Play the Piano – Articulation

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,108
    Professional pianist Alex Wasserman demonstrates articulation.

    Alex Wasserman

    Alexander Wasserman is a professional pianist and pedagogue whose performances include Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland, “Pianofest” , Peabody Institute, Los Angeles. He is on the faculty at the International School of Music (ISM) in Bethesda, where he teaches piano to all ages, levels, and styles. With a distinguished faculty of 55 teachers, ISM provides students with a rich music education experience. The ISM faculty’s friendly personalities, insightful approaches, and individually tailored teaching methods have helped students become complete and versatile musicians. ISM provides an atmosphere that is warm and supportive so every student can achieve his/her best.

    Alexander Wasserman: I am Alex Wasserman and we are continuing to talk about piano basics. Let's talk about articulation. Articulation is a musical term for the touch that we use to bring out different characters in certain notes. For example, we can play something that is Staccato which means very short. This would be an example of something that was played a staccato. Legato is the complete opposite of staccato and might sound something like this. You can hear how the first example, the staccato playing, sounded very short and detached and the second example, the legato playing, sounded very smooth and connected. Here is an example of staccato playing in Beethoven's Sonata opus 31, number 3 in E-flat. Notice how the staccato playing in the left hand gives the whole piece a very light-hearted buoyant feeling. In the very next movement, Beethoven has a minuet which uses legato playing. Next, we will be talking about the hand and body position.