I have come across some markings on the stem of the notes that I have not seen before. I have underlined them in the image below:

double line markings on stem of notes Strings section (violins, viola, cello and double bass)

My initial research at first glance suggested ‘Tremolo’; these markings have three dashed lines.

The Wikipedia answer below has confused me. What does Frequency mean here? What impact does this have on how the note is played?

Tremolo explanation Wiki Wikipedia: Instruments and their symbols


1 Answer 1


The number of slashes correspond to the number of beams that the notes would have if written out. Your example has two slashes, so this is shorthand for sixteenth notes filling the duration of a quarter note, which would mean four of them. Also note the four dots above the notes, this is to help indicate that exactly four notes are desired as opposed to playing as many notes as possible as fast as possible, as the Wikipedia article says.

  • The march in the picture is famous enough that you have to play the tremolo as exactly four 16th notes. I haven't heard any renditions of it that interpret that tremolo any other way.
    – Dekkadeci
    Dec 21, 2017 at 1:04
  • Well there's two sixteenth notes preceding the tremolo so it's only natural to play it that way, either speeding up or slowing down feels really awkward even on a conceptual level.
    – Divide1918
    Dec 10, 2019 at 13:34

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