Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 27 November 2020

Legato [ligato] (It.: ‘bound’; Fr. lié; Ger. gebunden)locked

  • Geoffrey Chew

Extract

[ligato] (It.: ‘bound’; Fr. lié; Ger. gebunden)

Of successive notes in performance, connected without any intervening silence of articulation. In practice, the connection or separation of notes is relative, and achieved through the presence or absence of emphasis, Periodicals, and attack, as much as silences of articulation; degrees of connection and separation vary from legatissimo (representing the closest degree of connection), tenuto, portamento, legato, portato, non legato, mezzo-staccato, Staccato (the natural antonym of legato), to staccatissimo, and some of these terms have connotations going beyond simple degrees of connection or separation.

In 20th-century notation, legato is generally indicated by means of the Slur across a succession of notes; the beginnings and ends of slurs are now generally marked by articulations (of bowing or tonguing in string and wind instruments, and of phrasing in keyboard instruments). The slur often, however, had a vaguer general meaning of ‘legato’ in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Successions of notes in modern notation are seldom left without any indication of articulation, but if they are, the performer will normally presume that a legato style of playing is called for....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.