Talk:Ornament (music)

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Could someone please explain what nachschlag is? I see this term in my edition of various works, like the Beethoven sonatas often have the footnote "without Nachschlag" on a mordent. I haven't seen an explanation that is satisfactory yet. I'll continue to researcg a bit but if someone comes up with something in the mean time... :) --Sketchee 05:58, Dec 19, 2004 (UTC)

I found this on, along with a diagram that did not copy.

Nachschlag (s.), Nachschläge (pl.) (German m., literally 'after-beat') the two notes that sometimes terminate a trill, and which, when taken in combination with the last two notes of the shake, may form a turn

(German m., literally 'after-beat') in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a supplementary note that, placed after a main note, 'steals' time from it, similar to the 'springer' 17:17, 24 September 2010 (UTC)(LAM) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


How about some pictures? Whoever did the scales could do this...

Don't forget about Wikipedia:Requested pictures! --Brion VIBBER

Grace note[edit]

I don't know how anybody else uses the phrase "grace note", but when I use it, it is as a synonym for "acciaccatura". The only musical dictionary I have to hand at the moment does indeed give a pointer to the article on "ornament" witout any more specific use indicated, but it was published in 1946, and probably isn't to be trusted for modern usage. I think this page should be moved to ornament (or musical ornament or ornament (music) if that's a problem) - even though that's an ambiguous word in a wider context (what isn't?), it's better than "grace note" which is at best ambiguous when used in this way, and at worst archaic.

By the way, I've just got a new bit of software which should allow me to upload .pngs of musical notation, so I'll be able to kit this page out. --Camembert

Well, I've moved it here from "grace note" now. I'll add pictures soon, honestly (maybe sound samples as well). --Camembert
Pictures added, sound samples to follow, one day, eventually, probably. --Camembert

There is an very extensive discussion of "grace notes" or "appogiaturas" in the book On Playing the Flute by Joachim Quantz, which was written in the 1700's (I believe the chapter is called "appogiaturas"). He also addresses trills or shakes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

From Talk:Ornament[edit]

The following section written when the page as at ornament

I'm thinking this page ought to either include something brief about the more common use of "ornament" meaning decoration, or be moved to ornament (music) and this page made into a disambig with a stubby definition of the decoration meaning. Silver, glove, mantle, and abalone all link to this page expecting that kind of a meaning. -- John Owens 23:33 27 May 2003 (UTC)

I agree with you, and the only reason I've not done it myself is that I'm too lazy :) --Camembert

It's been moved now. --Camembert

Hi sorry I didn't warn anyone of moving it. Was trying to dismbiguate anaglyph and one of the meanings is "ornament carved in low relief". Hope I didn't cause any major inconvenience... Unconcerned 18:17, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
No, no inconvenience at all - I'm glad somebody did the deed :) --Camembert


We need to mention the acciaccatura - it only redirects here. Dysprosia 02:30, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have now done some work on acciaccatura, and a couple of other things. Sketchee, a Nachschlag (note spelling, which I correct in one instance above), is best understood generically as an unessential note following the principal note, subtracting time from it (cf. Vorschlag). Camembert, grace note is best taken as generic, and certainly not as equivalent to acciaccatura. Generally, terminology, notation and practice for all of these ornaments vary tremendously by time, place, and taste (as has been noted in this entry). There are MANY more ornaments that could be mentioned. If I get time, I might add some. I am also in a position to work up a bibliography, given only enough time! --Noetica 05:13, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm not the only person I know who uses "grace note" to mean... well, perhaps not specifically "acciaccatura", but in any case notes writ small that steal time from notes writ large (what I mean is that I wouldn't call a trill a grace note unless it was actually written out--perhaps it's just me). Anyway, it doesn't much matter, I only really mentioned it (two years ago) as an aside. Incidentally, I wrote a little on the acciaccatura in the article a while ago (see this revision, for example), but it was deleted without comment when I wasn't looking and never restored. I've now restored the notation images. --Camembert

Hi Camembert. Thanks for fixing things with "acciaccatura" (whose spelling I have fixed in your note above; hope you don't mind!). It looks much better now, with the expanded explanation and especially the restored images. I was the one responsible for the "hysterical" note concerning pronunciation (my first ever Wiki edit)! I had an excuse due to exasperation, but I won't give the details. "Acciaccatura" is a term undergoing many vicissitudes over the years (as with grace note, I think); we can't cover them all though, and I think things look good as they now stand. I still say there are many other ornaments to add. One thing at a time, eh? --Noetica 21:29, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hi Noetica. Sorry about that "hysterical" comment--I was probably a bit hysterical myself there (editing in that gap between work and dinner; always a dangerous time for me). You're quite right about there being much else to be covered in the article, of course--the article as it stands is really just a starting point. Corrections to my lousy spelling are always welcomed, by the way--anything that makes me look less stupid is fine by me! --Camembert


