In a beer-selection.com sheet, how could I write down "play this line OR this line, as you like".

You are watching: What does ossia mean in music

The reason is that if the player is skilled, they will choose to play the first line, but if not, they will prefer the second one.

Is there any defined way to write that? Any specific symbols? A convention?


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That is called an "Ossia", it is a beer-selection.comal term for "alternatively". Which means the player can either play the alternative passage or the original passage. The Ossia is frequently used in Liszt"s pieces. The Urtext for Balakirev"s Islamey also contains many alternative passages.

Here is an example of an Ossia notation in Liszt"s Hungarian Rhapsody No.6 in Db Major.

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An Ossia passage could sometimes be notated only for one clef like in the example. Although I"m not sure if you could change the use of the sustain pedal in the alternative passage, it"s better to ask a professional or a teacher. Or someone who might know.


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