I know the basic definition of the nonharmonic tone an appoggiatura is a nonharmonic tone that is approached by skip/leap and then resolves by step in the opposite direction.

I've recently heard the term doubled appoggiaturas and tripled appoggiaturas used to talk about certain ornaments like the ones shown below:

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While they do eventually resolve by step, they don't seem to fit the original definition of the appoggiatura very well. So first off, are these actually considered appoggiaturas and is there a solid definition for doubled and tripled appoggiaturas?


2 Answers 2


The first example is often termed the incomplete double neighbour.

Oxford Music Online enter image description here


The 1900 Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians defines a double appoggiatura as "An ornament composed of two short notes preceding a principal note, the one being placed above and the other below it", and gives several examples that are identical to the first example in your question. So, there is certainly precedent for the term "double appoggiatura." Other dictionaries give different definitions, such as 2 appoggiaturas occurring simultaneously on different notes.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music discusses double appoggiatura in the entry for "acciaccatura" and uses states that the terms double and triple appoggiatura are used to describe examples like the ones you gave.

So I think you are on solid ground on using the terms double and triple appoggiatura to describe your examples, but I would not count on these terms being universally or even widely used or understood in this way by musicians. I think most people just call them grace notes.

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