6: Slur combined with staccato??
Question: What does it mean when you see notes that are slurred together and also have staccato dots? Seems kind of contradictory. - M.M.

Answer: A mark like that is most appropriate for string instruments, which will then play those notes all on the same bowstroke but separated. You may see a similar indication in piano music, and the intention then is to imitate what strings would do: join the notes but not completely. It's called portato and could be described as an effect midway between legato (smoothly joined) and staccato (completely separated).

Return to Q&A Index