Bach's Partita No.4

I've got a question regarding the mordent over the two different notes with different realization in Bach's Partita No.4 Aria (as in the image). The first one starts from a note above while the second one starts on the main note. Is this because of the cadential 6-4 chord in which the dissonant note should be emphasized? Or, is it because of the reiteration of the mordented note in the previous bar?

  • Yikes, neither mordent is inverted, yet we're directed to play them differently.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


According to the table shown in the link by @guidot the only embellishment that starts on its own note is the mordant, so this trill (not mordant) should start on the G above the F#.

As embellishments provide smooth stepwise motion through different harmonies, the repetition of the F# would halt this. Trilling from the G above would also echo the G-F# melody in the previous measure, providing a strong suspension-resolution, as the chord sounds A-D-G, resolving to A-D-F# and finally a cadential movement to A-C#-E.

Suggestion is to use G-F#-G-F# E

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. In this edition by ABRSM, the editor unlike ANDRAS SCHIFF direct us to perform from the same note (F#). My question is that why the editor realize the ornament as above? Jan 30, 2019 at 19:51

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