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phrase


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Short section of a comp. into which the mus., whether vocal or instr., seems naturally to fall. Sometimes this is 4 measures, but shorter and longer phrases occur. It is an inexact term: sometimes a phrase may be contained within one breath, and sometimes sub‐divisions may be marked. In notation, phrase‐marks are the slurs placed over or under the notes as a hint of their proper punctuation in perf. (see curved line, various uses of). The art of phrasing by a perf. is often instinctive and is one of the features by which a supreme artist may be distinguished from one of lesser inspiration, whether cond., singer, or instrumentalist.

Subjects: Music.


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