I don't understand how to play the trills and mordents in Bach's BWV 926. I don't know how to play them in general. Could somebody please help me?

  • 1
    It would probably help if you could post some sheet music of the trills and mordents, otherwise only those familiar with the piece can help you.
    – user45266
    Sep 19, 2018 at 19:51
  • 1
    What exactly you don't know? Sep 19, 2018 at 20:55
  • Hi, I think your question is not very clear yet. Is it a technical problem you're having? Don't you know the notes to play? Which one's are a problem? Is this about ornaments in general or specific one's in het piece?
    – Tim H
    Sep 20, 2018 at 8:38
  • Are you asking what the symbols mean, in which case look them up online at dolmetsch? Or are you asking if interpretations differ now from in Bach's lifetime? Sep 20, 2018 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


Baroque trills generally start on the upper note of the trill and continue for the length of the note. Mordents are a single rapid alternation of the note above/below and are differentiated by a short squiggle. An upper mordent, where the single alternation is above, looks like this:

upper mordent

A lower mordent, where the single alternation is below, looks like this: lower mordent

In your piece, there are no trills, only upper and lower mordents. A trill would have additional "humps" or repetitions, as well as possibly turns, prefixes, or tails.


It starts off with an inverted mordent (mordent sign with a line through it) on D, so you play a rapid D, C# and D, starting on the beat. The sharp sign next to the mordent sign indicates that the C is played as a C#.
With the regular mordents (as in b.16) you play the rapid three notes on the given note, next note up, and back to the given note, always starting on the beat. Note that in b.21 you play a C# then a B natural, and back to a C#.
My copy doesn't have any trills but you could do one five bars before the end on the 2nd beat in the R.H., starting on F, then E,F,E,F etc, ending it on an E.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.