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Advanced ADVANCED THEORY - Lesson 11 - Articulations

Advanced Theory

Andrew Milner

Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 11, 2019
    So do notes like have to look after their knees and other assorted body parts now?
    1. Topics of discussion
    2. The trill
    3. Marcato, portato and tenuto
    1. Topics of discussion

    In this tutorial, we will be discussing various articulations that you may encounter in music. So, let's have some fun.

    2. The trill

    In music, a trill is used to tell a musician that he has to play a rapid alternation between to adjacent notes. I find it easy to understand this if I think of it as a voice vibrato. The trill is a fairly common musical ornament, which is used to add color to your playing. On a musical sheet, it looks like this:


    And here it is played back.

    How rapidly you alternate between the notes is up to you and the song that you are playing. You should adjust the speed of the alternation to the tempo of the song.

    3. Marcato, portato and tenuto

    A marcato note is somewhat similar to an accentuated note, with the only difference being that a marcato note is to be played even louder than an accentuated one.

    The portato is a term that tells the musician that the note is to be played with a shorter length, but not as short as a staccato note. A portato is also known as a mezzo-staccato because of it.

    Finally, the tenuto is a term that has two meanings:
    • play the note for a longer period
    • play the note slightly louder
    This is dependent on the song and on any other notations in it. The general idea is that a note marked with a tenuto line has to receive some sort of emphasis.

    Here is how you notate these terms on a music sheet:


    And here it is played back.

    The order of appearance is marcato, portato and tenuto.

    And that about covers it for this tutorial. This is the last thread I have planned for now. So enjoy them wisely.
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