissez vibrer ties extending them. Indeed, the text laissez vibrer might also be added.

But why not temporarily add a third stave, just for this octave, and give the notes their full length? That would make it quite clear what you want, and pianists may then achieve it as best they can!


No, but you can easily hold down the f’s with the left and take everything else with the right for a few beats, as is much more easily understood by Janus’s example or NorFont’s right beneath it.

I also considered this, but then why would the engraver label the added notes L.H? Perhaps it is a case of trying to be too specific. I kind of like David’s idea of adding an extra staff for the held bass note.

Why can’t you duplicate the instrument and play only those bass notes?
You can apply sustain to the bass notes as you like.
The midi sustain command is common for all the entire keyboard and can’t be separated for different ranges.
(I understand certain mechanical pianos would allow you to do that.)

Given the mention of “hands” in the original post, I suspect we can safely assume that this is being prepared to be read by a real human being, not (just) performed by a VST. Presenting a human being with multiple grand staves is not the done thing.

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