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Articulation (music)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In music, articulation refers to the direction or performance

technique which affects the transition or continuity on a single
note or between multiple notes or sounds.
Examples of articulations. From
left to right: staccato,
staccatissimo, martellato,
marcato, tenuto.

1 Types of articulations
2 Procedure
2.1 Brass and woodwind instruments
2.2 Bowed instruments Articulations from legato to
3 Compound articulations staccatissimo. Legato ,
3.1 Apagados Portato , Staccato ,
4 See also Staccatissimo
5 Bibliography
6 External links

Types of articulations
There are many types of articulation, each with a different effect on how the note is played. In
music notation articulation marks include the slur, phrase mark, staccato, staccatissimo, accent,
sforzando, rinforzando, and legato. A different symbol, placed above or below the note (depending
on its position on the staff), represents each articulation.

Hold the note in question its full length (or longer, with slight rubato), or play the note
slightly louder.
Indicates a short note, long chord, or medium passage to be played louder or more
forcefully than surrounding music.
Staccato Signifies a note of shortened duration
Legato Indicates musical notes are to be played or sung smoothly and connected.

Brass and woodwind instruments

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Articulation (music) - Wikipedia

Woodwind and brass instruments generally produce articulations by tonguing, the use of the tongue
to break the airflow into the instrument.

Certain palate cues can help student musicians master articulations. For example, the syllable "dah"
demonstrates one placement of the tongue to articulate notes. In most cases, using the near tip of
the tongue, is the best way of articulation. However, different articulation markings require
different tongue placement. Smooth, connected passages may require an articulation more
reminiscent of the syllable "la," while heavy, sharp notes may be attacked with an articulation
similar to "tah."

Furthermore, the implementation of double-tonguing may be required when many articulations are
required in rapid succession. Double-tonguing can be simulated by repeating the syllables "dig" and
"guh" in rapid succession. Other syllables for double tonguing are "tuh" and "kuh," "tih" and "kuh,"
and any other combination of syllables that utilize the tip of the tongue behind the front teeth and
then the back of the tongue against the back of the mouth. Double-tonguing is an articulation
primarily used by brass players, however, the use of double-tonguing by woodwind players is
becoming more common.

A third, rare form of articulation for wind players is "doodle tonguing." The name of this
articulation comes from the sound, doodle, one would make if she were to sound her voice while
performing the articulation. Doodle-tonguing is achieved by moving the tip of the tongue up and
down quickly to block the air stream momentarily on the way up, and again on the way down.

Bowed instruments

Bowed stringed instruments use different bowing techniques to achieve different articulations. One
of these techniques is pizzicato.

Compound articulations
Occasionally, articulations can be combined to create stylistically or technically correct sounds. For
example, when staccato marks are combined with a slur, the result is portato, also known as
articulated legato. Tenuto markings under a slur are called (for bowed strings) hook bows. This
name is also less commonly applied to staccato or martellato (martelé) markings.


Apagados (from the Spanish verb apagar, "to mute") refers to notes that are played dampened or
"muted," without sustain. The term is written above or below the notes with a dotted or dashed line
drawn to the end of the group of notes that are to be played dampened. The technique is chiefly
written for bowed or plucked instruments. Modernists refer to the apogado as "palm mute." On the
guitar, the musician dampens the strings with the palm of the hand and plucks with the thumb.
Strictly speaking, the term dampened is correct for this effect in music; since to mute means to
silence. Illustration of the apagados may be found in the work of composer for Spanish guitar,

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Articulation (music) - Wikipedia

Gerardo de Altona. See:


See also
List of musical symbols: Articulation Marks

Cooper, Helen (1985). Basic Guide to How to Read Music. ISBN 0-399-51122-9.

External links
GNU Lilypond Notation Software's List of Articulation Symbols (

Retrieved from "


Categories: Articulations

This page was last modified on 14 January 2017, at 09:51.

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