So recently I stumbled upon this symbol in one of Chopin's works, to be precise in "4 Mazurkas" (Op. 33 No. 1) in bars 14, 16 and 17.

Here's a link to the edition I'm talking about, and below is a screenshot of bar 14. I would post the other examples too, but this weird reputation system is not letting me.

Bar 14

I figured for myself that it is neither a trill or a mordent, since that usually would be above said note (that would be, in that case, a rest), but any help and/or correction is appreciated!


1 Answer 1


They are mordents. Here's a different edition:

enter image description here

Your edition was published in France. French music engraving in the 17th and 18th centuries used "wiggly curvy" symbols drawn close to the note heads for ornaments rather than the "pointy" German style which is now "standard". See editions of Couperin etc for many examples.

I suppose this publisher was still using his old hand-engraving punches for these symbols in the 19th century. He also used "old style" double-sharp symbols, with four dots in between the arms of the "X" symbol.

This is a couple of bars from the OP's edition:

enter image description here

The misprint of the tempo indication "Presto" for "Mesto" (which somebody corrected by hand to "Lento" which is at least closer to what was intended) right at the start of the collection doesn't inspire much confidence in the edition!

  • Aren't these trills? A mordent is rather different from a trill.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 2 at 14:52

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