Questions tagged [ornaments]

For questions about using ornaments for music or any other general questions about ornaments. Ornaments or embellishments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to carry the overall line of the melody (or harmony), but serve instead to decorate or "ornament" that line. Examples of ornaments include the mordent, turn and trill.

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How to play this trill in Mozart's Piano Sonata 14 (K457)

How does one play this trill in this Mozart Sonata? Does it mean we play 3 notes (Eb, F, Eb) before the last two notes of the second bar? Or how many trills does one have to play?
Matriz's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
6k views

Trill measure 29 3rd movement "Moonlight" sonata (Beethoven op. 27 no. 2)

How do you play the trill in measure 29 of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata?
Håkon Hægland's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
2k views

What does a mordent written to the left of a note mean?

In this arrangement of Wachet Auf, there are quite a few mordents sprinkled around, as well as trills and grace notes. I understand most of them, but in the middle of this excerpt, right before the ...
LarsH's user avatar
  • 417
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

What does this downward triangular arrow mean?

What does the prime symbol above the note mean? I have not seen it before. This is from Haydn's Variations in F minor (Hob. XVII/6)
user1488's user avatar
  • 243
14 votes
1 answer
533 views

Dot in front of a mordent

I am singing Messe de Minuit pour Noël by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and stumbled on some notation unknown to me. There are quite a few mordents in the piece and some of them are denoted with a ...
schtandard's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
13k views

Grace notes: when are they played on the beat, and when are they played off?

Since my performance experience is mostly in music after 1850, and since my instrument (tuba) very rarely has any grace notes, I've been mixed up for some time on how to play grace notes in different ...
Richard's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do accidentals on ornaments apply to the same notes elsewhere in the measure?

In the first measure from this section of Schubert's Serenade, does the accidental on the ornamental C at the beginning affect the "regular" C that follows? And is that answer applicable to ...
iddober's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Trill in Bach fugue WTC 1 BWV 851

In the second bar of the J.S. Bach d-minor Fugue in WTC 1 (BWV 851), we have How should this trill be played?
Håkon Hægland's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is there so much dispute about how ornaments are supposed to be played in classical music?

It seems like almost every piece with an ornament has some argument as to how it is supposed to be played. For example, in my Alfred's edition of Fantaisie-impromptu, the footnote claims that the ...
izhang05's user avatar
  • 355
11 votes
4 answers
24k views

Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

What are the following notations in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2: Tilde sign with accidentals: tr~~~ Striked note's flag: Small notes. (I know what mean single small notes right before a normal ...
user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
8k views

How do you practice trills on piano?

The title says it all: my trills on piano are really terrible, unless they are 1-2 or 2-3. Anything involving the 5th finger is especially awful. I have the same feeling of frustration of when I ...
Some Dude On The Interwebs's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
483 views

Accidentals and ornaments

These are the first two bars of J. S. Bach's Fughetta in c-moll (BWV 961) as edited by Henle. Does the second trillo in the second bar start on B flat, so that it cancels the natural on the previous ...
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
248 views

Bach BWV 812 Menuet I: do(can) ornaments presage the accidental?

In Bach BWV 812 Menuet I bar 6 we have a trill preceding an accidental — the thrust of the bar is to B(natural), therefore in the preceding trill do(would) you trill on B(natural)-A or B(flat)-A? ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
185 views

How can I make my D gracenotes shorter and crisper?

On the Great Highland Bagpipes, the D gracenote can be difficult to play as short and crisp as the G gracenote, especially in contexts such as the tachem. Aside from just consciously trying to play ...
axelotl's user avatar
  • 535
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Chopin op. 28 no. 4 - bar 16 symbols

There are two symbols I do not recognise below the stretto in this excerpt: What are these symbols? And also, form what I read the stretto here should be interpreted as an accelerando, am I correct?
iddober's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
814 views

Obscure markings in BWV 814 I. Allemande, Bach, Henle edition

I am looking at Bach's French Suite #3, BWV 814, Allemande, and the ornamentation typesetting is confusing me. I am familiar with mordant vs. trill, and the standard description of ornaments for Bach. ...
Jonathan Protzenko's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
11k views

Bach: How is this mordent to be realized? Why do people play it like a trill?

