On this piano sheet of Satie's Gnossienne no.1:

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I can see that in 2nd and 4th bars we have a small note immediately followed by a normal one (in 2nd it goes from C to B and in 4th it goes from E to F). As far as I know, that note has to be played quickly and lower than the following one, but I was wondering what is its name and why it has a slash over it, is there any special meaning with the slash? What would be the difference if this symbol doesn't have that slash?

1 Answer 1


It's an acciaccatura, sometimes called a grace note, or crushing note - the word means crushing in Italian. It's played slightly before the main note, being played here actually on the beat, with the main note following as soon as possible after. Sometimes, the acciaccatura and the main note are played simultaneously, and the acciaccatura released immediately.

Incidentally, they're not 'time signatures', they're 'bars' or 'measures' - the time signature is the 4/4 at the very beginning.

  • Does the slash over the note belong to the acciaccatura? I mean, Could exist the same without the slash? Thanks for the time signature note, I'm not an english native and didn't find the proper translation, I edited the question with that. May 9, 2017 at 10:15
  • 2
    The slash over the tiny note is part of the sign. Without the slash, it becomes an appoggiatura - a different sort of ornament.
    – Tim
    May 9, 2017 at 10:17

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