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Phrasing.

Phrasing is as necessary on the organ as on the pianoforte, and, unfortunately, the student is often without any trustworthy guide in this respect, for in much of our best organ music the phrasing is not clear, and often wrong. Punctuation, as we may call it, is indicated by rests, staccato-marks, and curved lines, and the trouble is to know when to attend to these last and when not to. The confusion is worse from the fact that the curved lines are used for other purposes besides phrasing, viz.: as ties for repetitions of notes of the same pitch; as slurs for two notes of different pitch; and as a sort of general direction to play legato, which last is altogether useless, for the playing should always be legato except when directions are given to the contrary. Only in a general way can hints on this subject be given. A curved line which ends in a measure is, or ought to be, a phrase-line, in obedience to which the hand is lifted from the keys; and those which end at the end of the measure are mostly the useless legato-marks.—Arthur Page.

 

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