Articulation |
Music Terms

Articulation |

Dictionary categories
terms and concepts

lat. articulatio, from articulo – dismember, articulate

A way of performing a sequence of sounds on an instrument or voice; determined by the fusion or dismemberment of the latter. The scale of degrees of fusion and dismemberment extends from legatissimo (maximum fusion of sounds) to staccatissimo (maximum brevity of sounds). It can be divided into three zones—the fusion of sounds (legato), their dissection (non legato), and their brevity (staccato), each of which includes many intermediate shades of A. On bowed instruments, A. is carried out by conducting the bow, and on wind instruments, by regulating breathing, on keyboards – by removing the finger from the key, in singing – by various methods of using the vocal apparatus. In musical notation A. is indicated by the words (except those mentioned above) tenuto, portato, marcato, spiccato, pizzicato, etc. or graphic. signs – leagues, horizontal lines, dots, vertical lines (in editions of the 3th century), wedges (denoting a sharp staccato from the beginning of the 18th century) and decomp. combinations of these characters (eg.),


Earlier, A. began to designate (approx. from the beginning of the 17th century) in the production. for bowed instruments (in the form of leagues over 2 notes, which should be played without changing the bow, connected). In production for keyboard instruments up to J. S. Bach, A. was rarely indicated. In organ music, the German composer and organist S. Scheidt was one of the first to use articulation designations in his New Tablature. (“Tabulatura nova”, 1624) he used leagues; this innovation was seen by him as “imitation of violinists”. The designation system of arabia was developed towards the end of the 18th century.

The functions of A. are diverse and often closely related to rhythmic, dynamic, timbre, and some other musical expressions. means, as well as with the general character of the muses. prod. One of the important functions of A. is distinctive; mismatched A. mus. constructions contributes to their relief differentiation. For example, the structure of a Bach melody is often revealed with the help of A.: notes of shorter duration are played more smoothly than notes of longer duration, wide intervals are more dissected than second moves. Sometimes these techniques are summed up, as, for example, in the theme of Bach’s 2-voice invention in F-dur (ed. by Busoni):

But the distinction can also be achieved by reverse means, as, for example, in the theme of Beethoven’s c-moll concerto:

With the introduction of slurs in phrasing (19th century), phrasing began to be confused with phrasing, and therefore H. Riemann and other researchers pointed out the need for a strict distinction between them. G. Keller, trying to find such a distinction, wrote that “the logical connection of a phrase is determined by phrasing alone, and its expressiveness – by articulation.” Other researchers argued that A. clarifies the smallest units of muses. text, while phrasing is related in meaning and usually closed fragments of a melody. In fact, A. is only one of the means by which phrasing can be carried out. Owls. organist I. A. Braudo noted that, contrary to the opinion of a number of researchers: 1) phrasing and a. are not united by a common generic category, and therefore it is erroneous to define them by dividing a non-existent generic concept into two types; 2) the search for a specific function of A. is illegal, since its logical. and expressive functions are very diverse. Therefore, the point is not in the unity of functions, but in the unity of means, which are based on the ratio of the discontinuous and the continuous in music. All the diverse processes that take place in the “life” of one note (thinning, intonation, vibration, fading and cessation), Braudo proposed to call muses. pronunciation in the broad sense of the word, and the range of phenomena associated with the transition from one sounding note to the next, including the cessation of sound before the exhaustion of the duration of the note, – pronunciation in the narrow sense of the word, or A. According to Braudo, pronunciation is a general generic concept, one of the types which is A.

References: Braudo I., Articulation, L., 1961.

L. A. Barenboim

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