Friday, May 8, 2015

Articulation and Releases

By Cynthia Ellis

Your expressive vocabulary for music depends on every nuance you can find, and many opportunities exist within the realm of articulation. There are many different kinds of accents for example: ones that rely more heavily on a more round sound and vibrato for the accent, (adding weight to the note) versus accents that are sharp and most decidedly handled by the tongue on the attack (adding more point to the note). Releases can have many shapes: they can be square and sharply cut off (think 20th century music) or elegantly tapered (more Mozartian and 18th century). Listen to the beginning of each note and try several different attacks on for size as you practice...interpret the symbols for accents, staccato and legato in several different ways. You will be able to arrive at a creative solution that sounds beautiful. Same idea with releases...and always take care not to go flat on the ends of tapered notes.

*Note - This article first appeared on the "Teaching Tips" section of Cindy Ellis's website.

For more on Cindy, visit her Powell artist profile page, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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