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  1. #1
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    Default Staccato literally means detacted

    It is common for a lot of jazz, rock and blues players to say staccato and what they mean is "short". To play a note short, why not just say short, instead of staccato? Staccato means detached, which would make note values shorter, but short wouldn't be semantically correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staccato

    Good day,

  2. #2

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    True, but would be logically incorrect, because in music you can actually be playing a "long" note and then detach. So, it would not be short but detached from the long note. At least that's how i interpret it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gammasign View Post
    It is common for a lot of jazz, rock and blues players to say staccato and what they mean is "short". To play a note short, why not just say short, instead of staccato? Staccato means detached, which would make note values shorter, but short wouldn't be semantically correct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staccato

    Good day,

  3. #3
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Short is ambiguous. Is the entire duration of the note shorter lasting a shorter time frame? Then it would be different note value follow by something? Such a rest. Staccato would mean to cut the note tail off, which could be interrupted as a shorter note with rest afterwards but often that rest may not exactly measure or need to be an exact measurement.
    If you asking why an Italian word is used instead of an English one? That would be because a lot of composers of classical music when the terms were developed were Italian so it terms became understood and became a standard for music notation. Rock, Jazz, etc... Picked up these terms as well as some of the musicians where classically trained.

  4. #4
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    I should clarify. Staccato does not mean short. I believe the Italian for short is breve.

    staccato = detached.
    staccatissimo = very detached

    Detached and short are not the same thing, but everyone in America and beyond says staccato means short. Millions of people can't be wrong, or can they?

    Sometimes, things get lost in translation. Perhaps this is one of those times.
    Have a good day all,
    Gamma

  5. #5
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gammasign View Post
    I should clarify. Staccato does not mean short. I believe the Italian for short is breve.
    Detached and short are not the same thing, but everyone in America and beyond says staccato means short. Millions of people can't be wrong, or can they?

    Sometimes, things get lost in translation. Perhaps this is one of those times.
    So educate me what's the difference musically? I cut the note short or I detach the sound from the note. Either way it's the same sound unless I actually change the note value (say from 16th to a 32th or more likely something in between).

    Lost in translation, perhaps.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by palico View Post
    So educate me what's the difference musically? I cut the note short or I detach the sound from the note. Either way it's the same sound unless I actually change the note value (say from 16th to a 32th or more likely something in between).

    Lost in translation, perhaps.
    Yes! You actually do change the note value, and there are varying degrees of separation between notes.

    Here's a musical example: fast forward to 1:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gUUUeLrBVQ

    Can I get you to come to my side? It's lonely from my perspective. There are some great musicians who say staccato means short. It's written down in music books as short. However, detached is the literal translation. Words make a difference.
    If I can't persuade you, I resign from this post.

    Good day Palico,
    Gamma

  7. #7
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    I wasn't sure what you were getting at until I watched the video explanation. Here's a direct quote from the video: "Staccato comes from the word staccare which is the Italian word meaning to separate; it doesn't mean to play short. It just means to separate. So if I demonstrate now using a five finger position I could play very short, with a lot of separation, (plays short notes with a lot of separation) or I could play with barely any separation (plays notes with just a little separation between them). They're both technically staccato."

    I appreciate the clarification, good catch Gamma!

  8. #8

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    Love the video, thanks.

  9. #9
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gammasign View Post
    Yes! You actually do change the note value, and there are varying degrees of separation between notes.

    Here's a musical example: fast forward to 1:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gUUUeLrBVQ

    Can I get you to come to my side? It's lonely from my perspective. There are some great musicians who say staccato means short. It's written down in music books as short. However, detached is the literal translation. Words make a difference.
    If I can't persuade you, I resign from this post.

    Good day Palico,
    Gamma
    Okay I can see that. As in that you either play one or the other. So you play Staccato or Legato. But a Legato has a bar to tie the notes indicating you don't separte the notes but slur them together in a Legato fashion.

    But that bears the question? What is normal? Normally you don't have a mark to tell the musicians to detach the note from the next. So why the "dot" over the note to idicate I need ot detach it. To detach if from the next note is normal playing. So maybe the difference is how the word is used in music notation and not it's literal meaning. Also then what would be the difference between Staccato and Staccatissimo. I would also notes the "short" he plays are both technically staccato, along with the audio example on the wiki is almost the same as first example from the video.

 

 

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