Staccato ( [stakˈkaːto] ; Italian for "detached") is a form of musical articulation. In modern notation, it signifies a note of shortened duration, separated from the note that may follow by silence. It has been described by theorists and has appeared in music since at least 1676.
In 20th-century music, a dot placed above or below a note indicates that it should be played staccato, and a wedge is used for the more emphatic staccatissimo. However, before 1850, dots, dashes, and wedges were all likely to have the same meaning, even though some theorists from as early as the 1750s distinguished different degrees of staccato through the use of dots and dashes, with the dash indicating a shorter, sharper note, and the dot a longer, lighter one.
A number of signs came to be used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to discriminate more subtle nuances of staccato. These signs involve various combinations of dots, vertical and horizontal dashes, vertical and horizontal wedges, and the like, but attempts to standardize these signs have not generally been successful.
The example below illustrates the scope of the staccato dot:
In the first measure, the pairs of notes are in the same musical part (or voice) since they are on a common stem. The staccato applies to both notes of the pairs. In the second measure, the pairs of notes are stemmed separately indicating two different parts, so the staccato applies only to the upper note.
The opposite musical articulation of staccato is legato, signifying long and continuous notes.There is an intermediate articulation called either mezzo staccato or non legato.
By default, in the music notation program Sibelius, "staccatos shorten a note by 50%."
In musical notation, staccatissimo (plural: staccatissimi or the anglicised form staccatissimos) indicates that the notes are to be played extremely separated and distinct, a superlative staccato. This can be notated with little pikes over or under the notes, depending on stem direction, as in this example from Bruckner's Symphony No. 0 in D minor:
Alternatively, it can be notated by writing the word "staccatissimo" or the abbreviation "staccatiss." over the staff. A few composers, such as Mozart, have used staccato dots accompanied by a written instruction staccatissimo when they mean the passage to be played staccatissimo.
In music, a glissando is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, "to glide". In some contexts, it is distinguished from the continuous portamento. Some colloquial equivalents are slide, sweep, bend, smear, rip, lip, plop, or falling hail.
In music, a half note (American) or minim (British) is a note played for half the duration of a whole note and twice the duration of a quarter note. It was given its Latin name because it was the shortest of the five note values used in early medieval music notation. In time signatures with 4 as the bottom number, such as 4
4 or 3
4, the half note is two beats long. However, when 2 is the bottom number, the half note is one beat long.
An eighth note (American) or a quaver (British) is a musical note played for one eighth the duration of a whole note (semibreve), hence the name. This amounts to twice the value of the sixteenth note (semiquaver). It is half the duration of a quarter note (crotchet), one quarter the duration of a half note (minim), one eighth the duration of whole note (semibreve), one sixteenth the duration of a double whole note (breve), and one thirty-second the duration of a longa. It is the equivalent of the fusa in mensural notation.
Sprechgesang and Sprechstimme are expressionist vocal techniques between singing and speaking. Though sometimes used interchangeably, Sprechgesang is directly related to the operatic recitative manner of singing, whereas Sprechstimme is closer to speech itself.
The Aeolian mode is a musical mode or, in modern usage, a diatonic scale also called the natural minor scale. On the white piano keys, it is the scale that starts with A. Its ascending interval form consists of a key note, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step. That means that, in A aeolian, you would play A, move up a whole step to B, move up a half step to C, then up a whole step to D, a whole step to E, a half step to F, a whole step to G, and a final whole step to a high A.
In music notation, a sixty-fourth note (American), or hemidemisemiquaver or semidemisemiquaver (British), sometimes called a half-thirty-second note, is a note played for half the duration of a thirty-second note, hence the name. It first occurs in the late 17th century and, apart from rare occurrences of hundred twenty-eighth notes (semihemidemisemiquavers) and two hundred fifty-sixth notes (demisemihemidemisemiquavers), it is the shortest value found in musical notation.
In Western musical notation, a dotted note is a note with a small dot written after it. In modern practice, the first dot increases the duration of the basic note by half of its original value. This means that a dotted note is equivalent to writing the basic note tied to a note of half the value – for instance, a dotted half note is equivalent to a half note tied to a quarter note. Subsequent dots add progressively halved value, as shown in the example to the right. Though theoretically possible, a note with more than three dots is highly uncommon; only quadruple dots have been attested. If the original note is considered as being of length 1, then a quintuple dot would only be 1/32 longer than the quadruple dotted note. The difficulty may be seen by comparing dotted notation to tied notation: a quarter note is equivalent to 2 tied eighth notes, a dotted quarter = 3 tied eighth notes, double dotted = 7 tied sixteenth notes, triple dotted = 15 tied thirty-second notes, and quadruple dotted = 31 tied sixty-fourth notes. Although shorter notes do occur, sixty-fourth notes are considered the shortest practical duration found in musical notation.
Isorhythm is a musical technique using a repeating rhythmic pattern, called a talea, in at least one voice part throughout a composition. Taleae are typically applied to one or more melodic patterns of pitches or colores, which may be of the same or a different length from the talea.
In music, an accent is an emphasis, stress, or stronger attack placed on a particular note or set of notes, or chord, either as a result of its context or specifically indicated by an accent mark. Accents contribute to the articulation and prosody of a performance of a musical phrase. Accents may be written into a score or part by a composer or added by the performer as part of his or her interpretation of a musical piece.
In music, portamento is a pitch sliding from one note to another. The term originated from the Italian expression "portamento della voce", denoting from the beginning of the 17th century its use in vocal performances and emulation by members of the violin family and certain wind instruments, and is sometimes used interchangeably with anticipation. It is also applied to one type of glissando on, e.g., slide trombones, as well as to the "glide" function of steel guitars and synthesizers.
A neume is the basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation.
A multiphonic is an extended technique on a monophonic musical instrument in which several notes are produced at once. This includes wind, reed, and brass instruments, as well as the human voice. Multiphonic-like sounds on string instruments, both bowed and hammered, have also been called multiphonics, for lack of better terminology and scarcity of research.
In medieval music, the rhythmic modes were set patterns of long and short durations. The value of each note is not determined by the form of the written note, but rather by its position within a group of notes written as a single figure called a "ligature", and by the position of the ligature relative to other ligatures. Modal notation was developed by the composers of the Notre Dame school from 1170 to 1250, replacing the even and unmeasured rhythm of early polyphony and plainchant with patterns based on the metric feet of classical poetry, and was the first step towards the development of modern mensural notation. The rhythmic modes of Notre Dame Polyphony were the first coherent system of rhythmic notation developed in Western music since antiquity.
In musical notation, tenuto, denoted as a horizontal bar adjacent a note, is a direction for the performer to hold or sustain a note for its full length.
A Gregorian mode is one of the eight systems of pitch organization used in Gregorian chant.
Portato, also mezzo-staccato, French notes portées, in music denotes a smooth, pulsing articulation and is often notated by adding dots under slur markings.
In medieval music theory, the terms color and coloration are used in four distinct senses, two of which relate to the notation and structuring of note durations, the third to florid ornamentation, and the fourth to the quality of chromatic music.
In music, a sixteenth note (American) or semiquaver (British) is a note played for half the duration of an eighth note (quaver), hence the names. It is the equivalent of the semifusa in mensural notation, first found in 15th-century notation.
1st millennium BC in music – 1st millennium in music – 11th century in music
Systems of musical notation have been in use in China for over two thousand years. Different systems have been used to record music for bells and for the Guqin stringed instrument. More recently a system of numbered notes (Jianpu) has been used, with resemblances to Western notations.
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