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Systemic barlines in piano music.

Systemic barlines connect the two staves of the grand staff, which can also be called a "system."

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: A bar line (or barline) is a single vertical line used to divide a musical staff into measures. In piano music – or any music in which a grand staff is used – bar lines connect both staves throughout the composition; these are called “systemic barlines.”

A bar line may also be referred to simply as a “bar.” However, in British English, bar is synonymous with measure. Other types of bar lines include the double bar, the repeat bar, and the final barline.

►  Learn More About Constructing a Musical Staff

Also Known As:
  • barline / bar-line
  • stanghetta; barra (It)
  • [simple] barre de mesure (Fr)
  • Taktstrich (Ger)

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