Posted by Kendall Prinz on November 30, 1999 at 23:58:56:
In Reply to: Re: Re: accidental Q posted by Chuck Jackson on November 30, 1999 at 13:29:13:
I hate to disagree with you guys but I think that it is usually an exception (rather than a rule) that it is assumed an accidental carries through all octaves. I think the exception falls within music in the classical period or russian compositions such as Lebedev Concerto in one movement.
In my experience, contemporary notation practices dictate that accidentals apply to the specific pitch (not pitch class). I am not only referring to twelve-tone or twentieth century music, but all pieces that are published with contemporary notation, whether it's a classical transcription or a contemporary piece. If you look at most tuba solos, they will indicate an accidental if the note occurs in another octave. I have also seen classical scores that follow the same practice(Mozart, for instance). One such piece you can refer to is the Gregson concerto. Most contemporary publishing programs (such as finale) do follow this same procedure, and in fact do not place an accidental that cancels out altered notes of other octaves.
I think that the only sure way to know if the accidental carries is to look at the score and see what the other voices are doing. If this is not possible simply consider the character of the piece and the context of the accidental and decide which convention applies to the music.