I was reading some violin sheet music when in on measure you had to play something that looked like a slurred staccato. How would you play a slurred staccato on the violin? Here is how the sheet music looked:

Slurred staccato


Slurs in string music are somewhat peculiar in that they do not primarily indicate the sound of legato but the execution, namely not changing bowing direction between two notes. Without additional phrase markings, they are legato, but if there are phrase markings (except on the note the slur ends on, of course), they override the sound while the continued bow direction indicated by the slur is retained.

So if you tack on staccato dots, the notes are played staccato, by stopping the bow and then continuing in the same direction. If there are tenuto bars in connection with a slur, the notes are played with the usual note length of detached notes, just without reversing bow direction in between. This sounds actually a bit different from how you'd play a tenuto bar without the slur, but nobody really writes the full "portato" indication (which is both a tenuto bar and a staccato dot) in connection with slurs for string music.

You did not ask this, but for the execution particularly of only slightly detached notes it is rather helpful to keep a flexible wrist so that you can detach the notes there rather than having to stop your whole arm up to the shoulder in one moment.


The slur just means you play all those notes under the same bow stroke, yet with a separation between each note.


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