Strokes in music are a way of performing sounds that define the character of the sound. The duration of the sound, it is not yet musical strokes.
The term “stroke” comes from the German “bar line” which means line, line, line. This word, of course, originated first and foremost from the notation in the sheet music, as the stroke with which a particular sound should be played is often indicated in the sheet music by a variety of dots, dashes, and other signs above (or below) the sheet music:
Strokes describe many parameters: duration, attack characteristics, damping characteristics, timbre, pitch, and other features of the sound. In most cases, a stroke refers to one single note and changes its actual duration, as opposed to duration, which often indicates only the time between attacks of sounds.
In the above example, there are 10 sounds:
League, an arc-shaped line starting from a note, indicates that the sound should be performed legato (legato – coherently), that is, taken with a medium or soft attack and not taken off until it moves into the next one. Sometimes you can even pull it a little bit already during the sounding of the next sound (of course, not in vocals and winds, where it is physically impossible). The stroke can be indicated not only by the league, but also by the word “legato. In the latter case, it is meant that all sounds are played with this stroke until the section in the music ends, or there is no other indication.
The last sound under the league should also have a soft attack (unless you have an additional designation), but it is no longer a legato sound. It is performed with the stroke that is indicated above it. In this case, non-legato (non-legato – not coherent). The non-legato stroke can also be marked with words, but most often it is indicated simply by the absence of any indications or designations. It is the only bar that does not have its own sign. When played, the sound should stop before the next one is taken, but not very short. This will sound different in different cases. It is risky to specify any figures, but for a person encountering strokes for the first time, a reference point can be a value of about 75% of the specified duration (respectively, the “unused” remainder of the duration – pause). One can only say with certainty that it should not be shortened by half, as beginner musicians often do.
Stroke non-legato, as the previous sound, the only difference is that it is taken in the same way is not connected with the previous one.
The stroke staccato (staccato – abruptly). Staccato stroke, even shorter sound than non-legato. For beginner musicians, it can be recommended to consider it as using approximately 50% of the duration of the note to sound and 50% – to pause, supplementing the “unspent” time. Dry staccato refers to an even greater shortening of sounding time. By sharp staccato is the ultimate. There are no designations for these types of staccato. These expressions may be used in commentaries or method books. In musicians’ colloquial speech, the word “wet” staccato is sometimes used as a counterbalance to dry staccato. As a rule, it is not used in professional literature. It denotes a stroke close to non-legato.
Wedge-shaped staccato. This bar will be interpreted differently for different instruments, and although it should be the exact analog of the normal staccato for the pianist, apparently, due to the emotional response of seeing the tip pointing toward the note, this bar is likely to be performed a bit sharper (shorter) and more accented.
A non-legato accent is a regular non-legato with a sharper attack of sound. Since the pianist cannot noticeably change just one attack of sound, for the pianist this stroke simply means a louder sound.
Tenuto (tenuto), from the Italian tenere, to hold. Denoted by a horizontal dash (stroke). Probably the oldest of the strokes, first mentioned over 1000 years ago. It denotes exactly the duration of the note. Because of the very ancient origin causes a lot of misunderstandings. The basic way of execution is a non-legato stroke, but sustained the full duration of the note. In this case, the need to separate the sound from the neighboring forced to slightly exceed the marked duration, to violate the uniformity of the metric pulsation. Variants of treatment: absence of acceleration in the place where the stroke is indicated, typical for a particular piece on a particular measure (if it was shortened before, for example, the 4th beat), a small delay on the sound, legato stroke with a more clear attack sound.
Fermata (fermata – stop). In Italy, you may encounter this word at a bus stop. It is not quite correct to refer fermata to strokes, but since computer software producers usually put the fermata sign in the same menu as strokes, it has become quite logical. Fermata means to increase the duration of a note or pause. The magnitude is not exactly rationed and is determined by the performer depending on the nature of the music. Stopping at the sound occurs in one of two ways:
with preservation of tempo (the duration is increased by a whole number of counting beats, lengthening the note most often by 1.5-2 times) and metrical pulsation;
with preservation of duration (tempo starts to slow down earlier, the note becomes the slowest in tempo, but preserves the original number of beats).
The choice of method depends on the author’s instructions. If a fermata is preceded by the sign “slow down”, “ritenuto”, “ritardando” or “rallentando”, then the second method is used, in all other cases – the first one. In addition, sometimes there is a fermata sing above the beat, to indicate the backlash before starting a new section of music.
The French league is a league that appeared in music with the Impressionists. This league starts from a note and goes nowhere. Such a league should seamlessly connect sounds to silence. This can only be achieved by listening to the natural fading of the string vibrations to the end. It is usually used in piano notes. To perform, press the right pedal on the piano and do not remove it until the sounds fade below the threshold of audibility or are masked by room noises.
Only strokes common to different genres and instruments are listed in the article. Each instrument has both its own specific performance of the same strokes, and its own specific strokes, performed only on it.
For example, legato on the violin comes in three varieties:
Semitone legato on one string, which is performed by smoothly slipping the finger of the left hand (pressing the string) from one position to another;
Legato on one string, which, on the same bow, a new sound is picked up by another finger of the left hand (or by removal of the finger holding the first note);
Legato with transition to another string, which is performed with the right hand, at the same time for a while sounding as the first note and the second.
Stringed bowed instruments (which include the violin) in general have the richest assortment of strokes. Strokes depend on the direction of the bow (up and down), on the tightness of the bow to the strings, on the sharpness and smoothness of stops, strokes based on the bow lying down, bouncing and throwing, pizzicato (without a bow), etc.
When do you set a bar line?
A bar line is set when a new musical phrase begins.
What are the time signatures in music?
A time signature is a numerical symbol that indicates how many beats are in a measure, and what kind of note gets one beat. Common time has a time signature of 4/4, meaning there are four quarter notes in a measure and a quarter note gets one beat.
What are the bar lines?
Bar lines are the vertical lines that separate each measure in a piece of music.
What do the bar lines do?
The bar lines indicate the measure, or the number of beats in a musical phrase.