This is from Niccolò Paganini's Cantabile for violin and guitar in D:

Passage of music for violin.  A few notes with a certain symbol above them have been boxed in red.  The symbol is is a semicircle with a dot in the middle.

How do I play the red-boxed notes properly?

  • What does the hat-dot signs mean? What are they called?
  • 1
    This is a standard notation symbol you should easily be able to find in any list of notation symbols. E.g. look here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_symbols
    – Lazy
    Nov 23, 2023 at 19:24
  • 3
    It is hard to believe that you can be playing something this complex and not be familiar with a fermata symbol. Nov 24, 2023 at 8:57
  • 2
    That sign would have been met many years before a piece this complex should be attempted. Vtc as it appears no research has been carried out to find an answer.
    – Tim
    Nov 24, 2023 at 9:05
  • @JohnBelzaguy I do play this piece by violin, but I am a lot self-taught.
    – wonderich
    Nov 26, 2023 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


Those are fermatas, and they indicate to hold the note longer than the given duration. There’s no defined length, but 1.5x the given duration is a frequently suggested rule of thumb. They create a musical “wait for it” moment.

  • 3
    Whilst this does answer the question, which is facile, it also encourages folk to ask all sorts of similar inconsequential ones, in my opinion. And surely it has to be a dupe.
    – Tim
    Nov 24, 2023 at 9:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.