I think that Turn (music) does not need to be a seperate article. For a merge, it's definition would add nothing. But what about the example? It seems contradictory with the definition on this page, while this page already has a good one. Should it all just be deleted to redirect? --Mahlered 01:34, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


As requested, I (Noetica) am assembling the material about the Nachschlag under a new heading. First I give excerpts from earlier discussion:

Sketchee asked: Could someone please explain what nachschlag is? I see this term in my edition of various works, like the Beethoven sonatas often have the footnote "without Nachschlag" on a mordent.
Noetica answered: Sketchee, a Nachschlag ... is best understood generically as an unessential note following the principal note, subtracting time from it (cf. Vorschlag).

And now we cut to recent discussion prompted by the above:

Your definition of "Nachschlag" leaves something to be desired. Its usual meaning is the turn at the end of a trill, such as EDEDEDEDEDCD... (note emphasis) Wahoofive 21:56, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Whose definition, Wahoofive? Mine, in talk here? Or OED's, whose sole content is this:
"A grace note which takes its value from that of the note preceding it."
One example given by OED:
"1960 E. Bodky Interpretation of Bach's Keyboard Works v. 180 In bar 20 this version leads to ugly parallel fifths, which Landshoff tries to avoid by changing the short appoggiaturas of bars 19 and 20 into Nachschläge."
Hmmm? And your source? --Noetica 23:38, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
My source is the Harvard Dictionary of Music. Wahoofive 06:53, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes. And how does that source define the term "Nachschlag"? Interestingly, as far as I can tell the New Grove does not define the term at all. It does, however, use it. Two of the uses occur in describing the trill ending that you discuss (which I don't dispute for a moment); the other use that I found has nothing to do with trills. Classically, the term referred to various notes as described by me and by OED. You might like to check this in CPE Bach's famous Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, a classic source (some would say a definitive source). Bach mentions Nachschläge away from any talk of trills, and deplores them. He also speaks of them in connection with trills. Take a look here, if you have no Versuch handy:
--Noetica 11:38, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Harvard gives two definitions: the one I gave, which they describe as "modern," and an ornamental note tagged onto the end of the principal note, sort of the opposite of an appoggiatura, which they limit to 17th- and 18th-century music (they give much more detail about different uses in different countries and periods, including Bach). I didn't mention this definition at first because the original question about Nachschlag referred to a footnote in Beethoven which obviously referred to the first meaning. BTW, can we put this "Nachschlag" discussion in a separate section of this page? I'd like Noetica to do it because it involves cutting up his comments [Done! --Noetica 00:27, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)]. Wahoofive 16:42, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Harvard is in this respect better than Grove, then, which as I have said gives no definition. I question Harvard on the characterisation of the "trill-suffix" usage as modern, though. Sure, it's modern in that it is used in broadly modern times (as well as in 18C, concurrently with the "non-trill" usage). But so is the non-trill usage modern: it's just that we talk less about such graces in more recent times than we do about making sense of Beethoven's indications, or of editorial footnotes to Beethoven. (In evidence for the non-trill usage's modernity I tender both the 1960 OED quote I cited, and also the third occurrence in Grove, which quotes a use of the term by Dannreuther, writing in English in 1893-5, it seems, and referring to a work by Schubert composed some time between 1823 and 1828.)
Recall what I wrote earlier about this: "Generally, terminology, notation and practice for all of these ornaments vary tremendously by time, place, and taste (as has been noted in this entry)." Who would disagree? But what remains consistent in use of the term "Nachschlag" is that it is, whether suffixed to a trill or not, "best understood generically as an unessential note following the principal note, subtracting time from it (cf. Vorschlag)", as I wrote above. In any case, the original query concerned a mordent allegedly annotated as "without Nachschlag", so it is apt to give a general answer, and that's what I did!
It should perhaps be added that in some careful expositions of these things, a distinction is made between the Nachschlag as a one-note grace, and the Nachschlag that occurs at the end of a trill etc. (or not!) as two notes, best classified among the two-note graces.
--Noetica 00:27, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Grace note[edit]

I came to this article redirected from Grace note. Yet the words "grace note" do not appear here except as a side mention in the section "Acciaccatura", the last sentence of the article: "Some pianists play both the acciaccatura and the main note simultaneously, releasing the grace note immediately." Further explanation should be made of what a grace note is or isn't. I read through the above discussion, and I see there is some controversy/vagueness. In all my years of studying piano and violin (in the U.S.), we always used the term "grace note" for what this article calls "acciaccatura". However, I am no musical scholar. If the term has multiple meanings, perhaps they could be briefly mentioned in the introduction. — Knowledge Seeker 06:46, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've revised it to try to make this clearer. The grace note is a notational device, while appoggiatura and acciaccatura are resulting sounds which may (or may not) be written using a grace note. —Wahoofive (talk) 22:35, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

revision from redirect[edit]