So, the old Invention No. 1 by JSB: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/7/72/IMSLP63611-PMLP03267-Bach_Oeves_Complets_Peters_Liv_7_BWV_772-786_2748.pdf The B on the 4th beat of the 1st bar ...
Some Dude On The Interwebs's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Alto Saxophone: tremolo using alternate fingerings

On Alto Saxophone, which notes can easily produce a "tremolo" effect, using alternate fingerings? It's a kind of "warble" effect I'm looking for, but without changing pitch (or ...
Bob Broadley's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
492 views

Is there a word for when you scoop to the same note?

I'm a vocalist who's done different kinds of ensembles over the years, and I often have this instinct to scoop to (rearticulate? emphasize?) a repeated note if the other voices change to make a ...
Jacob's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
439 views

How to determine the pitch of the auxiliary note in an ornament

I thought that the auxiliary note of a lower mordent (or other ornaments) was simply the note before in the scale unless the mordent had an accidental on top of it. However, I ran into this ...
Lolo's user avatar
  • 1,911
9 votes
3 answers
785 views

Unplayable turn in Beethoven sonata

Beethoven's piano sonata Op. 2 No. 3, first movement, bars 179-180 (Henle edition). The turn decorating each eighth note can be played literally. Except for the one on bar 179's A sharp, because ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I notate alternating quickly between two notes an octave away from each other?

I'm vaguely sure that an ornament exists for this but I'm not sure which one it is. I'm a music theory beginner, so pardon me if there's a simple answer. Basically, I want to alternate quickly between ...
Duck King III's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does this flat symbol over a turn mean?

I think it means for the starting note to be lowered one semitone, but I'm not sure.
Ian Miller's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
285 views

Pile up of ornaments in J.S.Bach's BWV 935

These are bars 19-23 in J.S. Bach's BWV 935, from the Sechs kleine Präludien für Anfänger auf dem Klavier: Can anyone spell out for me what should be played for that E in bar 23 adorned with a grace ...
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is the point in writing an appoggiatura?

An appoggiatura is a small grace note written to suspend the resolution of a chord. It takes half of the actual note's value, usually. So, why write that when it could be written out with ordinary ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
7 votes
1 answer
624 views

Bach French Suite BWV 816: Allemande - what is the ornament with the swoosh at the end?

I am using this reference for ornamentation from the Foreword of J.S. Bach 16 well-known original pieces (Henle). The ornament in bar 9 looks like "idem" but the swoosh comes at the end (...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Different trill notations in Schubert piano music

I'm trying to teach myself some Schubert and am playing through Sonate 1 (Op. 42). The piece employs a lot of trills. However, there are two notations in use: tr and the up & down squiggle. Is ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 275
7 votes
2 answers
927 views

Would an accidental in a mordant still be effective for the whole measure?

This is from Bach's Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue: This would obviously be played D, C#, D. Let's say that there was a C on the same octave later in that measure. Would the C be sharp?
Xcoder's user avatar
  • 245
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Acciaccatura vs Appoggiatura in Beethoven

While studying the 2nd movement of Beethoven's Sonata Op.90, I found these appoggiaturas in bars 28-29. This is the Henle edition (which I find to be one of the most reliable editions for Beethoven); ...
kEldest's user avatar
  • 119
7 votes
2 answers
783 views

Timing of grace notes in Chopin's Waltz in a minor

Consider the following: (Chopin At the Piano - Verlag) Should the grace notes be played before the beat or on the beat? I am reading a book on music theory, and it says: (The AB Guide to Music ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 453
7 votes
1 answer
343 views

De-awkwardize middle G trill on recorder

The third movement of Bach's second Brandenburg Concerto calls for multiple trills on the middle G in F. The fingering is highly awkward because it is right between two registers and I am looking for ...
Luke_0's user avatar
  • 7,459
6 votes
5 answers
359 views

Can you really pay attention to every single slur, trill, ornament, etc.?

