0

What is the name and utility of the half-moon symbol on top of the last note?

marked as duplicate by Bob Broadley, Community Jul 9 '15 at 11:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3

The symbol over the note (which can also be below a note, upside down) is called a fermata and nowadays it has become a standard indication of a pause*. Meaning that the duration of the note or a rest associated with the fermata will be longer than it's supposed to be. say for example, if it's above a quarter note then the duration of the quarter note could be as long as a half note (i.e. twice the duration) Basically the music takes a pause here in the sense that it does not move forward for a short while and lingers on a note. How long it should linger is subjective.

How long this pause should be, although a matter of personal discretion, should still not be exaggerated. If the composer truly wanted a long pause he could've simply notated lunga pausa

In the example in the photo the regular beat is abandoned altogether and the fermata takes up the duration of thrice its nominal value. (i.e. the notes are sustained up till the rest)fermata example

*note that in the baroque era the fermata sign was used to merely show an important structural point, e.g. the end of a section in the music.

  • Is the music in the photo by any chance from a Haydn piano sonata? – 11684 Jul 11 '15 at 14:26
  • nope, Beethoven's Piano Sonata in Eb. Why'd you guess Haydn though? similar bit in his sonata? – Sazid Ahmad Jul 15 '15 at 15:24
  • The coloratura in this Haydn sonata is somewhat similar, so I thought it might be a different version, since these coloraturas were often improvised. I should have noted the opus number, Haydn's opus 27 is (as far as I can tell) a piano trio. – 11684 Jul 15 '15 at 15:33
  • Which seems quite improbable after comparing the ending and beginning of the two. – 11684 Jul 15 '15 at 15:34
2

That's a fermata, indicating to rest on this note longer than its nominal value.

0

Fermata it mans pause. That last note should be slightly held.

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