long slurs vs piano marks??

• Jun 4, 2022 - 22:16

HI folks: I m still too much a novice to understand this distinction.
Examine this small sample:


It is a piano piece with both ties, slurs and piano marks. It is my understanding that ties tell the pianist not to strike the 2nd note, so the 1st note carries through. Got that. The piano marks tell the pianist to hold the pedal down for the length of the mark, allowing all notes to ring together so to speak, through 2- 4 measures (that is the composer's desire). What throws me are the slurs. To me, a slur simply tells the player to play the notes legato, or smoothly. I can understand it in violins and strings, even horns, but is this case, the piano mark is going to force all the notes to play smoothly and continuously, isn't it? In THIS case, could I not delete all the slurs, keep the ties and pedal marks, and have the song sound exactly the same? I really would prefer that because the slurs sort of crowd things up. Your advice is as always, greatly appreciated.


In piano pieces, Slur is used to play the notes as if they were adjacent to the previous one, with no spaces between them (100% length).
Also: Used to indicate musical sentences.
That is: "Do not interrupt the sentence in the wrong place even for the purpose of making a musical interpretation; the sentence is in the areas marked with a slur", which can also be counted as a guiding.

However, the pedal used in the work is meaningless in this case (Because the fragments where the pedal is used do not match the melody in the right hand). In this case, The pedal lines written here are wrong and unnecessary.

Leave the pedals to the initiative of the pianist. The pianist will press and release the pedal where it is (technically) necessary.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I am using the pedals to sustain all the base notes, particularly since I am relying upon the MuseScore mixer to play the song. In this case, the pedal will sustain all the treble and base notes and play them legato, so I guess I can delete the slurs IF I am uploading the song primarily for folks to enjoy listening to and playing it.

Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it a lot.

You are not wrong to be confused. Slur don't really mean much at all on piano, not compared to what they mean for wind or stringed instruments. They just mean in some vague ambiguous way, "play these notes smoothly", but normally you play as smoothly as you can even without a slur.

So in terms of MuseScore playback, yes it will sound the same with or without the slurs. A real pianist might do things like lift the hand to create a small separate between the phrase (ie, at the end of each slur). But it would be subtle.

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