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

Yes, you'll want to play E♭–F–E♭ before the final two sixteenth notes. My personal suggestion is more along the lines of: But some purists will insist on the rhythm of the D–E♭ being precisely as ...
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15 votes
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Help with interpreting notation in Chopin's nocturne op. 9 no. 2

This is called a turn. The 'basic' version would be written without the accidentals, and the player would play the first note, then quickly play one tone (note) above, the main note again, a tone ...
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14 votes
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Reinforcing meter when dealing with alternating 1/8 and 1/16 notes and rests

In fact, you can beam rests! I would go with: This is a clear modification of the "correct" beaming of your original example, which would be: Some of the comments below correctly state that beat 3 ...
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14 votes
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Why is there so much dispute about how ornaments are supposed to be played in classical music?

There are a couple things I would note. Most Classical music is pre-recording technology, so we don't have any recordings of how it would have been played at the time, which would likely be the way ...
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14 votes

What does this downward triangular arrow mean?

It's a form of staccato called staccatissimo. Normal dot over/under a note means staccato, where the note is shortened by about a quarter of its normal length. Staccatissimo, is an 'extreme' version, ...
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13 votes

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

Both other answers overlook a crucial point. In Mozart (and contemporaries and earlier composers) trills should generally start on the upper note, which is the case here. However, many professional ...
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12 votes
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Obscure markings in BWV 814 I. Allemande, Bach, Henle edition

Small ornaments The smaller ornaments indicate an editorial addition. These additions are typically based on alternative sources or common practice, but which cannot be conclusively determined by the ...
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12 votes

Trill notation with a wavy line

The sign for a trill is 'tr' (in bold italics). The wavy trill line is used to indicate the extent of the trill. The trill line is optional for a single note value, but it's necessary for tied notes. ...
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12 votes
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How do I notate alternating quickly between two notes an octave away from each other?

You're describing a tremolo. You can find good information on how to write it in the post What is this music symbol and how do I play it?
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11 votes
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note cancelling or what is it called?

This is called a grace note. Its duration can be stolen from either the note before or after it, depending on the stylistic context. I think the slash is intended to indicate "as fast as possible".
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10 votes
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Different trill notations in Schubert piano music

The first thing to realize is that notation and performance are different in Baroque, Classical, and Romantic music. The Romantic rules apply to Beethoven and later composers. The small squiggle (...
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10 votes
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Weird acciaccatura (?) notation in Chopin's polonaise

There is nothing mysterious here. As you say, if it were slurred that would make it a tie, and that wouldn't make much sense in this setting. It all looks clear to me. Simply play the slashed Eb ...
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9 votes

What are the ornaments in the western music and their corresponding ornaments in Indian music?

Hindustani (North Indian) Ornaments1 Alankara = Ornaments A major difference between Hindustani and Western ornaments is that Alankara are tied to raga, in the sense that how the ornament is executed ...
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9 votes
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Beethoven Sonata Op. 49 No. 2 Bar 12 trill

Yes, the ornament, known as a turn, is executed A-G-F#-G. Unless otherwise specified, ornaments are played within the given key signature. For additional reassurance, of the editions on IMSLP that ...
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8 votes
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Would an accidental in a mordant still be effective for the whole measure?

The convention for ornaments is that a sharp or flat will affect only the ornament, and not other notes within the measure. So in your example, any note written in the C space will be played as a C ...
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8 votes

Why do notes not add up to the bar in this example by Couperin?

In Couperin's time, a dot after a note-head didn't always mean to extend the duration by exactly 50%. Here, each dot means to extend the duration by just the right amount so as to make the durations ...
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  • 4,959
7 votes

What is the point in writing an appoggiatura?

I arrived at two reasons immediately: As part of ornamentation it is a clear indication, that a beginnner may skip the appogiatura without losing essential parts of the piece; informative in fast ...
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7 votes
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Need help understanding the double sharp turn in Chopin's prelude in e minor

There is no rule that says the turn has to go up one whole tone from the note you call the base. It can be a half tone or a whole tone. The turn follows the key signature unless something else is ...
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What is the difference between a mordent and turn?

Mordent: includes only one note either above or below the main note. Turn: includes both one pitch above and one pitch below the main note. Below is a simple example of a "lower mordent". ...
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6 votes
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What does a mordent written to the left of a note mean?

When the Mordent sign is used in front of the note it actually indicates a slide. If you can excuse the poor photo of the source material I think it can still be of some worth to you. It says the ...
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6 votes
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Trill measure 29 3rd movement "Moonlight" sonata (Beethoven op. 27 no. 2)

There is a general consensus that the trill should start on the principle note (A#) with finger 4 and consist of 5 total notes, including the trill ending. Beyond that, there is little agreement. ...
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6 votes
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Notation for a turn with a half step

A little sharp below the turn sign:
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