I've tried Googling the difference between a turn and mordent, but all the answers are really vague. I also couldn't find any helpful images that explain to me. I'm really confused right now. Turns and mordents both seem so similar to me, and right now the only differences I can see are their symbols. Could someone please explain the difference?
- Mordent: includes only one note either above or below the main note.
- Turn: includes both one pitch above and one pitch below the main note.
Below is a simple example of a "lower mordent". Note how the main note is struck, followed by its lower neighbor, then a return to the main note.
And here is one possibility for a turn, with notes both above and below the main note.
The specific executions depends on musical context, but will always maintain the characteristics of a single ornamental pitch in a mordent and two ornamental pitches in a turn.
One of the primary sources for information on (Baroque era) ornaments is found in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, by J.S. Bach. An image can be found on Wikipedia, which also gives additional notated examples of mordents and turns.