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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000185.txt from 1994/01

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: wedge stacatto
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 17:54:41 -0500

Ron Monson (whose opinions I play very close attention to), writes
about the wedge stacatto and the problems that he derives from its

Ron, the wedge (or stroke stacatto) is very problematic, but the
general concensus is that it is not related to shortness of note,
as is the standard stacatto. It is an accent.

This conclusion is derived from the way Mozart used the wedge
stacatto in the last movement of the Jupiter symphony. There
he uses the wedge stacatto over the main theme, which is, as you
know, expressed in whole notes. Clearly one does not shorten a whole
note so the first conclusion is that the wedge stacatto is not an
equivalent for a shorter than normal note. That it is a substitute
for an accent symbol (today shown as the mathematical > over a note)
is determined by usage elsewhere as well as the Jupiter where the
notes of the theme are expected to be accented (and are) by virtue of
the character of the music.

There are a pile of scholarly papers dealing with this issue and it is
a genuine bag of worms, a very good example of a symbol whose use
has become foreign to the contemporary player.
Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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