National Centre for Early Music

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Slurs

In this clip, Helen talks about the baroque principle of playing a diminuendo through a slur. When slurring paired notes, this means making the first note of the pair stronger than the second.

Leopold Mozart (father of the famous Wolfgang Amadeus) wrote a very informative treatise on violin playing. In this book, he discusses the practice of playing a diminuendo through a slur:

Often three, four and even more notes are bound together by such a slur and half circle. In such a case the first thereof must be somewhat more strongly accented and sustained longer; the others, on the contrary, being slurred on to it in the same stroke with a diminishing of the tone, even more and more quietly and without the slightest accent.

In this video, Helen looks at longer slurs in the D-minor Partita:

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