1 Maumi

Marcato In Music Definition Essay

With each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others.

as adjective‘a staccato rhythm’

Compare with legato, marcato

  • ‘Retention of a naturally compact hand through early release of selected notes and judicious use of staccato touch is a potent technique.’
  • ‘The piano started up; soft, staccato notes filled the room and chased away the dull rumble from the backstage area.’
  • ‘On the piano, James was not delicate nor mysterious at all - his playing was stuttered and fast, something rushing forth in staccato bursts that suggest supreme agitation or even anger.’
  • ‘Meyer carefully pays attention to dynamic and legato / staccato contrasts, so her playing is endlessly interesting, as well as tonally gratifying.’
  • ‘Townshend led a master's class in aggressive guitar, windmilling power chords, strumming with blitzkrieg ferocity and firing out staccato solos in intensive bursts.’

Contact point: Also called sounding point, the explicit part of the bow hair which touches the string. In Suzuki parlance, related to the "Kreisler Highway," or the effort to play perfectly parallel between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge at the optimal spot which will produce the best sound.

Détaché: Impossible to define this, as there are so many varieties. Basically, up and down; a change of bowing direction. Does not necessarily mean staccato (though sometimes defined as such); can be heavily accented or not.

[It should be noted that détaché does not mean "detached." Détaché is in French what is called a "false friend"; it looks like an English word (remember that about 80% of the words in French are also in English), but is not at all the same thing. Détaché simply means separate bows. Another example of a "false friend" is the verb in French, demand. If you say, "Je demande" you only say I ask, not I demand...which has been known to play havoc with diplomatic translations!]

Flautando: Flute-like sound produced by deliberately playing over the fingerboard.

Harmonics: Bell-like tone created by lightly touching the string with the flat part of the left finger, which breaks the string into partials. The first harmonic learned by students is the one mid-way between the nut and the bridge, at about an inch or so above (towards the bridge) where the body of the violin begins. Indicated by a 4 and a 0 fingering. Used by composers for affect. Harmonics.

Hemiola: Not an articulation but a rhythmic configuration, two against three:

Pizzicato: Usually written as "pizz" in the parts, and "arco" when the pizz section is meant to end. Plucking the string with the right hand. Technique may be done in several ways with respect to the holding of the bow in the right hand: (a) for very quick notes in pizz, the right index finger may be extended, and the pizz done without much changing the shape of the bow hold; (b) the bow may be grasped by the fist and the thumb balanced against the corner of the fingerboard with the index finger pizzing; and (c) the bow may be set down in the lap or on the stand for extended passages in pizz. There is also the virtuosic technique of left hand pizzicato, found, for example, in Paganini Caprices, where the left hand does the plucking of the strings in conjunction with or interspersed with bowing. Pizzicato.

Ponticello: Orchestral technique of playing on the bridge (sul ponticello). "Dietro il ponticello" is playing behind the bridge. These and much more unorthodox techniques may be found in Penderecki's "Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima." End of ponticello passage may be indicated by "ordinario," often written as "ord." Sul ponticello.

Portamento: An audible slide from one position to the next. As modern stringed instrument technique developed in the later part of the 20th century, players tended to be less and less "schmaltzy," and portamento used more carefully. But in the performances of Yo-Yo Ma (for example) you will be surprised to discover a lot of portamenti, but they do not sound syrupy at all. This is a matter of "taste," that longed for but often hard to define characteristic of great string playing. Portamento.

Sautellé: (French; Italian saltando, German Springbogen, Spanish saltillo) - A bowstroke played rapidly in the middle of the bow, one bowstroke per note, so that the bow bounces very slightly off the string. If the bounce becomes higher at this speed, it is really a flying staccato or flying spiccato. It is not indicated in any consistent manner: sometimes dots are placed above or below the notes, sometimes arrow-head strokes, and sometimes the stroke is simply left to the performer's discretion. spiccato and sautillé are sometimes used as synonyms, though spiccato tends to be applied to a broader range of off-the-string strokes. **

Scordatura (It. "mistuning"): Non-traditional tuning of strings, used by Biber and others, particularly but not solely in the baroque era. See: Scordatura.

