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when do you play legato?
by: Anonymous

Hello I am not sure when to play legato.
I understand you play legato when you see a slur and I also understand that a slur can mean that a group of notes make up a sentence.
Where I am stuck is... Do you play a piece legato when there are no slurs at all?
For example: Mary had a little lamb has no slurs. Do you lift your fingers everytime you move onto the next note?
Thank you!

Excellent for beginer
by: Anonymous

My daughter is learning to play piano.
We bought a theory book and pratical book for her, but it is quite difficult to follow the book.
The informations from this web site very helpful, easy to follow particularly for the beginers. Hopefully I can get more help from this web site in the future as my daughter progress form her lesson. Many thanks

The Difference between a Slur and a Tie
by: Ido Ronen from www.piano-play-it.com

Many students get confused between slurs and ties. Let me try to make it clearer for you.
The first thing you should do when you see a curved line is recognize whether it is a slur or a tie.

How do we distinguish between a slur and a tie?

A tie is a curved line that connects the heads of two consecutive notes with the same pitch. So, if the notes have different pitches, then the curved line is a slur - not a tie.

In your question you mentioned "2 different notes have both a slur and a tie".
If you mean that the notes are different (having different pitches), then the curved line is not a tie; it is a slur.

When you see a tie, it means you should play only the first note. The key is held down and its duration is the length of the two notes.

When you see a slur it means you should play all the notes. The slur indicates you should play in a Legato manner.

Now, let?s see two examples that will help to understand two confusing possibilities:

In example 1 you can see two curved lines. Both of them are slurs.

a) The smaller one connects E to F. It is not a tie because the notes have a different pitch. This slur marks the legato between E and F.
b) The bigger slur indicates the beginning and the ending of a musical phrase. (It does not neccesary mean you have to play Legato through the whole musical line but realize that you're playing a complete musical sentence.)

In example 2 there are two curved lines. The smaller one is a tie, and the bigger one is a slur.

a) The tie connects E and E. We see it as a tie because it connects the heads of two consecutive notes with the same pitch.
b) The slur which connects E and F indicates the legato between these two (different) notes.

A tie connects the heads of two notes with the same pitch. You should basically play only the first note, and hold the key down for the duration of both notes.

A slur has two major meanings ? Framing a musical phrasing and legato. In both cases you should play all the notes you see.

Now, go back to the page about musical phrasing, and read it again. You may find it clearer now.

I hope you are not confused anymore...
Don't hesitate to ask further questions!

Ido from www.piano-play-it.com

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