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Help! What does this symbol mean?

Rodney

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My research has drawn a blank as to what the x symbols under bass clef notes mean. I’ve only encountered them in accordion scores in the bass clef such as in the attached photo and I’d love to know what it means.
 

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My first thought was that it's written using software that can't do either a double-sharp or a ghost note correctly, but no.
It can't be a double-sharp, because there's a natural accidental on one.
It can't be a ghost note, because there's fingering on one.

FWIW, I'd guess it's articulation of some kind.
Could it be an alternative notation for bellows shake?

Have you looked for recordings (e.g. on Youtube)?
If you say what the pieces are, someone here might know how they are to be played.
 
My first thought was that it's written using software that can't do either a double-sharp or a ghost note correctly, but no.
It can't be a double-sharp, because there's a natural accidental on one.
It can't be a ghost note, because there's fingering on one.

FWIW, I'd guess it's articulation of some kind.
Could it be an alternative notation for bellows shake?

Have you looked for recordings (e.g. on Youtube)?
If you say what the pieces are, someone here might know how they are to be played.
Great point Ed! It’s from a Tomplay score, so I’ll ask the question there.
 
It looks like those instances are in proximity to F major chords but the notes marked would be easiest to reach on the counterbass rows from F major so it might just be an aid to recommend counterbass row?
Thanks for responding Ben-jammin. You might have a point, for some reason, I had it in my mind that a tenuto-like line under a bass note actually is a counter bass indication. Hopefully a forum member will be able to enlighten us ☺️
 
I had it in my mind that a tenuto-like line under a bass note actually is a counter bass indication.
Similarly, I've seen a fingering digit underlined to indicate counterbass; this is my preference. But I've only seen it where fingering is below the bass/counterbass notes. Here it's above them, where the lines of the staff would conflict.
 
Similarly, I've seen a fingering digit underlined to indicate counterbass; this is my preference. But I've only seen it where fingering is below the bass/counterbass notes. Here it's above them, where the lines of the staff would conflict.
Thanks for your post Ed. The scores where I’m seeing this ‘x’ are from Tomplay so I’ve raised a query with them in the hope they’ll be able to identify and contact the arranger concerned 🤞
 
The 'x' symbol is explained or defined here. Not sure if this applies to your example or initial question.
Music symbols.JPG
 
The 'x' symbol is explained or defined here. Not sure if this applies to your example or initial question.
Music symbols.JPG
Thank you for your response Imschgo, the final symbol certainly looks like the symbol used in the Tomplay score. It appears to be a catch all symbol which might have been used by an arranger who wasn’t aware of the Tenuto-like symbol used to suggest use of a counter bass note. I hope that Tomplay might be able to tell us why the symbols are used in their scores and hope it isn’t just an idiosyncrasy.
 
The 'x' symbol is explained or defined here. Not sure if this applies to your example or initial question.
Music symbols.JPG
The descriptions at right clearly refers to the graphics as different types of "note heads". These don't apply to any of those symbols being used as articulation or other types of marking, only as note heads.

Thanks for responding Ben-jammin. You might have a point, for some reason, I had it in my mind that a tenuto-like line under a bass note actually is a counter bass indication. Hopefully a forum member will be able to enlighten us ☺️
That is correct; that is the notation that the AAA standard (among others) uses (to my annoyance - I'd very much prefer to use the mark for its original meaning, which is especially useful on accordion where often the default is to do... the opposite of a tenuto, at least in the bass). Perhaps it annoyed this publisher as well, and they preferred this as an alternative. But it does very much appear to be getting used where a counter bass would make the most sense.
 
The descriptions at right clearly refers to the graphics as different types of "note heads". These don't apply to any of those symbols being used as articulation or other types of marking, only as note heads.


That is correct; that is the notation that the AAA standard (among others) uses (to my annoyance - I'd very much prefer to use the mark for its original meaning, which is especially useful on accordion where often the default is to do... the opposite of a tenuto, at least in the bass). Perhaps it annoyed this publisher as well, and they preferred this as an alternative. But it does very much appear to be getting used where a counter bass would make the most sense.
Thanks Micah, now at least it makes sense even if it’s nonsense, I learned early on that the bass is played pretty much staccato and that using a counter bass note avoids unnecessary jumps to possibly the wrong note!
 
Thank you for your response Imschgo, the final symbol certainly looks like the symbol used in the Tomplay score. It appears to be a catch all symbol which might have been used by an arranger who wasn’t aware of the Tenuto-like symbol used to suggest use of a counter bass note. I hope that Tomplay might be able to tell us why the symbols are used in their scores and hope it isn’t just an idiosyncrasy.
Note that the AAA standard is to underline the fingering digit, not the note itself. It does not look like a tenuto in that context and hence cannot easily be confused with one. However, in order for the underline to be clearly seen, the fingering digit must be placed outside the staff lines. From its capabilities, I infer that Tomplay has its own sheet music editor that arrangers must use. I suspect, from your original image, that the Tomplay software does not provide control over the placement of fingering digits, always placing them above the note, sometimes in the middle of the staff. It also may not support the underlining of fingering. Thus, perhaps, the need to deviate from AAA. The arranger didn't want to use an underline by itself (and contrary to AAA) where it would be confused with a tenuto.

Just a theory! (disproven!)
 
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Note that the AAA standard is to underline the fingering digit, not the note itself. It does not look like a tenuto in that context and hence cannot easily be confused with one. However, in order for the underline to be clearly seen, the fingering digit must be placed outside the staff lines. From its capabilities, I infer that Tomplay has its own sheet music editor that arrangers must use. I suspect, from the OP's original image, that the Tomplay software does not provide control over the placement of fingering digits, always placing them above the note. It also may not support the underlining of fingering. Thus, perhaps, the need to deviate from AAA. The arranger didn't want to use an underline by itself (and contrary to AAA) where it would be confused with a tenuto.

Just a theory!
Thanks for the added information Ed, I think that probably I now have a picture that’s as clear as it’s going to get.
 
Note that the AAA standard is to underline the fingering digit, not the note itself.
That is patently incorrect. The wording clearly states "short dash under the bass note". Fingering digits are not mentioned in any way in that part, though the diagram does include one. Actual practice also clearly bears out that it is under the note, when no fingering digit is present.

[Edit for clarification: obviously, if fingering is present, convention is to place it under the fingering (though the standard itself is silent on this apart from the graphic), which avoids the confusion. Frequently however, fingering is omitted. Also frequently (though somewhat less so), convention is not followed, particularly if digital scoring software is used and tenuto is the only practical option available to mark things that way. The point is that tenuto can not be safely used with bass notes, to unambiguously represent tenuto. They are identical to a counter-bass indication with no fingering.]
 
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Regarding the original question on use of "x" in accordion music notation, I'll offer up what I know and a source example:

In the book, "The Art of Playing The Hohner Piano Accordion," c. 1933, you'll find "x" used throughout the instruction book to denote use of the counterbase keys. It has the advantage of not being confused with anything else!!

I'll try to attach a couple of pdf/jpg pages as an example:
 

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That is patently incorrect. The wording clearly states "short dash under the bass note". Fingering digits are not mentioned in any way in that part, though the diagram does include one. Actual practice also clearly bears out that it is under the note, when no fingering digit is present.
Apologies, you're absolutely right. I'd always seen it with fingering, and of course the example confirmed my expectation.
 
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