What exactly does the slash mean as opposed to the other?

And if you have a group of grace notes together, do you just slash the first one?


3 Answers 3


The first part of the question is answered here: Difference between appoggiatura, acciaccatura and grace note

Regarding groups of grace notes: yes, the slash needs only to go through the first.


If you have more than one grace note (either for appogiatura or for acciaccatura), then to avoid clutter they should anyway have a shared beam. (I guess, this is what you meant by "group of notes", but that term has no precision in musical respect.)

So in case of the latter the slash should be positioned in a way it crosses the tail of the first note as well as the beam. For even more complicated issues (tails are not all in the same direction seen from the beam etc.) see the standard reference, Elaine Gould: Behind bars.


For a single grace note:
The slash indicates it's a (crushed) acciaccatura (played before the beat, stealing time from the preceding note).
And not a (leaned) appoggiatura (played on the beat, stealing time from the principal note).

However, for an acciaccatura that is a group of notes, you don't need to write the slash.

multi note acciaccatura, with and without slash
Image from Standard Music Notation Practice - Music Publishers' Association [p 21].

  • Why would this be different in the case of a group of notes? You can execute them before the beat or on the beat, just as the case of a single note?
    – Karlo
    Jan 6, 2022 at 22:00
  • 1
    @Karlo – I'm not really sure, but I think a multi note appoggiatura is probably better written explicitly (not as grace notes). Jan 7, 2022 at 10:28

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