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. Apr 1, 2016 at 18:42
  • 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). Apr 1, 2016 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


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, 2016 at 19:08

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