I think that Wahoofive's point that a grace note is a notational device rather than the resulting sound, which is a matter of interpretation, is key to this discussion. I have modified the article as neutrally as possible to this effect. Curtlindsay 21 October 2005

Acciaccatura interpretation incorrect?[edit]

I am just a musical amateur but the acciaccatura interpretation image does look kind of weird to me. It has a triple repeat while I always assumed that one hits the main note just once. Is the current acciaccatura interpretation correct? I would expect it to be like indicated in this image (which I have taken from the external reference? Janderk 10:27, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with our image. Our image has a fast accaciatura. I don't expect you can play fast accaciaturas on a tuba, so their image of the interpretation is a bit "longer". Doesn't matter. Dysprosia 11:21, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I did not notice the tie line which makes it one note, which is kind of stupid of me. Thanks, and my apologies for waisting your time. Janderk 12:18, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
No need to apologize. Dysprosia 12:22, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Turns: there are TWO![edit]

Yes, there are, as the first note on which this turn is being performed is determined by the *position* of the "S"! I can't remember which is which, but there are definitely two, one starting with the note ABOVE the original note, one starting with the note BELOW the original note. -trom-bone 15:50, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge from Appoggiaturas[edit]

Someone recently created the article Appoggiaturas, with content that is probably redundant to what is in this article. I tried to move it to Appoggiatura per Wikipedia naming convention, but that title is a redirect to this article. I don't know enough about the content to merge it myself, someone else should do the merging. --t ALL IN c 04:45, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I've had a look at that other article, and I cannot commend its content, which is pretty rambling and lacking good theoretical roots. I suggest we ignore that article, or move for its deletion. Even its title is ill-formed, being a plural where a singular would do perfectly well, as with most articles. (Would we have an article entitled "Symphonies" just because there are different kinds of symphonies?) Noetica 09:00, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
yeah, I didn't think there was any content from that article that needed to be merged here, but I wanted someone more knowledgeable to make sure there wasn't any. Rather than being deleted, the article Appoggiaturas should redirect to this article like the singular title Appoggiatura does. --t ALL IN c 21:30, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
OK, I've just deleted content at that other location, and redirected to this article. Seemed best to be decisive on this one. Noetica 00:25, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Turn image/text[edit]

This text "If it is placed between two notes, however, the note before the symbol is played, then the turn, and then the following note. " doesn't seem to match the diagram. Can someone check? Stevage 13:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Stevage, I think there was not so much a mismatch between the text and the diagram as a sort of ambiguity and some poor sequencing in the text. Having pondered this, I have now re-ordered and re-worked things. See what you think. Noetica 00:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Turn S mirrored wrongly[edit]

Your S in the image of the Turn is mirrored wrongly. It should be a S lying on the back, not mirrored. In the german article de:Verzierung_(Musik), we have the right image. If you mirror the S you should begin with the lower second note.--de:Benutzer:Roomsixhu roomsixhu

Nice article at de:Verzierung_(Musik), Roomsixhu. Better than ours here, which needs a lot of work to accommodate detail. But it is by no means clear that ours is wrong in the way you say it is. Probably there are differences by period, and possibly by country also. Can you cite a printed authority? (I can!) Logic at least would seem to be on our side, since it is reasonable that the upper note should be represented by the upper curve of the S-on-its-back. (Incidentally, you might fix gepiegelt to gespiegelt in your article, ja?)
– Noetica♬ Talk 08:00, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Revision of Appoggiatura example file?[edit]

I think it would probably be a good idea if the sound file actually included the more conventional incomplete upper neighbor-type of appoggiatura, since the rising ones tend to be less typical. In fact, some of my instructors even make a distinct between them, specifically referring to appoggiatura as the type that approaches from above, and simply calling the type approaching from below as "incomplete lower neighbors." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:04, 1 December 2008

The appoggiatura interpretation shown is not the best solution.
The edit history for the illustration shows a more correct (although less beautifully engraved) solution: :
Also the .svg alternate for this file shows the better solution.
I'm going to try to restore the correct solution with the latest beautiful lilypond.Roberthoff82 (talk) 15:30, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Upper mordent[edit]