Slur: A curved line, below which or above which, all the notes are smoothly articulated together. Phrase breaks occur outside the slur. The primary distinction between a slur and a tie, is that a tie unites one or more notes of the same pitch, requiring that the pitch not be replayed but held the time required. Slurs slur notes of different pitches, as a rule.

Son filé: Fr., "filimented sound" or the sustained legato. See: Bow Speed Techniques, to study the production of this sound. Another method is as follows:
Ex: Starting at the tip, keeping the bow parallel between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge, move the bow as slowly as possible to the frog (and back) making a nice sound and counting. See how long you can make this last. Very good for developing the small muscle control needed to play with sensitivity.

Sounding Point (or "point of contact"): String articulations are controlled from the second joint of the left, "bow hand": the middle joint of the index finger. [See: Finger names] This is the spot where the index finger sits, bent, on the top and side (away from the player) of the bow.

The bow needs to "cut the string" at the sounding point ("point of contact")— the feeling is centered in that spot on the index finger, at the middle joint. The sounding point is a concept from Galamian: this is the exact spot where the bow hair "cuts" the string. This, really, is the secret of good sound on the violin.

Spiccato: See Bouncing Bow.

Staccato: Generally, short. Spaces between the notes. An important articulation developed by the control of the bow from the second joint of the bow hand on the stick. [For further study: martelé, jeté, slurred staccato, flying staccato.] Staccato.

Sul tasto: Playing over the fingerboard (which produces a softer sound). Okay as an orchestral technique, not okay as a bad habit, due to lack of bow control or the affect of gravity if the violin is not held parallel (or above) to the floor. End of sul tasto passage may be indicated by "ordinario," often written as "ord."

Timbre: The quality of a sound, which distinguishes one sound from another; e.g. the violin versus the viola. Violin timbre; Viola timbre.

Tremolo: Orchestral technique of many small and measured or unmeasured up and down bows, accented or unaccented, at various dynamics, as indicated by the composer. Often used to fill the sound more full, or to create excitement or tension. Tremolo.

Vibrato: An oscillating of the sound, used to provide warmth to a note. Basically three kinds of vibrato: finger vibrato, hand vibrato, arm vibrato, with string players tending to use one or more of these according to their own propensities. In the Baroque period vibrato was considered an ornament. In contemporary technique, continuous vibrato can be a problem and has to be controlled. Vibrato should not be used during the practice of scales, unless one is specifically using the scale to practice vibrato. Vibrato can also be a sign of nervousness and should be calmed, in that case. Judiciously used vibrato and portamento contribute to the emotional appeal of a performance.

** Wikipedia

Fiddle Camps - Texas

Note that these are the current dates, which may change slightly from year to year.

Acoustic Music Camp, Dallas, TX
August 8-10, 2013. Fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, vocals. Fiddle instructors: Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor, Ron Stewart, Nate Lee. Info: (214) 236-0783; http://AcousticMusicCamp.com

Camp Bluegrass, Levelland, TX (South Plains College)
July 14-19, 2013. Fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, vocals, Dobro; all levels. Fiddle instructor: Nate Lee. Structured jams offered at all levels. Info: South Plains College, Jennette Grisby: (806) 894-9611, ext. 2341; http://www.campbluegrass.com

HCAMP's Winter Acoustic Music CAMP
Friday, January 09, 2015 - Sunday, January 11, 2015
Mt.Wesley Conference Center, 610 Methodist Encampment Rd., Kerrville, Texas 78028 (830) 895-5700

The Dale and Tobi Morris 2013 Wintertime Fiddle Camp, Decatur, TXhttp://www.texasfiddlemusic.com/annual.html Dec. 27-29

Randy Elmore Fiddle Workshop, Cisco, Texas
July 8-11, 2013. 2012 instructors: Randy Elmore, Marty Elmore, Dick Gimble, and Valerie Ryals. Info: 817-558-9497; htt://www.randyelmore.com

