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Topic: staccato  (Read 6134 times)

Offline aiepiano

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on: July 04, 2002, 11:43:56 AM

I would like to know what the differerent between
1) wrist sraccato
2) finger staccato
3) arm staccato

How to play these kind of staccatos and do they produce the same quality of sound?
How to pratice staccato?
Is there another kind of staccato?


Offline Diabolos

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Re: staccato
Reply #1 on: July 07, 2002, 07:30:54 PM
Well, first of all you need to know that one can basically achieve a good tone by using any of these staccato techniques. But there are major differences in the power which is needed and the passages you want to use them.

Fingerstaccato is basically consisting of two movements: letting your finger fall on the key and rising it again - without moving wrist or arm. It basically occures in fast passages and is a major element of baroque technique.
This sort of staccato doesn't sound too hard, keeping in fluence; though it can be interpreted differently, making soft or hard staccatos.
Wrist staccato is mostly needed when your playing intervals or chords. Then you're supposed to stiffen your fingers and move only the wrist (not the arm) to press the keys and let go. This has a harder sound as a consequence, it also needs more power than finger staccatos. By the way:Liszt's sixth Rhapsody is a fine example for wrist and finger staccatos.
Arm staccatos are the technically most challenging; you need, so to speak, a certain safety in aiming at certain keys, because you move only your arms, have stiffened wrists and fingers and let your whole weight fall into the keys. This technique bears a high level a virtuosity and can often be found in Russian piano music.
Therefore you should only use it when non of the other ways is possible.

I don't know if that explanation helps you out, though I hope so.

Laters  8)

Offline rachfan

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Re: staccato
Reply #2 on: January 13, 2003, 06:04:39 AM
Diabolos gives an excellent explanation here.  In playing the finger staccato, the knuckles and wrist  brace the fingers.  When wrist staccato is used, the elbow is immobilized to brace the wrist.  When the arm is used, the whole playing mechanism comes into play.  To play a crisp staccato, you need to get off the key(s) quickly as if touching a hot coal.  It's an old metaphor, but describes it best.  Finger staccato is used for a light touch, for instance in some of Mendelssohn's music such as the Tarantella, Op. 102, No. 3.  Wrist staccato occurs in the RH double notes of the Allegro di molto section of Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata right after the Introduction.  And an example of arm staccato occurs in the opening chords played forte in Brahms' Rhapsody Op. 119, No. 4.  You as the interpretter must decide the proper staccato touch based on an analysis of the situation, as the composer will usually give no hint beyond the staccato markings themselves.  Often it will be influenced by the character and dynamic of the passage along with the notation.

Note that when staccato markings occur under a phrase marking, it is not staccato at all, but rather portato (incorrectly called portemento by some), which is more of a weighted emphasis rather than a crisp shortness of tone found in staccato.   See Liszt's opening of his Notturno No. 2 for a good illustration.

I hope this helps.
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