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Why are the notes for the right and left hands of a piano part combined into one staff, and how can the notes be separated into right- and left-hand staves?

Many MIDI files use only a single track for the piano or keyboard. If you find the notes for a piano or keyboard part combined into a single staff, you can separate them into right- and left-hand staves using the Split Hands command in Notation's Staff menu.

This "split hands" option is set "on" by default in Notation products, and so when you open a new .mid (MIDI) file, you will be given the suggestion to split a staff that appears to be a keyboard staff into a two-hands, two-staff part. If you don't do this when you first open the file, you can always do it later using the Staff/Split hands command.

Notation employs quite intelligent logic for determining how to distribute notes between the right- and left-hand staves for a keyboard part. The logic is far more intelligent than simply splitting notes at, say, middle-C. The logic applies an analysis of finger positions and speed, and hand movement up and down the keyboard.

Notation cannot claim to perfectly distribute notes between the right- and left-hand staves. Notation makes it easy, however, to correct any mistakes it makes. Just select a note, and while holding down the Shift key, hit the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to move the note the staff above or below.