A few weeks ago I wrote about my personal Quixotic quest to eliminate the convention of writing staccatos at the end of slurred passages. To say it received mixed reviews is an understatement. Responses ranged from "Hallelujah!" to "YUR A EFF-ING IDEOT!"
I wanted to return to this topic to help explain my viewpoint on this topic a bit further.
If you disagree with me, that's fine. But please, instead of posting pics of this one time when Hildegaard von Bingen used a staccato under a slur in an attempt to prove me wrong, please just hear me out.
First off....I never said that the convention of ending a slurred passage with a staccato doesn't exist. I am equal parts amused and annoyed when people respond with, "Oh yeah? I've seen that before, so that proves you are wrong." No, it simply proves that you can't read and comprehend simple sentences.
You know what....I don't want to go down that road right now, so I'll just get to the point.
The reasons I don't like it are two-fold.
#1 - I think it's unecessary.
#2 - It's a pain in the ass to make it look good in Finale.
The first reason is obviously the more compelling one, so this is where I will spend my time today.
The way I approach interpreting musical lines makes this marking unnecessary and, in my own humble opinion, leads to poor technique in young players. I spend much of my time with middle and high school student musicians, so I'm always thinking about how they will react to one way of notating something as opposed to another.
Here's my deal.
THE LAST NOTE OF A SLUR TAKES ON THE CHARACTER OF THE FOLLOWING NOTE.
Therefore, if a slurred passage is followed by another slurred passage, or a legato section, then the last note of that slurred group will also be legato.
But if the slurred passage is followed by staccato notes,
then that last note will be detached/separated.
If you want something different than one of these options, then find a different way of notating it. Simply adding a staccato isn't good enough. At least not for me.
It is not just my opinion, but also my experience, that tells me that if you write a slurred passage with a staccato on the last note, the majority of students will clip the last note. Think "dee-YUT."
All this being said, are there times in my work when I have used them? Of course....but I don't like it. I will never use it in my own music, but will instead find a better way of expressing what I want to express. But in other people's work, sometimes I have to bite the bullet and just deal with it. In fact, I had to do it yesterday.
This is why I am the way I am.