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#2479212 11/10/15 06:20 PM
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I found a youtube Steinway masterclass where it was claimed you can get different sounds with the sustain pedal down by playing with a legato or staccato "touch". I think this is impossible and I didn't hear any difference in the demonstration. Can anyone hear which is played with legato and which with staccato touch in the mp3 below?

http://persianney.com/misc/steinwayLegatoStaccato.mp3

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To me, the first was clearly legato and the second was staccato.


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The second one was clearly quite a bit louder than the first - thus maybe more likely staccato ... but there was no real difference.

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Originally Posted by DoelKees
I found a youtube Steinway masterclass where it was claimed you can get different sounds with the sustain pedal down by playing with a legato or staccato "touch".
Basically you can't.

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I believe I can hear a difference in the attack.

Yes, the second set may be a bit louder, but the attack is definitely different.

[Edited for spelling]

Last edited by jkellner1; 11/10/15 06:52 PM.

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Originally Posted by jkellner1
I believe I can hear a difference in the attack.

Yes, the second set may be a bit louder, but the attack is definitely different.

[Edited for spelling]


If it's louder (which it is) then of course the attack will be different surely?!

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Originally Posted by DoelKees
I found a youtube Steinway masterclass where it was claimed you can get different sounds with the sustain pedal down by playing with a legato or staccato "touch".
Basically you can't.


Dear chopin_r_u,

Of course you can! I just went to my piano, depressed the sustain pedal and did the following:

1) Played five notes, loudly but with a legato touch, and

2) Played the same five notes, softly but with a staccato touch.

There was clearly a difference in the sound (volume aside). The first five notes were louder because I played them louder. It was in the attack, the subtlety of the touch which resulted in a different tone or colour (having a problem finding the right word(s) to describe it, so I'll use tone & colour).


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the second arpeggio passage is slightly louder, but there is otherwise no tonal difference. anyway, either the piano is poorly regulated or the pianist's control is somewhat lacking because there is significant volume variation within each individual passage.

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Of course it is not possible, as Kees states. Given an equal final velocity of the hammer, the aural results will be the same, regardless of whether the finger is maintained on the key or released immediately after letoff.

Anyone who thinks differently is likely influenced by 'confirmation bias'. We hear what we want to hear. Obviously a double-blind experiment using a mechanical striker would be required to remove any bias.

Pilots (I am one) are taught and repeatedly reminded of the various CFIT traps that commonly occur in the course of day-to-day operations. This audio excerpt is an example - fortunately, without the disastrous outcome. laugh

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100% placebo.

And don't call me Shirley.

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Originally Posted by jkellner1

There was clearly a difference in the sound (volume aside). The first five notes were louder because I played them louder.
You miss the point. The 'effect' is proposed on sounds of the same dynamic. Hopefully you've read the later comments.

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Also let's take a look at the meaning of the words:

Staccato means 'detached'

Legato means 'bound'

Since the pedal binds the sounds together, the notion that any pedalled passage will be staccato is flawed. Yes, you can change the attack, the volume or whatever, but it's not staccato.

I know that legato requires a good judgment of the relationship between the notes (as does staccato, as does all playing), and there is more to it than the sounds merely overlapping.

Perhaps it's a question of nomenclature - perhaps we need a new name for that kind of playing. Portato or Portamento which basically means carried out or carrying out is more accurate, perhaps?


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"Portato". I love it!


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There is normally a little difference due to the fact that the whole scale is free, so the impact of the hammer moves the soundboard more easily. there is a better dissipation of energy, not so fast as with a weak soundboard without Downbearing, bu there is less saturation during the attack, probably more strings are resonating and helping the high pitched partials to flow and stabilize.

That it could be heard on a recording, even of good quality, is less evident.
sustain pedal is down, is cleaned, any hardness is delayed, that is why the dealers use a lot the sustain pedal smile

Now I totally agree that real staccato is not really done with the sustain pedal fully engaged, eventually with a very fast move of the dampers on eah note or some notes

Real staccato use the key and action inertia ,as well as the elasticity of the front punching and the one of the key, depending of the power wanted. The pedal can be used to lengthen the staccato, still sound staccato, but as the pedal is released shortly it can be used to emphasize a note, for instance?


Last edited by Olek; 11/11/15 03:19 PM.

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Is that pronounced "por-tay-toe" or "por-tah-toe"?


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You fail to understand the proposition Olek - with the pedal down, with the same dynamic, can withdrawing the finger sooner make an audible difference.

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Stacato is a shortened impact, pedal or no, it cannot be done with legato touch

I think it use the noise of the key more than any other touch


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Originally Posted by Olek
Stacato is a shortened impact, pedal or no,
For real?

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Originally Posted by BDB
Is that pronounced "por-tay-toe" or "por-tah-toe"?


Portamento ? is similar, or "louré" in French, use a light staccato touch without releasing the key totally , that certainly can be done with a staccato touch and the sustain pedal I think


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