Slur: a love story.

Notation grows out of the page; the creator’s tools: lines and ellipses. Five horizontal lines are paved and the tiny ovals of paramount importance are married to their precise x/y. Dynamics sound off; articulations forcefully pair up; text diplomatically translating the meaning of the geometry; hairpins blend the color. Harsh, beautiful geometry presents itself. And then, ascending above it all, a curve so beautiful, and seemingly oblivious to the laboring that has proceeded her, a slur traces a path through the page. I believe the true beauty of printed music lies in the slurs; their shape, their nuance, their weight. A slur must have power and intent. When I create a slur, I am humbled—she knows where she is to be and the engraver's task is to help her home. Some passages are especially difficult to work in a way pleasing to the slur: extreme ranges, or beams, or accidentals, or tight spacing. Approach all situations the same, she already has exactly one perfect flight and you need to land it. A slur cannot be lifeless; thin or flat, but rather deserving of meaning and weight; midpoints should have definite worth, and the curves, moxie. She carries a special power: the true intent of the music’s creator. Let your slurs soar.