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NOTE RELATIONSHIPS IN MUSIC

– Tie

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b.
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Indicates that the two (or more) notes joined together are to be played as one note with the time values added together. To be a tie, the notes must be identical; that is, they must be on the same line or the same space; otherwise, it is a slur. And a tie can sustain a note across a bar line, making it a drawn note.

– Slur

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Indicates that two or more notes are to be played in one physical stroke, one uninterrupted breath, or (on instruments with neither breath nor bow) connected into a phrase as if played in a single breath. In certain contexts, a slur may only indicate that the notes are to be played legato; in this case, re-articulation is permitted. Slurs and ties are similar in appearance. A tie is distinguishable because it always joins exactly two immediately adjacent notes of the same pitch, whereas a slur may join any number of notes of varying pitches.

– A phrase mark (ligature)

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A phrase mark (or less commonly, ligature) is a mark that is visually identical to a slur, but connects a passage of music over several measures. A phrase mark indicates a musical phrase and may not necessarily require that the music be slurred. In vocal music, a phrase mark usually shows how each syllable in the lyrics is to be sung.

– Glissando or Portamento

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A continuous, unbroken glide from one note to the next that includes the pitches between. Some instruments, such as the trombone, timpani, non-fretted string instruments, electronic instruments, and the human voice can make this glide continuously (portamento), while other instruments such as the piano or mallet instruments will blur the discrete pitches between the start and end notes to mimic a continuous slide (glissando).

– Tuplet

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A number of notes of irregular duration are performed within the duration of a given number of notes of regular time value; e.g., five notes played in the normal duration of four notes; seven notes played in the normal duration of two; three notes played in the normal duration of four. Tuplets are named according to the number of irregular notes; e.g. duplets, triplets, quadruplets, etc.

– Chord

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Several notes sounded simultaneously (“solid” or “block”), or in succession (“broken”). Two-note chords are called dyad; three-note chords are called triads. A chord may contain any number of notes.

– Arpeggiated chord

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A chord with notes played in rapid succession, usually ascending, each note being sustained as the others are played. Also called a “broken chord”.

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