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Topic: Marcato vs. Détaché

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  1. #1

    Marcato vs. Détaché

    What is the difference in orchestral settings? Soundwise, I mean.

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    marcato is, as its name clearly says, "marked" ( in other words, accented).
    détaché is, as its name says, simply detached (in other words, non-legato).

    détaché can be subtle and light, it can be very much background and delicate.

    marcato, by its very definition, would be an unsuitable notation for something that is not meant to be foreground.

    marcato would be used to bring out something. marcato can be détaché. or not.

  3. #3

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Great answer, Michel. Now it is clear to me. Marcato on legato isn't done, am I right? At the most the first note of a legato sequence has an accent, but that is not notated as marcato, but as an accent simply. Right or wrong?

    Raymond

  4. #4

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62
    Great answer, Michel. Now it is clear to me. Marcato on legato isn't done, am I right? At the most the first note of a legato sequence has an accent, but that is not notated as marcato, but as an accent simply. Right or wrong?
    That's my question. How are they notated? I think marcato is typically the "hat top" accents and if I'm not mistaken detache might be staccato markings under a slur?

    Steve Winkler

  5. #5

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    Marcato on legato isn't done, am I right? At the most the first note of a legato sequence has an accent, but that is not notated as marcato, but as an accent simply. Right or wrong?
    Wikipedia says (and who could possibly doubt Wikipedia?):

    Marcato (Italian for marked) is a form of staccato. True marcato entails performing the note with a sforzando (sfz) attack and a sustain of two-thirds (occasionally three-quarters) of the original written length at same or increased volume, to notes preceding or succeeding it.

    That sustain length definitely makes it incompatible with legato (except maybe on the last note of a legato phrase).

    However, something else I found on the web says for stringed instruments: each note is still played for its entire duration. That doesn't seem completely incompatible with legato.

    So there you are. Perfectly clear. Almost.

    Pat

    Pat

  6. #6

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Marcato has an element of "character" that I think is more important than any "absolute" note length or duration.

    There are passages in piano repertoire that are marked "marcato" yet have pedal markings.. which would negate any shortening of the actual note length.

    as for notation, you can simply mark the passage with the text indication "marcato" and your choice of accent marks.

  7. #7

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    as for notation, you can simply mark the passage with the text indication "marcato" and your choice of accent marks.
    Just to finish the logic loop here... if you entered "marcato" as text into a score, how would denote (with text) the end of the marcato character? Would you use "normal bowing" or "arco"?

  8. #8

    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    Quote Originally Posted by FossMaNo1 View Post
    Just to finish the logic loop here... if you entered "marcato" as text into a score, how would denote (with text) the end of the marcato character? Would you use "normal bowing" or "arco"?
    I would add the indication "ord." to indicate conventional style (or the prevalent stylistic marking) - anyway, to indicate a return to the general method of execution.

    EDIT: I have seen (and used) "separated" to indicate détaché-style articulation in wind ensemble / concert band scores as well as in brass and woodwind parts for full orchestra. After I have indicated "separated" I use "ord." to return to playing in the prevalent style for the passage.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Marcato vs. Détaché

    A couple additional points:

    Generally, when playing marcato, a heavier bowstroke is used. As others have mentioned, an accent at the start of the bowstroke is generally possible, though a heavy smooth stroke can also be considered marcato. Notes can be held for their full length, or shortened somewhat.

    Regarding notation for strings, a dot placed over a dash above the note will generally be played as a heavy note, but shortened somewhat. Conversely, if an accent and a dot is placed over the note, the note's duration will be quite short.

    Detache is a much quicker and lighter bow stroke, typically going from frog to tip and/or tip to frog. IIRC, the note could also be released early. Note, as a bassist, marcato is used a great deal, but detache is rarely (if ever?) used, so I am less familiar with the precise technique).

    It is also possible to play a "pulsed" legato, i.e. portato. Generally, it is notated using slurs, with dashes placed beneath the slurs. The player will connect the notes as in legato, but will give additional emphasis to the start of each note (hence the pulse).

    HTH

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