Two measures from "Concentrating" by Willie "Lion" Smith

What are these notes called? It doesn't look like a regular appoggiatura notation, the tiny note is placed after the main one. How should I be playing them?

Willie "Lion" Smith - Concentrating

  • What piece is this? It looks like a piano-conductor score for a Broadway show or similar.
    – phoog
    May 31, 2021 at 1:56
  • Willie "Lion" Smith - Concentratin May 31, 2021 at 2:01
  • What edition or arrangement is the image from?
    – phoog
    May 31, 2021 at 2:15
  • Based on the placement of the tiny notes, they seem held or representing emphasis. Note that they are placed only right next to accented notes - maybe they're an inner melody?
    – Dekkadeci
    May 31, 2021 at 2:32
  • Are these kinds of notes found throughout the arrangement, or only in these two measures?
    – Aaron
    May 31, 2021 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


Those are alternative performance options to simplify the arrangement. The general term is ossia.

It is also possible that they represent alternative ways that Willie "The Lion" Smith performed the piece.

  • For some reasons, I was thinking it was a "reversed Appoggiatura".
    – Clockwork
    May 31, 2021 at 15:10

There's a little internal melody, indicated by the accents on E, D and C♯ in the tenor register.

It would be difficult for a pianist to 'bring out' that melody within the stride texture. This notation may be suggesting that he at least tries! But I think it's more likely this piano part is from an arrangement including more instruments. The cue notes tell us that e.g. a trombone will play those notes.

Where did you find it?

  • a transcription of Willie "Lion" Smith's solo ( Leo Feist, 1939) Jun 2, 2021 at 10:36

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