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Staccato is not an articulation

Postby timayer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:29 pm

It is a release.

Thoughts?
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby Voisi1ev » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:41 pm

timayer wrote:It is a release.

Thoughts?


Good stuff. Might use that with the kiddos tomorrow.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby gwwilk » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:42 pm

Here is one expert opinion.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby the elephant » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:15 pm

I always say that staccato does not mean short; it means separated.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby windshieldbug » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:27 pm

gwwilk wrote:Here is one expert opinion.


You just like the definition that includes joints... :P
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby gwwilk » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:09 pm

windshieldbug wrote:
gwwilk wrote:Here is one expert opinion.


You just like the definition that includes joints... :P

Been in a few, worked on a few, and that's all you need to know.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby DonShirer » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:16 pm

According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music:

"Articulation. A term used to denote (or demand) clarity and distinct rendition in musical performance, whether vocal or instrumental. Correct breathing, phrasing, attack, legato, and staccato are some of the aspects inolved."
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby Bill Troiano » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:28 pm

Something I've recently realized, is that it's difficult to simulate legato tonguing. I've had many students over the years who were able to simulate staccato, marcato style articulation. Of course, it's never very good and you can't do it well at brisk tempos. I'm talking about articulating using breath attacks, glottis (?), or a "p" articulation. It's pretty easy to detect, but not too easy to correct when someone has been doing that for years. And, then you factor in that they might be working on region band etudes or solo festival pieces, and it's difficult to address that particular issue at that time.

I recently started doing this exercise myself and I don't really know why, but I found it helpful with students. I'll set a metronome somewhere between 60 and 72. Speed is not a factor, at this point. Start on 2nd space C for CC tubas, or Bb for BBb tubas. Play the whole note for 4 counts and then subdivide it into 16th notes as smoothly as possible, just allowing the tongue to repeatedly place a dent in the whole note playing 16, 16th notes. With myself, I found that with legato tonguing, there's no way to fake it. The tongue is either working, or it's not. And, it won't work properly without the air behind it. And, for me, it won't work right if my embouchure is too tense. So, I go to this exercise sometimes, mostly without a metronome ( I use the met. with students) to check:
tongue function - check;
air function - check;
embouchure tension - check. From there with students, I usually move on to flow study type exercises after that.

I don't know if this makes sense to anyone, or it's like a duh-uh post. It's served as a check for myself. It's helped me get students to articulate more cleanly. I've even had a few students for whom it was a major revelation, that this is how the tongue functions.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby bloke » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:48 pm

"Staccato" is an instruction for string players to make shortened and detached sounds "on the string".
It is the job of wind players to imitate the type of sound made when string players employ that technique.
The reason bowed stringed instruments are so much more interesting to listen to than wind instruments, is because their body of technique defines so very many types of articulations, and so many more ways to play expressively.

Wind instruments can employ just as many of these types of articulations and techniques, but wind players rarely do. The best jazz musicians who play wind instruments tend to use many more types of articulations than do orchestral music readers. When someone is an extraordinary principal trumpet player in an orchestra, likely one of the factors which defines their extraordinary playing is their many more types of articulations that they tend to use…along with something I discussed in another thread: "style".

OK...You asked for our thoughts.
I just exhausted mine.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby jperry1466 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:07 am

bloke wrote:"Staccato" is an instruction for string players to make shortened and detached sounds "on the string".
It is the job of wind players to imitate the type of sound made when string players employ that technique.

^^This.^^

I heard Willliam Ravelli say it almost exactly that way, and I taught it that way. I had students draw an imaginary bow across their imaginary violins to show them how strings could not play it as "tut". To make it clearer, I told them to say the word "tone" over and over with a space between, and that became our staccato standard, because a too-short staccato tends to not have any tone to it. Of course, here in Texas, "tone" can be almost a two-syllable word, so maybe our staccato is just a bit longer than most. :D
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby timayer » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:51 am

I'll give my thoughts at this point.

It's more of a conceptual issue for me, rather than a definitional one. Staccato is generally described as an articulation. Legato - tenuto - staccato - etc...However "articulation" is generally used to describe how you start a note.

