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I was wondering how to play the notes that have a small dash going through the tie, for example, the first two beats of the second bar.

For the left hand, do you play it slightly staccato? That is what I have heard Barenboim do.

For the right hand, how is it played? Why are there two ties covering the first two notes of the notes written above the treble clef line but not one the last to notes?

  • 2
    The inset explains how the grace note is integral with the first proper note (grace note F, to E). The whole phrase of 4 notes has a slur mark, so it's a slur within a phrase, if you like.If that's how the composer wanted it played, can't understand why it wasn't written like that. Dash is interesting.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 8:05
  • I think it's already answered here: music.stackexchange.com/questions/40417/… "may use a dashed/dotted/broken slur or phrase mark when it's optional" or "may use a dashed/dotted/broken slur to indicate editorial material"
    – atanii
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


I think @atanii is right about the dashes, but I can tell you more about what the editorial note in the right hand’s first measure means:

When composers of Mozart’s time wanted to write out a group of four running notes that starts on a strong beat, they sometimes needed to prepare (or write) the notes differently than we would today. They would double the length of the second note, and prepare the first note as a grace note tied into the group.

I believe this is due to species counterpoint rules. It used to be considered undesirable to put a dissonant harmonic interval such as the perfect fourth between C and F on a “strong” beat. To circumvent this rule, Classical Era composers would place the second note, in this case a consonant major third, on the strong beat.

But you don’t need to know that to perform this accurately. Play it just as the editorial inlay says: four slurred sixteenth notes, in time.


The line indicates that the slur is editorial, not in the original manuscript. Unless you disagree with the editor, play it as normal.

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