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Thread: Staccato, rests and pedal

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    Default Staccato, rests and pedal

    In many Chopin waltzes and mazurkas the first bass note in a bar is often marked staccato, but pedal is indicated for the whole bar which obviously cancels out any staccato. Assuming both staccato and pedal are what Chopin indicated and not suggestions by an editor, what was Chopin suggesting to the performer? Is it a hint not to accent the first beat of the bar too strongly?

    We also get an indication to hold the pedal across rests which again seems contradictory.

    I also wonder what Chopin meant to indicate when he has a quaver marked staccato followed by a semi-quaver rest followed by a semi-quaver - and (if it is not an editor's intervention) why did he go for such careful notation only to also indicate pedal?

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    To my understanding it just means to quickly strike the note - as you said, not to accent it too strongly. Chopin had very particular and finicky methods of phrasing, and he was very meticulous in his notation. Also, I could be wrong on this, but lots of pedal markings are the fault of certain score editions rather than Chopin himself (as it is for many composers, who rarely notated pedal and expected this to be up to the discretion of the performer).

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