Live Oak Fiddle Camp, Hallettsville, TX
May 26-30, 2013. An advanced level camp where musicians have an opportunity to learn, play, and share techniques & tunes in a fun and relaxed environment. Limited space available; advanced players only. 2013 Instructors: Hanneke Cassel, Billy Contreras, Casey Driessen, Wes Westmoreland. Fiddle Camp Details are on the website
Web: http://www.liveoakfiddlecamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liveoakfiddlecamp

Texas Jaam Camp: July 28 - Aug. 2
Web: http://www.texasjaamcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaamcamp?fref=ts
Directions to the camp: http://www.moranch.com/index.php?t=5

For fiddle camps in other states see http://www.fiddle.com/Camps-Workshops-U-S-A-L-.page

Fiddle Terminology

Bounce: US term for playing in a way that inspires dancers.

Downbow fiddler: can refer either to starting with a downbow, or keeping the accents on the downbow, (downbow accent fiddling) or both. Downbow fiddlers usually use a down-up sawstroke, if they use sawstroke.

Dragging the bow: the common technique of keeping the hair on the strings while playing.

Georgia Shuffle: three note slurs used with isolated single stroke accents. The most common method is three note upbow slurs with the single stroke accents on the backbeat or offbeat. This method is the one commonly used in Bluegrass. Some Old Time fiddlers reverse this and put the three note slurs on the downstroke and the accents on single upbows. I have also heard it used to describe a single strong downstroke on the downbeat, followed by a three note slur on the upbow; this is sometimes called "downbeat Georgia."

Lilt (or "swing"): Irish Traditional term for playing in a way that inspires dancers.

Nashville Shuffle: two note slur followed by two single strokes, then repeat in the opposite directions. Many common shuffle patterns are in some way related to the Nashville Shuffle, often using the same ending phrase. Or they can be the same motions, but offset in relation to the measure lines. From Joel Shimberg of Fiddle-L: The term 'Nashville Shuffle' was originated by Gus Meade. He told me that he called it that in recognition of Tommy Jackson, who used it and who was the premier Nashville fiddler at the time.

Potatoes: A rhythmic "chop" a fiddler uses at the start of a fiddle tune to establish tempo, immediately before playing the tune at some other tempo. . . . . . This was originally a fake term made up by Pete Wernick (Dr. Banjo -Hot Rize bluegrass band) when he was a student. He coined the term initially to shorthand the banjo kick-off roll, sort of a one-and two-and three four feel, not the one two-and three four-and figure usually described today. . . . . This was an experiment to see how long it took to make the expression common in America and the word was chosen because it DID NOT resemble what it described. Wernick told me that is made its way from east to west coast within a year and over the next couple of years people began to claim their grandparents' generation used the term. Not true. [Thanks to Michael Stadler Facebook Fiddlers' Association.]

Sawstroke: single strokes, often down-up, down-up.

Three articulations used by players of Irish fiddle:

  • detache - simply changing the bow direction.
  • Cuts - a percussive, very short grace note which stops the strings vibration.
  • (Least common) - Strikes, also called taps or pats by pipers, fluters & whistlers - which is like a cut but where the finger is lifted for a nano-second separating a quarter note into two eighths of the same pitch.

    Short rolls: which are equal to a quarter note. There are graced triplets and there are 'long rolls' which are equal to a dotted quarter note. 'Trebles' are simply triplets played with a bit of martele giving them a scratchier sound - some play them smoother than others; it's a personal choice. I play mine harder when playing highland music and as smooth as I can when playing Sligo and Clare music.

    Slurring: important in Irish trad, a "rocking" phrase where the melody comes back to a pedal note (EX: E2BE dEBE). Commonly played with three notes on a stroke followed by two sets of two notes on a bow. Some call it figure 8 bowing or sligo bowing and there are many other ways to do it - but it's a good starting point for the pattern.

    Upbow fiddler: fiddler who either starts on upbows, puts accents on the upbow, or both. Upbow fiddlers usually use an up-down sawstroke, if they use sawstroke.

    Vibrato: can be used, but only in some Irish styles: sometimes I've heard it in NY Sligo and Donegal and it's used very sparingly. Andy McGann used it a lot and thought it was important enough to suggest using it. It's a pressure vibrato, not arm vibrato - but they use that in Scots and Cape Breton music.

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