How do you play two half notes beamed together?
Question: A horn student has an audition piece that has an unusual notation -- two half notes beamed together, totaling 2 beats in the meter signature. This is not a tremolo because there is only one beam. Can anyone help with this? P.R.

Answer: It will have to be me. That's shorthand for 8 eighth notes. Takes up less space on the page; requires less effort by the scribe. In an orchestra part it might mean the difference between turning a page or not having to turn one. While we're at it, notice in the below how the 2/2 time is reflected in the beaming of the eighths: two beats per bar:

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