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Slurs question

erica-grace

Senior Member
If I want the audio example below, my understanding is that the passage should be slurred like this:

slur1.jpg

and not like this:

slur2.jpg

Is that correct?

Would you ever use the 2nd example for anything?

Thanks again! :)

[AUDIOPLUS=https://vi-control.net/community/attachments/slur-mp3.20809/][/AUDIOPLUS]
 

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JohnG

Senior Member
Actually, for strings, it's better to just write "legato" and if you want to add a phrase mark, use a dotted slur over the line. In string parts, slurs may indicate bowing, which you don't really want to wade into unless you know what you are doing.

Truth is, they know what you mean if you do the second thing, so it will be fine too.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
The 2nd example is correct. The first example makes you look like you don't know what you're doing.
this. If given the first example the musicians will play the second example and unfortunately decide that they don't respect the composer (more likely to ignore other instructions).

Based on the tempo and dynamic of this piece however they will most likely do 2 notes to a bow.

String players are very particular about slurs as it is one of the most important aspects of performance and the way they choose to bow a passage has a subtle and complicated relationship with dynamics, timing, phrasing etc.
 
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erica-grace

Senior Member
The first example makes you look like you don't know what you're doing.
So, I should do the first example then :rofl:

Ok, I guess my understanding was wrong. Thanks!

So, in ex2, which we now know is correct, if the line continues for another, say 16 bars, there is one slur throughout?

Also, i am looking at a jw score, and it looks like this:

jw.jpg

How come there isn't one long slur from the first F?
 

JEPA

Senior Member
the first example is a beginner fault... but it encompass the meaning of it. The first example could work only if there were two (2) notes binded by a slur. For more notes than two please use example number two. The second example is correct!
 

JEPA

Senior Member
So, I should do the first example then :rofl:

Ok, I guess my understanding was wrong. Thanks!

So, in ex2, which we now know is correct, if the line continues for another, say 16 bars, there is one slur throughout?

Also, i am looking at a jw score, and it looks like this:

View attachment 20812

How come there isn't one long slur from the first F?
because the notes being both F (the same note) are separated by the measure line. Then the first slur tie explains that the F note continues to the next measure.
 
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JohnG

Senior Member
How come there isn't one long slur from the first F?
It's not a slur, it's a tie. I know the marks look similar but, as @JEPA indicates, a tie between notes of the same pitch means you hold the same pitch for the full duration of all the notes tied together, whether within a bar or over a bar line.
 

JEPA

Senior Member
It's not a slur, it's a tie. I know the marks look similar but, as @JEPA indicates, a tie between notes of the same pitch means you hold the same pitch for the full duration of all the notes tied together, whether within a bar or over a bar line.
oh sorry, english is not my native language and you are right, is a "TIE"
 

bryla

Senior Member
The slur doesn't cover everything because he wants a separate attack on the notes in measure 3.
No. It's because it is a compound time signature and there isn't a single value that last this long.
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
this. If given the first example the musicians will play the second example and unfortunately decide that they don't respect the composer (more likely to ignore other instructions).

Based on the tempo and dynamic of this piece however they will most likely do 2 notes to a bow.

String players are very particular about slurs as it is one of the most important aspects of performance and the way they choose to bow a passage has a subtle and complicated relationship with dynamics, timing, phrasing etc.
This conversation is interesting... in the audio example, I thought I heard bow changes on each note (but maybe I am wrong?)... so wouldn't that mean example #1 was more correct?

If you notate it as in example #2, I would expect the players to try to cover all 5 notes in one long bowing... which is impossible at that tempo (of course we don't know the dynamic because no dynamics were shown in the examples - but the audio sounds mf to me). So I would actually think that example #2 is the inferior one. But all of the more experienced folks say example #1 is more correct.

Can someone help me understand, please?
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
Based on the tempo and dynamic of this piece however they will most likely do 2 notes to a bow.
PS - This is how I would have written it. At this tempo, I would have wanted the half notes together in one bow stroke.

Ahhh, that's the point, isn't it? You don't slur across the bar line, so you would want to slur the first half note to the second in bar 1, and then the third to the fourth in bar 2. Would that work?
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
In fact, I am digging myself into a deeper hole because if you really wanted separation at each note, there is no need for slurs!

Forgive me while I figure this out and waste everyone else's time :roflmao:
 

NoamL

Winter <3
A secret that y'all probably already know is that musicians ignore composer directions all the time. They will do the best to achieve what they think the composer wants but music notation is just the letter of the law not the spirit.

If given example #2 they would say to themselves, "Okay, we understand, you want this to be one phrase." Then they will bow one measure at a time (2 half notes to a bow) but enunciate the whole musical passage as if it's one phrase leading to the A. An instruction of "legato" yet with no slur marks, would lead to the same performed outcome because that's how string players would interpret it.

In fact two to a bow may well be the default interpretation of half notes at this dynamic and tempo. That is not to say you should leave the part unmarked, just that players will naturally have some resistance to playing separate bows here. The only thing that would make them play one note to a bow is either if they know the composer/orchestrator is someone like Desplat or Williams and what's on the page is exactly what's intended, or if they hear the other elements in the music and feel that a bit more marked-out playing of each half note is idiomatic for what's going on in the music.
 
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JohnG

Senior Member
@NoamL makes a lot of accurate points, including the bit about ignoring composers. They do it all day!

That's why I would just mark it legato and put a dotted slur over it as a phrase indicator. If you really know what you want them to do with the bowing, fine, but unless you're a string player (I'm a singer primarily) it's best to let the section leader or concert master tell the strings how to bow, if it's ambiguous.
 

marclawsonmusic

Senior Member
A secret that y'all probably already know is that musicians ignore composer directions all the time.
Yes, but do they do this because most composers are ignorant?

Because most musicians I know (who play in orchestras) spend a lot of time trying to understand the compose’s intent.

If they ignore today, is it because we aren’t doing a good job? I dunno.

Ps- of course string players should ignore my upbow / downbow unless I am a string player. But if I’m talking about phrasing... that is my intent as a composer. If they ignore me, I feel like a fool. Maybe I am weird but I’d love to know why my markings didn’t work.
 
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