At the start of this piece the word staccato is written beneath the lower stave and the word legato is written in between the staves.

When are you suppose to stop playing the lower-stave notes with staccato? Should you stop in bar 22?

How exactly are you suppose to interpret the word legato in bar 1? Do you play the upper stave like it's all in a slur? When does it end?

  • 1
    Why doesn't the recording you posted answer your question?
    – Aaron
    Apr 19 at 19:55
  • "When are you suppose to stop playing the lower-stave notes with staccato?": Why do you think you should stop at all?
    – phoog
    Apr 20 at 9:15
  • @phoog - I guess OP thinks it could be when the staccato signs stop. A logical idea.
    – Tim
    Apr 20 at 11:16
  • @Tim indeed. I hadn't noticed the staccato dots themselves; I had only seen the word "staccato."
    – phoog
    Apr 20 at 11:43

2 Answers 2


Schubert actually gives clear indications when to switch, either by giving Pedal marks and slurs, or by giving staccato dots. These are given a few times and then you are expected to get the gist of how to play it and continue likewise.

The legato and staccato indeed tells you to play the upper staff legato and the lower one staccato.


On bar 6, the composer could have written 'simile' or simili', to indicate that the effects continue as long as the pattern of notes does. Most players would anticipate this, even in its absence, to keep the established effect going, until there's a marked change in what's played.

So, simply, carry on with legato r.h. and staccato l.h. while that pattern of notes goes on. There will probably be another direction at that point.

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