The Art of Musical Articulations

Musical articulations denote the way a musical instrument can be played. Articulations are musical parameters that determine how a specific note sounds. Articulations are capable of determining the configuration and altering of both the beginning and the end of a specific event, including the pitch, the length and shape of attack and decay, the dynamics, and the timbre. When music is played, the listener is able to perceive changes in rhythm, tempo, and character. Musicians and composers know exactly when and where to make modifications because of articulation.

Articulations are related to the way the artist uses a musical instrument. It’s worth mentioning that the same instrument with a different articulation can sound different and can also have a different purpose within an orchestra setting. Many articulations are only possible for specific musical instruments, whereas others are common to many instruments. Some articulations are written for individual notes, while others are designated for longer musical passages.

There are several types of articulation, and each type has a different impact on particular notes. The most typical articulations are legato, staccato, and trillo. Legato is achieved when notes are played without detaching them from each other. Staccato is achieved when notes are played with a wide separation from each other. Trillo is achieved by quickly alternating between two different notes. Dynamics are an important part of articulations. 

Alternating articulations and modifying the dynamics create an interesting and realistic feeling within a mix. Switching between articulations creates interesting sounds for the human ear. When switching between articulations, the human ear decreases in the background the sounds that remain the same so that the listener can pay more attention to the newly created material. Using several different samples from the same instruments allows the user to enhance the tracks, as a more realistic performance arises.