Staccato notes are to be short(er) and detached. There are two ways to detach notes from each other: (1) Start the second note later; or (2) End the first note sooner. Unless you want to slow down every time you encounter staccato sections of music, you have to use option 2.

If you think about staccato as an articulation (i.e., how you start the note) but then execute option 2 above, you are more likely to try to stop the note as you start it, because you are trying to articulate it with separation from the next note. That results in a pecky, toneless staccato. If you think about the staccato as a release, you allow yourself to start the note and then stop it, you allow yourself mentally to create a tone before it stops.

Maybe this is only interesting to me, and it's only interesting as a mental exercise. But I think it can help produce a better and more consistent staccato style for wind players.

Per bloke's point about it being a string instruction, my thoughts came after watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1w5KdUxteg
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby paulver » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:06 pm

Definition that I was taught........ "detached". The length of staccato notes is directly related to the type of note(s) being played........ i. e......... quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note, etc., tempo, phrase location within the piece, any other articulation markings above/below it, and the style of the music being played. My piano prof was a huge PIA about this! He constantly said that staccato notes have a definite length, determined by ALL of the aforementioned. Talk about a purist!!!!!!!

I ultimately went with the "feel" of the music, then, did whatever he said to do if he wasn't pleased with the way I was playing them.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby bloke » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:23 pm

phone glitch-caused double post deleted
Last edited by bloke on Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby bloke » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:23 pm

As the string technique definition reads, there seems to be a wide amount of interpretation available ( again: going back to that final musical ingredient – style) on the amount of detachment. The definition does not state that the attachment is specifically the length of any particular measured rest.
As - most of the time – my musical role is foundational, I see it as my obligation to never be later commencing a sound than the concertmaster, first trumpet, or a percussionist on an entrance, but – as far as stopping a sound is concerned – I also see it as my obligation to never have a sound lingering past the unison rhythm sounds that any of those people are making, either.
When there is no staccato marking below a written note - and I find that I am playing with the basses - I listen closely to what they are doing, mimic it, and - usually - play inside of their sound. Of course, I could drown out seven basses and do whatever I wished, but "being a turd" (though, I guess, any of us can do…or try to do…most anything once) is really not the goal of music, is it?
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby swillafew » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:19 pm

My old yellow dictionary (1936) says: detached, cut off, separated.

Not a word about who is imitating who, or that any instrument or voice owns doing this, or anything more at all.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:39 pm

Last edited by bloke on Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:50 pm

Every note starts the same way. Only the duration and taper vary. (and pitch and amplitude obviously)
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby dgpretzel » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:00 pm

DonShirer wrote:According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music:

"Articulation. A term used to denote (or demand) clarity and distinct rendition in musical performance, whether vocal or instrumental. Correct breathing, phrasing, attack, legato, and staccato are some of the aspects inolved."


In my capacity as a world-famous musicologist, I can make a gratuitous assertion as easily as the next guy. I don't consider some of those terms (e.g., phrasing) to be distinct from articulation. For example, I would think of phrasing as having a context of several notes, and involve how to play the sequence as an organic whole. I think of articulation as applying to individual notes, and, in particular, the leading edge of the note. (So, I would include "attack" as an element of "articulation".)

So, I think Tim's description is quite apt (dealing with the trailing end of a note).

DG

EDIT: I can't even type. The "don't" in "I don't consider" should be omitted. That is I think phrasing is a distinct concept from articulation. I think phrasing involves multiple notes, whereas I think articulation applies to individual notes. (Specifically, the beginning of them.)
Last edited by dgpretzel on Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby tuneitup » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:47 pm

In electronic music, the word articulation refers to the shape of sound, ADSR-- Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. Even a sound of motorcycle passing by from the beginning of the sound to the moment of silence is considered as an articulation.
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Re: Staccato is not an articulation

Postby Cdub » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:50 pm

I've thought of staccato as separated most of my life. It helps me when comparing small value notes of differing lengths with staccato markings on all of them.

A quarter note staccato isn’t the same as an eighth note staccato (providing tempo and meter are constant).

Those are my 2 cents. :)
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