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Tenuto/Dash symbol

Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet? According to Wikipedia it's called a Tenuto but my teacher said it's called a "dash". Which one is correct? Or are both names correct?

Second of all, how exactly do you play it? I read up on it in wikipedia and it was somewhat confusing. Could someone specify with examples exactly how notes with that kind of symbols should be treated? It would be helpful if you could explain in terms of the violin.

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2 Answers 2

That mark is known as a tenuto and when it's over the note it means to hold the note for the full duration and make the transition between notes more legato than normal. You can think of a tenuto as the opposite of a staccato where you play the note slightly shorter than the actual value.

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Um, does that imply you do not hold other notes for their full duration? My teacher said that this note is to be played with a longer bow- giving the impression of a longer time. –  Sazid_violin May 3 at 18:27
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@Sazid_violin When you go from playing one note to the next, you usually end the note you are playing slightly earlier than the duration to get to the next note. When the tenuto is used it is instructing you not to take that pause so the transition between notes is more legato. –  Dom May 3 at 18:30
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@Dom - do you mean that in a phrase of ordinary notes, each has to be played so there is an audible gap between it and the next? That's more like marcato than legato. I don't believe a gap should be included in any legato playing. –  Tim May 3 at 18:46
    
The precise interpretation has more to do with the style of a piece than what is precisely marked. A tenuto marking suggests that the player should treat those notes differently than normal, or at least differently than the notes around it, but the player still has quite a bit of leeway in his or her interpretation. –  Kevin May 7 at 22:21
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I read tenuto ♩𝅽 as an accent where you put slight "pull" or "pressure" emphasis on the entire note; as opposed to normal accents ♩𝅻 where the initial attack is strongly emphasized but the remaining note rings out normally, or even marcato ♩𝅿 where the note decay is actively shortened.

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Yes, agreed. I have always understood tenuto marks to have two meanings, and it isn't always clear which a composer means. It can mean that the notes have their full duration, but can also mean that there is a slight emphasis upon the note. Luckily, these two interpretations often go hand-in-hand; a note emphasised by being held for its full duration (all at the same volume as this answer points out) and by being played with slight emphasis of volume. –  Bob Broadley May 3 at 19:46
    
@leftaroundabout What do you mean by "pull" ? pressure I understand, or is the pull a means to execute that pressure? (as in moving your bow faster makes the note louder) –  Sazid_violin May 4 at 12:44
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@Sazid_violin: I first wrote only pressure, but that doesn't quite catch it. There are multiple ways to execute tenuto with the bow; as you teacher says one of them is to use more bow (increasing the bow-speed and thus tone intensity, but not the attack). I think "pull" is a good description of how to do this. You may however amplify or replace this effect with some firm and steady extra pressure and perhaps move closer to the bridge, in particular if using much bow is not feasible for some reason (e.g. it's an upstroke and you're already close to the frog). –  leftaroundabout May 4 at 13:14
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