How to Leave a Note
How to Leave a Note

What matters is how you leave a note

A musical note, pressed down by your fingers, hammer to string to sound, will echo what’s in your head while you play it
So accuracy first, because you want to get the right sound
Then phrasing and dynamics, less mechanical (less thought, more feel)

Then, a moment before you lift off, before an end (break or pause)
How do you want to leave?

Do you want to
let this note linger in the air, only two sounds then — silence and music
Marcato, you know you’ll be remembered
Dolce, caress your listener into the finale

What’s in your head when you play?
Listen for the sounds between your playing
Between your fingers when they’re lifted up
Who plays when you don’t?

The important thing is to allow your note to sing its goodbye
How the air is punctured
Punctuated by percussion

The important thing is to know when the note has sung
The important thing is to know when to let go.


Sanaya is a lawyer in Bombay. She currently spends most of her time reading and drafting documents. If she’s not doing that, she’s playing music, writing, or planning what to eat, next.


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I live in the space between sound I live where you can’t hear the sound of your heart beat I live in pause and rest I live between the staccato...
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