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#1554141 - 11/09/10 05:43 AM Non Legato
vladimiroir Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 192
Hello i was browsing through czerny op 299 and noticed that in book 1( etude no 6 and 7) indicates non legato. Does this mean i have to play it staccato? I dont seem to be able to differentiate but semi staccato(non legato?), staccato and staccatissimo.
And is it even possible to play it non legato with the tempo molto allegro? Thank you very much in advance.
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Czerny School of Velocity Op 299

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#1554359 - 11/09/10 03:12 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
non legato is just that - not smoothly.
This does not necesarrily imply staccato.

Just put 'staccato' out of your mind when trying to deal with non legato and think of it as how the notes sound when you play them normally, with no attempt at legato or staccato. If you absolutely must have a reference point, then think of it as halfway between staccato and legato. I've always considered it just normal playing.

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#1554362 - 11/09/10 03:20 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: Mattardo]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20987
Loc: New York
^^ well said ^^ -- although I think that last part might throw him off.

About the "halfway between": he needs to realize that you didn't mean it in any exact way. I think you had already covered it with the more general things you had said. And also, I wouldn't at all call it "just normal playing." It depends on a person's style and (I suppose) what kind of music he usually plays. For me, and I would guess for most people, the "non-legato" is pretty uncommon. In all the many pieces I'm playing right now, I'm hard-pressed to think of more than a handful of phrases where I use it. But maybe we're just defining it differently. For example, there are many degrees of "staccato"; maybe you would consider some of those to be this kind of "non legato."
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#1554368 - 11/09/10 03:35 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
It's my impression that non legato historically used to be "normal playing", and a legato or slur was a special musical effect; and that legato playing became regarded as "normal playing" only later.

Vladimiroir: The essential thing with non legato is that you can "see some daylight between the notes". You do not necessarily want any special bouncing type of technique or anything like that - you may think of it as meaning simply "do not slur".
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#1554373 - 11/09/10 03:42 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
BruceD Offline

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Registered: 05/26/01
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This is one of those concepts that may be more easily performed than described.

However, if you have a concept of the differences between the execution of scalar passages in Mozart (and Haydn and early Beethoven) and "runs" in Chopin and Liszt, then ideally played Mozart passages may well be considered non-legato in the sense that the notes do not blend into one another as they often do in Chopin, but that each stands on its own, separate, but as a well-integrated piece in a larger dynamic, expressive whole.

If Chopin is a liquid stream, then Mozart is a "string of pearls" (This gets pretty purple, doesn't it?)

Oh, well, as the fire inspector said : "This is asbestos I can do."

Regards,
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#1554375 - 11/09/10 03:45 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6449
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
My edition only has "leggiermente" for no.6 and "con legato" for no.7... I checked a pdf file I have and it has the "non legato" in both exercises...
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“Haters don't really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.” ― Yaira N


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#1554376 - 11/09/10 03:45 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
that was the funniest post you've ever written Bruce. The content is good too.
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1554379 - 11/09/10 03:50 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Strictly speaking, linguistically, "staccato" just means "not joined".

Strictly speaking, linguistically, piano instruction is a mess. smile
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#1554380 - 11/09/10 03:57 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: david_a]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20987
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: david_a
Strictly speaking, linguistically, "staccato" just means "not joined"....

Doesn't matter. smile
In practice, it means more than that. It means "short."
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1554381 - 11/09/10 03:58 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: david_a]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19813
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: david_a
[...]
Strictly speaking, linguistically, piano instruction is a mess. smile


... and we do our best (worst?) to contribute to it! smile
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#1554405 - 11/09/10 04:40 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: Mark_C]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: david_a
Strictly speaking, linguistically, "staccato" just means "not joined"....

Doesn't matter. smile
In practice, it means more than that. It means "short."
In fact, in piano music it (usually) also means a distinct type of touch, while "non legato" might not. I think a person would have to go very VERY far back into the depths of music history to find an example of "staccato" that only meant "not joined".
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#1554407 - 11/09/10 04:43 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: david_a]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20987
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: david_a
....In fact, in piano music it (usually) also means a distinct type of touch, while "non legato" might not....

This is getting interesting. smile

I think both of them equally mean (and don't mean) a certain type of touch. If anything, I'd say "non legato" has a narrower range on that.

But I can see how people could see it your way......I think again it depends on our concepts of the terms, as well as personal style.
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#1554418 - 11/09/10 04:49 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: Mark_C]
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
^^ well said ^^ -- although I think that last part might throw him off.

About the "halfway between": he needs to realize that you didn't mean it in any exact way. I think you had already covered it with the more general things you had said. And also, I wouldn't at all call it "just normal playing." It depends on a person's style and (I suppose) what kind of music he usually plays. For me, and I would guess for most people, the "non-legato" is pretty uncommon. In all the many pieces I'm playing right now, I'm hard-pressed to think of more than a handful of phrases where I use it. But maybe we're just defining it differently. For example, there are many degrees of "staccato"; maybe you would consider some of those to be this kind of "non legato."


Yes, exactly - I know it cannot be quantified on a scale. Bruce said it well when he said it's best demonstrated.

I just see it as simple playing without any attempt at changing the sound from that of a basic piano. Kabalevsky liked non-legato in many of his works, if the OP needs a reference point to find some recordings. Bruce's comment on pearls made me think of Beethoven's "playing on pearls" technique that he wanted his nephew Carl to learn for certain passages - probably not an exact representation of non-legato, but one of the many possibilities of it, and perhaps a good starting point for the OP. Does anyone have a reference for that?

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#1554426 - 11/09/10 04:59 PM Re: Non Legato [Re: vladimiroir]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Bruce's post included "liquid stream" and that made me think of something else.

With water running from a tap, there are two ways to interrupt it: turn off the tap, or leave it running and just put your hand in the way momentarily.
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