In the opening bars of this c-sharp minor nocturne, we have the famous descending scales that are played twice, first in piano then in pianissimo. Here's a snapshot (source) of the part in question: enter image description here

Question: The lower curved line connecting the two c sharps of the right hand, (i.e. between the 2nd and 3rd chords of right hand, similarly between 4th and 5th chords), does this line correspond to a slur in which case the two chords are played in a legato or does it correspond to a tie, in which case the c sharp note is only played in the starting chord but held down during the following chord?

  • Finally, what is the general rule in distinguishing between slurs and ties?
  • An interesting question - on the 4th and 5th chords, does the E (R.H.) get played once or twice? – Tim Jul 17 '15 at 17:39
  • 1
    @Tim twice, as there's no direct tie line between them. The double e is actually quite audible, when you listen to the piece, e.g. here. – Phonon Jul 17 '15 at 18:13

A curved line connected two notes that are the same pitch is a tie. If they are different pitches, it is a slur.

In this example, the C sharps in the bottom voices in the right hand are tied, and the other voices are played legato according to the slurs.

  • Thanks a lot, really needed to be re-assured about this :) – Phonon Jul 17 '15 at 16:55

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