NP Playback - solution for staccato dot ambiguity?

A staccato dot does not indicate a change of playing technique in any case. It also serves to indicate that a long note shall be played a little bit shorter, explicitly not legato.

staccatodot.tiff (38.5 KB)
Using the new Expression Map Extensions, I set the trigger for the playing technique to < short notes only. While this works for the short notes, the longer notes with dots still are played way to short. I tried to change the shortening of notes with staccato dot in the Playback-Options dialog (to 90% or even more), but this does not help.

Acutally, this long notes with dots should not be shortende to a percentage of their duration, (so at 50% a quarter is played as a eigth and a half as a quarter etc.), but equally with a short absolute duration, lets say of a half semiquaver…

Does anyone know a workaround?

I have always considered staccato on half notes or longer to be a nonsense marking, or ambiguous at best. I never use that because musicians don’t have a consistent interpretation of it. IMHO, breath marks or staccato-tenuto marks are much more common and more likely to be interpreted properly. It sounds like staccato-tenuto is what you want for the longer notes. This marking is quite common in strings, meaning “stop the bow”, and wind players should play it in the same manner.

I don’t know if staccato-tenuto gives a better playback. I never tried it.

Call Wagner he’s wrong?.. This articulation is highly suggestive, it’s like tonguing on strings. You shouldn’t really shorten the long notes, but have them breathe a lot. If this were notated with, say, dotted minims it would sound entirely different.

Maybe this made sense to musicians in Germany in Wagner’s time. I believe the interpretation of the graphic you posted is stopped bow, but continuing in the same direction under the slur.

The modern way to notate that is staccato-tenuto, IMHO. It does not surprise me that notation programs would be confused by that marking. I’m confused by it.

Wagner uses the same notation in wind parts, so interpreting it as (only) a stopped bow can’t be right.

(The score of Der Ring is a bit long to search through to find one, but believe me there are some in there!)

I believe the intention is the same for strings and winds. Play it as if you are a string player stopping the bow. That is to say, separation of notes with the minimum pause needed to accomplish a clear separation, but with the notes all being considered part of the same phrase. That’s how I interpret it. If a greater separation were intended, it would have been written as quarter notes without a slur.

This is not staccato. For strings, slur + dots is neither legato nor staccato: it’s portato. Many composers use it. This is Brahms, first violin sonata:

Some publishers (before there were Urtext editions) replaced the dots with dashes.

It would be great if Dorico would support portato playback (right now, this perfectly idiomatic solo violin notation sounds very strange, because the staccato keyswitch is triggered:)

Screenshot 2020-06-02 at 15.39.08.png
Screenshot 2020-06-02 at 15.34.40.png

Of course, in Brahms (and most others), this portato is a standard bowing technique. It’s thought for the instrument. But in Wagner’s score, most slurs and articulations have little to do with bowing, they are purely musical phrasing. In Wagner’s case, I think you could call these dots real staccatos, but in the original meaning: not “shortened”, but “separated”. Whether the musicians are supposed to change bowing, stop the bow half-way, or rather vary speed and pressure, is up to the orchestra and/or conductor. Wagner only hints at what he wants to hear.
Back on topic: for the time being, no doubt Dorico will choke on it :slight_smile: