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A slur is a symbol in Western musical notation indicating that the notes it embraces are to be played without separation. This implies legato articulation, and in music for bowed string instruments, it also indicates the notes should be played in one bow; and in music for wind instruments, that the notes should be played without using the tongue to rearticulate each note (see tonguing). In vocal music, slurs are usually used to mark notes which are sung to a single syllable.
A slur is denoted with a curved line generally placed over the notes if the stems point downward, and under them if the stems point upwards:
When two instruments written on the same staff both have slurred phrases with the same note values (e.g., clarinets playing in thirds) it is customary to have two sets of slurs, though in some scores just one set is used and it is understood to apply to both of the instruments.
The slur is not to be confused with two other similar musical symbols. The tie is a curved line that links two notes of the same pitch to show that their durations are to be added together. The ligature or phrase mark is a curved line that extends over a passage which is visually indistinguishable from the slur, and indicates that the passage is to be interpreted as a single phrase, this implies legato only and not slurring.
- Slur (disambiguation)
Categories: Articulations | Musical notation