In my music (Trombone/Baritone), I see an apostrophe on top of a few notes. What does this mean?

picture of notes with mark

  • My bet right now is that it's an alternate or poorly-typeset staccatissimo, but without finding another example with explanation it's just a guess. – Todd Wilcox Apr 1 '16 at 18:42
  • That could be, but it's on the Arban book, and I haven't seen any other typeset related issues before... – Cullub Apr 1 '16 at 18:44
  • I've found a few other examples that look like that in a google image search but without the ability to zoom in so close and be sure in any of them (low res images). – Todd Wilcox Apr 1 '16 at 18:46

It is called staccatissimo or wedge. The note is sustained for one quarter the written length, the remaining three quarters being silent. As commented by Matt these durations are open to interpretation by the performer.

  • 6
    Yes, it's a staccatissimo, but it's not correct to say rigidly that it's 1/4 length. The exact length is always a matter of style. – MattPutnam Apr 1 '16 at 19:08

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