Take a look at the below screengrab from the orchestra score of Sweeney Todd.

slurs, ties of phrase markings

Are bars 1 and 3 (with the exception of the Bass) tied or slurred? In bar 2 the pitch does drop but in 1 and 3 it's the same notes so if they are tied how would you be able to do an additional upbow for the second bar?

Perhaps they are just phrase markings, or Slurrs. Hard to tell when the Cello does use the same notes.

Audio here https://voca.ro/naw9AvbnqKz


The tenuto markings on all those notes suggests to me that those markings indicate phrasing rather than slurs or ties.

  • Probably -- or just indicating the slightest of emphasis, to make it easier for the singer to hit the downbeats. Jun 4 '20 at 12:30

Notes are always tied to another note of the same pitch. Be it in the same bar, or the next. Since the 'tied' notes here are separated by a bar with another note, they cannot be tied.

That mark is a phrase or slur, and most likely indicates smooth playing with one long bow stroke.


Nonconsecutive notes cannot be tied, and therefore, they must be phrase marks. In practice, the middle of the phrase usually expands, while the beginning and ending of the phrase are played more lightly.

  • 1
    Not ties. Probably phrase markings. There's often little difference between phrase markings and slurs: the result can be the same. On the other hand these marks are exactly how you would indicate louré bowing, which would certainly be feasible at this tempo and at mp. Jun 3 '20 at 23:19
  • What about the cello part?
    – phoog
    Jun 4 '20 at 3:24
  • @phoog The cello part is like the others. Did you mean the bass? It's playing pizzicato. Jun 4 '20 at 12:06

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