In Italian, Legato refers to being ‘tied-together’. In music it signifies notes being played or sung in a smooth and connected sequence. The player transitions from note to note with no intervening silence. Think Beach Boys harmonies.
Staccato is the opposite. It refers to ‘disruption’. In music it signifies a note of shortened duration being separated from the next by silence. Think Neil Young melodies.
The world is full of legatos. They preach the potential of creative flow throw smooth undisrupted working habits. Their thinking is that holistic devotion leads to productivity and peace. And they’re right. Unless of course we’re staccato in nature.
If you find it difficult to concentrate in class. If you find inspiration through periodic movements – walks, coffee breaks and piggybacking projects. If you find yourself more effective delegating tasks than doing them because you generate ideas faster than you can execute them. You’re staccato.
This isn’t something we can simply wash off. If we’re staccato. We’re staccato. It doesn’t mean we have ruled ourselves out of making good progress, but it does mean a lot of what we are told in school doesn’t count.
Staccatos hammer away to the beat of their own drum and by doing so they develop truly original work. They make genuine progress by being unafraid of trying, failing, withdrawing and pivoting. They don’t reside outside the box but they do occupy the edges. Their unconventional and often manic approach to work and creativity sheds new light on old problems, driving the wave of modernisation.