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I'm playing a movement (from a Quantz flute concerto) in 2/4 time. There are reasonably lengthy passages of semiquavers with no slurs marked.

I appreciate I want to vary my articulation to make it more interesting, so how would I go about deciding where to place my slurs? Are there certain beats I shouldn't slur between because it would add emphasis in the wrong place?

Of course you can't give me a definitive answer without seeing the music, but presumably there are some general rules to follow.

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It really depends on the music. I don't think there are any rhythmic permutations of 2/4 time that we could definitively say should not be slurred. Emphasis could be anywhere in a measure depending on where the composer has decided to phrase. Perhaps one thing you might try doing is finding repeated material and play it differently (either with dynamics or articulation) the second time around.

However, you do want to stay true to the style of that historical music. Have you listened to professional recordings that use period instruments and performance practice? You may find that each note in that passage is meant to be articulated, but at the same time there may be a few things you can do to vary that articulation; perhaps by experimenting with different tongue positions and note lengths.

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