Debussy's Étude pour les agréments focuses on all those small symbols in a score that indicate some intent from the composer: accentuation marks, hairpins (crescendi, decrescendi), pizzicati, ...
Benoit's user avatar
  • 789
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Trill notation with a wavy line

There are 2 trill notations: 'tr' and 'tr' followed by a wavy line. What exactly is the difference and when is one used over the other?
Jack999's user avatar
  • 233
6 votes
4 answers
4k views

Practicing Trills

The slowness of my trills is getting annoying. I am able to play Blue by Yngwie Malmsteen but yet fail at doing the trill in the intro. How can one practice to make them faster? Endurance is not an ...
user10444's user avatar
  • 213
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Weird acciaccatura (?) notation in Chopin's polonaise

I am not sure how to interpret the particular notation in Chopin's Op.53 Polonaise: Here, we have a single (smaller font) Eb (just before the trill). I should interpret it as a grace note, but then ...
Anton's user avatar
  • 348
6 votes
2 answers
740 views

Mozart K.494: How do you play this (turn inside a tie)?

Mozart K.494 b.178 near the end of the movement. (This is the 3rd movement of the sonata K.533/K.494) This is in bass clef BTW. This image is the Bärenreiter edition. Henle puts only the turn option. ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
821 views

note cancelling or what is it called?

i came across a sign on my notation where a note is being played that is G after that there is a note in between e that is open but we first play it and then hammer on it... what is it called ?
Piyush Kumar's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
12k views

What does the plus (+) ornament mean?

I am learning a baroque piece on the recorder. Some notes have an unusual ornamentation symbol. How is a note with a plus sign over it played? It was suggested to play it as a mordent. Is that correct?...
Joseph's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Grace notes with slash

What exactly does the slash mean as opposed to the other? And if you have a group of grace notes together, do you just slash the first one?
Jack999's user avatar
  • 233
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between a mordent and turn?

I've tried Googling the difference between a turn and mordent, but all the answers are really vague. I also couldn't find any helpful images that explain to me. I'm really confused right now. Turns ...
user87626's user avatar
  • 795
6 votes
1 answer
338 views

What is the best way to notate/convey this ornament?

I'm currently writing a piece of music (solo piano) which has a certain ornament. This is the way that I want it to be played: It would be really nice if I could notate it something like the ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 63
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does tying an acciaccatura to the principal note with a slur imply?

Note that this is not a duplicate of this question, which asks for a grace note tied to the same principal note. This is more generally about tying grace notes (specifically acciaccaturas) to any ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
  • 1,581
6 votes
1 answer
982 views

Strange Ornamental Symbol on Bach Piece

This is from the marvelous andante from Bach’s organ trio sonata BWV 528. What does this symbol mean on the stave of the second keyboard? I am assuming it is ornamental. Is it just a strange version ...
The Lad of Leipzig's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Piano notation for trilling just one note in a chord?

I have a piano chord (specifically a triad), and I want to trill the note at the top. Is there any way to express this using musical notation? Also, if there is notation for this, how would I do it ...
Qwerp-Derp's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
820 views

How to notate this ornament?

I'm transcribing a piano ballad by a contemporary-progressive-symphonic-chamber-rock band, and I have come across these two ornaments. Each first measure on the below image shows the passage without ...
marczellm's user avatar
  • 269
6 votes
1 answer
566 views

ornamentation in keyboard music of William Byrd

I'm working through some tunes by Byrd, and am wondering about the ornamentation, the two diagonal slashes through the note stem. As far as I can tell, we don't actually know what the composers of ...
Kevin G.'s user avatar
  • 437
5 votes
4 answers
4k views

Can you help me expand this trill in Mozart's Sonata 16 (k545)?

I wonder if I am reading it wrong, or if i need much more practice on this segment. It simply doesn't sound right when I play it. Can you help me expand this trill into actual notes on the sheet ...
Haoest's user avatar
  • 735
5 votes
3 answers
199 views

Strange "less than" accent or ornament in Sullivan's "The Mikado" score

In the old Kalmus handwritten conductor's score for The Mikado, a few notes in the overture had a unfamiliar notation. For example, here's Measure 50 from the oboe part (other instruments have ...
David H's user avatar
  • 365
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Different versions of mordents in Bach Invention No. 1 In C Major, BWV 772

I was playing Bach Invention 1 when my sister told me that I was playing it wrong. When I learnt this piece like 10 years ago, my sheet looked like this. But my sister showed me her music sheet from ...
zxcvber's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
222 views

Shift trill symbol horizontally in Lilypond

I'm rewriting (with Lilypond) an old copy of Händel's Allemande HWV 437 and I can not recreate the orignial position of the trill symbol. In the original the ornament begins with the note 'b', yet ...
Peder's user avatar
  • 507