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The left accompanied it, but not simply like a shadow: it stopped, paused for a few bars, brought in the right hand again, picked up the melody from it, continued alone, then threw the melody back to the right hand.

I searched online dictionaries for the verb bring in but the meanings don't fit with the sentence.

So, could please explain it to me?

The fuller text:

Konrad practiced piano whenever he had time ...until the "Mosquitoes's wedding". in the "Mosquitoes's wedding" the hands worked indepentently. The right hand played its melody. The left accompanied it, but not simply like a shadow: it stopped, paused for a few bars, brought in the right hand again, picked up the melody from it, continued alone, then threw the melody back to the right hand.

From Small World by Martin Suter.

Translated from German, here is the original:

Bei der "Mückenhochzeit" machten sich die Hände selbständig. Die Rechte spielte ihre Melodie, die Linke begleitete sie. Und zwar nicht einfach wie ein Schatten. Sie blieb ein bißchen stehen, verschnaufte ein paar Takte, holte die Rechte wieder ein, nahm ihr gar die Melodie ab, führte sie alleine weiter, warf sie ihr wieder zu, kurz: benahm sich wie ein selbständiges Lebewesen mit einem eigenen Willen.

  • Unless you're asking specifically for an explanation, based on English meanings, for why the translator chose that phrase, it seems to me that the German SE would be more appropriate. – Acccumulation Aug 9 at 22:13
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The translation might be wrong. The corresponding German phrase is

holte die Rechte wieder ein

which I would translate as 'caught up with the right (hand) again'. 'holte ... ein' is from the verb einholen, which can indeed mean 'to bring in something' but in this case it's definitely the other meaning.

  1. to catch up to
  2. to reel

(source: Wiktionary)

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    I agree."einholen" only means "to bring something in" in some narrow contexts. The only three examples I can think of right now are getting advice, lowering a flag and hauling a net. In this case, it obviously means "catch up". – Jörg W Mittag Aug 9 at 5:56
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In music, we sometimes refer to players as “coming in” when they join others already playing. For instance, a piece may start with just violins and then the trumpets “come in”. The conductor motioning for the trumpets to start could be said to “bring in” the trumpets.

A piano is played with two hands, so one hand could be said to “come in” or the player could be said to “bring in” that hand, as if he is a conductor mentally directing the hands of two independent players.

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    I thought of that too, but the left hand is the subject of that entire sentence, and "it stopped, paused for a few bars" so it's unlikely to be able to "bring in" the right hand which (presumably) is still playing. – Glorfindel Aug 9 at 6:51
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    That could be the case, but we have the German original, which introduces the much more likely option of this being a mistranslation, as explained in Glorfindel's answer. – Llewellyn Aug 9 at 20:03
  • @Llewellyn I see that now. Should I leave my answer since it addresses the question as asked, or delete it as being moot? – StephenS Aug 9 at 21:41
  • I think it could as well be a slightly fanciful way of saying that the other hand "came back in", to say that the one hand "brought it back in"... Though it appears that the original German was not doing this. – paul garrett Aug 9 at 21:49

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