Exploring Legato in Music: Creating Smooth and Connected Musical Phrases

In this blog post, we will delve into the meaning and significance of legato in music, understanding its execution, purpose, and the impact it has on melodic expression. In the realm of music, legato is an essential technique that emphasizes smoothness and connectedness between notes. Often used to create flowing melodies and seamless musical phrases, legato in music holds a significant place in shaping expressive performances and enhancing the overall musical experience.

Understanding Legato in Music:

Legato in music refers to a technique that instructs performers to connect successive notes in a smooth and flowing manner, without interruptions or breaks between them. The term “legato,” derived from the Italian word meaning “tied together,” reflects the goal of achieving a continuous and connected sound throughout the musical phrase. By applying legato markings, musicians aim to create a sense of fluidity and coherence in their performances.

The Execution of Legato:

To execute legato, performers sustain each note for its full duration, overlapping the end of one note with the beginning of the next. This is accomplished by utilizing techniques such as finger or bow control, breath control for wind instruments and vocals, or pedal usage for piano. The goal is to minimize any noticeable breaks or gaps between the notes, ensuring a seamless and connected sound.

The Musical Impact of Legato:

Legato in music has a profound impact on melodic expression and the overall musical interpretation. By connecting notes smoothly, legato allows melodies to flow effortlessly, creating a sense of unity and coherence within a composition. It enhances the lyrical qualities of a melody, evoking emotions and adding depth to musical phrases. Legato brings a sense of continuity and elegance, capturing the listener’s attention and conveying the intended musical narrative.

Artistic Expression through Legato:

Legato offers performers a wide range of expressive possibilities. By manipulating the duration, dynamics, and subtle nuances within legato phrases, musicians can convey a variety of emotions and shape the musical narrative. They can highlight melodic contours, emphasize particular notes, or create a sense of tension and release. Legato provides a canvas for artistic expression, allowing performers to infuse their interpretations with their unique musicality and style.

Legato Across Musical Genres:

Legato finds its place in various musical genres, ranging from classical to jazz, pop, and beyond. It is utilized in solo performances, ensemble playing, and orchestral compositions. Each genre adapts legato to fit its unique characteristics and stylistic demands. From the fluid lines of a romantic piano composition to the silky-smooth melodies of a jazz ballad, legato plays a crucial role in defining the musical style and enhancing the emotional impact of the music.


Legato in music is a technique that enables performers to create smooth and connected musical phrases, enhancing melodic expression and overall musical coherence. By executing legato with precision and sensitivity, musicians bring depth, elegance, and artistic flair to their performances. So, let legato be your gateway to musical fluidity, embracing its power to shape melodies, captivate listeners, and convey emotions through seamless and connected musical phrases.

For resources to support your music classroom click here to browse the full list.

Get Weekly Music Tips

Join 20,000+ Teachers, Senior Leaders & Lecturers

Music teaching tips direct to your inbox

We'll only ever send you music tips, as per our Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *