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Topic: Taking legato too far  (Read 2293 times)

Offline tysteel

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Taking legato too far
on: September 15, 2003, 06:44:38 AM

I have a question which deals with playing legato when slurs or other phrase markings aren't indicated in a piece of music.  

I'm sure most people would agree that the default touch of the piano is legato, if nothing else is indicated.   Speaking of that, today I was playing a piece of music which had no slurs or phrase markings indicated, as far ariticulation went.

 Each measure, played in the treble cleff, contains a broken triad chord in 2/2 time..the first note is played as a single, and the other two notes are played together at the same time.      

Measure 1:  C     E/G
Measure 2:  B      D/F
Measure 3:  F      A/C

The question I'd like to ask it, by default would you glide your hand to legato connect all of these notes?  Even if no phrasing is shown?

What I mean is, like in measure 1, you play the C with 1 and the E/G notes together with  3/5.   Now, would you keep your fingers on E/G and stretch the thumb to the left to play the B in measure two, and legato connect, or would you just let go of the notes E/G, and just move the hand (as opposed to stretching or gliding) and play the B note in measure 2 with the thumb?  

And same goes for how you may or may not approach measure three.  Would you keep the fingers on D/F and stretch the thumb to the note F for a legato connection, or would it be better to let the notes D/F go, and move the thumb to the left to play the note F?

If there is no articulation is a piece as far as phrase marks/slurs, would you automatically default and connect all those broken chords legato, or would you probably not legato connect at least from chord to chord?    What would be most expedient...what would be the most easier and proper way to handle that?

How about an example where you'd play a block chord of G major with your right hand, and the next note you are to play is a single note of middle C to the left.  If there is no articulation indicated,  would you play the G block chord, and letting the other notes go but keeping the little finger on D, then stretch the thumb to play middle C and thus legato connect?  Or would you just play the G chord, let the notes go after playing it, and just move the hand and play middle C with the thumb?


Offline sram

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Re: Taking legato too far
Reply #1 on: September 19, 2003, 06:53:35 PM
i'd say it's really a matter of what effect you want to achieve.
if you hop onto the next note, the thirds will tend to get slightly marked as you lift up the hand.
if you extend the hand to maintain legato, you will have a much smoother effect, but will also have to be perhaps more careful to pedaling.
not knowing what the piece or character of the piece is, i can't give you any more suggestions.

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