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Notation Question: Detache vs. Mezzo-Stacatto
Last post Sun, Oct 20 2019 by michael diemer, 7 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Oct 18 2019 16:41
by michael diemer
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Maine, USA, Posts 114

Something that has puzzled me a long time: How to notate a wind passage say, for horns, when you want to show the grouping and phrasing with slurs, but want the notes separate from each other. Mezzo Staccato, shown with a dot and a dash, supposedly means hold the note about 3/4 of its written value. that is what I typically do. But maybe detache is actually more correct? I want the notes to have just the slightest space between them, as if you were taking a quick breath before each note. But do you then use a slur also? You could also just not use any signs at all, no slurs, dots, etc., just the notes, and write in "detache." 

Incidentally, mezzo-staccato is apparently the same as portato. But I think it may indicate more of a pause than I want. Another option is dots inside of slurs, but I think that would definitely be too short.

michael diemer
Posted on Sat, Oct 19 2019 02:21
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

What I might use is long portato, with a slight break between each note if they start to overlap.  And then create a slight increase in the break to indicate a breathing mark.  That is about how I would play it on horn. 

Posted on Sat, Oct 19 2019 02:59
by michael diemer
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Maine, USA, Posts 114

Interesting, thanks William. On further reflection, I have realized what I am after is a double-dot note value. Like, a quarter note, double dotted, with a sixteenth rest after it. Gives the line a nice crisp feel. I first work in a DAW, and there I do use a lot of double dots, but when doing the score that can become cumbersome visually. 

What about just not using any slurs or marks of any kind, but writing in "non-legato?" Would that convey the idea?

michael diemer
Posted on Sat, Oct 19 2019 09:38
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 482
I think this can be notated with tenuto signs and a slur over the group. The articulations should be a choice of long, medium and short détaché/portato, depending on the speed and position in the phrase.

Paolo
Posted on Sat, Oct 19 2019 15:45
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5398

That's right - strictly in notation, a tenuto line over each note and a slur over them indicates the notes are connected closely but separately attacked.    

If you do this with samples though, you can't just use sustain because it will sound too unifrom. So that's where a long portato, or a performance repetition legato can be good.  You have to check them against the particular passage depending on the speed and length of notes.   I've noticed that the performance repetition articulations for portato are fairly short.  So that is where the repetition legato is useful on slower passages of close repeated notes. 

Posted on Sun, Oct 20 2019 00:09
by michael diemer
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Maine, USA, Posts 114

Here is what the passage sounds like:

https://app.box.com/s/cxvzemo6a04h4csw16ibiqca59zby9oc

Sorry I can't post the notation, but I spent an hour trying to do it and couldn't figure out how to get the PDF from Notion, without posting the entire score.

Hopefully the actual sound will help clarify the notation needed.

Thanks for all the help,

Michael

michael diemer
Posted on Sun, Oct 20 2019 18:55
by michael diemer
Joined on Tue, Apr 30 2013, Maine, USA, Posts 114

Here is what the passage looks like:

https://app.box.com/s/xwc28k3cxlcsfzzz3ewc2mh334b59v7g

michael diemer
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