The upper mordent (which was never used during the Baroque period): just because J.A. Bach's table doesn't show the upper mordent doesn't prove that it was never used - by someone else, perhaps? Actually, I think the statement it possibly true, but needs further citations from eminent scholars. (This is especially true since the link actually states the term "inverted mordent" was never used during Bach's lifetime not that the upper mordent was never used. Note too that it says noting of early or middle Baroque usage.) Jubilee♫clipman 01:14, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh, and since the table is actually in the article is the link not actually redundant? Jubilee♫clipman 01:14, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Please refer to . "Martellement", that is, an inverted mordant, is listed among others in the "resume of baroque embellishments". I find it best to remove the statement, unless someone finds further proof of its disapproval by some composers; in which case I believe, rewording will be found appropriate. - Tritonist

Dubious "Rock and pop" section[edit]

' rock and pop are typically learned "by ear" ' No. They are not.

'with the arrangements fleshed out with improvisation' In Jazz rock, yes, in Fusion, yes, in Blues-rock, occasionally, in a lot of pre-80's pop, arguably. In the modern era? very rarely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

So, you're saying that before every rock band learns a song, the lead singer writes it all out on staff paper, then makes parts for his bandmates which they read off music stands? Not likely. Most bands definitely learn by ear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Or more likely, they say "it goes like this" and play it on a guitar or piano, and explain the chord progression in words if necessary. There is no "definitely" involved. Huw Powell (talk) 06:00, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the guitar "ornaments," pull-offs, hammer-ons, and taps are all articulation, not ornamentation. They are techniques to play a note while ornamentation describes the notes themselves. Discussion? 6StringJazzer (talk) 01:33, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Agree with 6StringJazzer that techniques such as hammer-ons/pulloffs, tapping etc are articulations, not ornaments. Just like arco, pizz, marcato, etc for orchestral strings.Seraph127 (talk) 19:43, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Weird section under "see also"[edit]

Why is there a list of articles called "list articles", one of which isn't even a link, under "see also"? I will reformat now. Huw Powell (talk) 06:00, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Upper and lower modent notation 1.png[edit]

Should this file, File:Upper and lower modent notation 1.png, be named File:Upper and lower mordent notation 1.png? Hyacinth (talk) 08:45, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Adele appogiatura example questionable[edit]

Is the "Someone Like You" illustration in the appoggiatura section really the best example? The only instance in which the article comes close to describing that particular ornamentation as an appoggiatura is in saying that the song as a whole "is sprinkled with ornamental notes similar to appoggiaturas." The caption to the musical example provided in the article states "Adele slightly modulates her pitch at the end of some long notes, adding to the tension." Calling this modulation an appoggiatura is misleading (because appoggiaturas are frequently longer, notated differently, etc.) and the author purposefully avoids it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kbaasch (talkcontribs) 18:21, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Which article and which author, Wikipedia or the Wall Street Journal? What would the ideally best possible example be? Hyacinth (talk) 20:34, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
From your quotes you mean the Wall Street Journal. The current text is, in my opinion, an improvement over the previous version: [1]. If you were to move the image, where would you place it? Hyacinth (talk) 03:27, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
The example from "Someone Like You" is not an appoggiatura. The Wall Street Journal is regrettably misinformed. I removed the offending example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Adele content is still hugely prevalent here, and is misleading. Ought this be amended? Frankly the number of citations to the flawed article looks like some odd marketing campaign rather than actual useful information.

What about the text of this article? Hyacinth (talk) 02:02, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I am in favor of removing the entire paragraph that begins "As psychologist Dr. John Sloboda reported...". None of this really has anything to do with an encyclopedic description of an appoggiatura, and, if Kbaasch is correct about the cited article, has no real basis for even being considered an apoggiatura! While I certainly appreciate the possible usefulness of descriptions and examples of an ornaments' employment, I don't think this one is at all relevant or helpful. The first sentence alone would be welcome if there were a good citation. Perhaps another solution would be a section on "Musical Function and Employment of Ornaments" or "Emotional Effect of Ornaments," though I admit this could easily become rather spurious unless rooted in sufficient historic examples. (talk) 04:38, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm also in favor of removing the image. This is not a good example of an appoggiatura; it is much closer to a pitch bend or, if considered discrete, a lower neighbor tone. It fails to serve the function of an appoggiatura, as it serves only to return to the same pitch, does not approach by leap, and is even questionable as to its harmonic function ("E" is hardly foreign to add to an F#m triad). (talk) 05:07, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the paragraph "As psychologist Dr. John Sloboda reported..." has to be removed, the sooner the better. I don't understand to which image you refer that should be removed. I think File:Appoggiatura notation.png and File:Appogiatura common practice interpretation.png are perfectly valid examples. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:18, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
The offending example was File:Adele Someone Like You appoggiatura.png. I have removed it, on the basis of this discussion and because it is being misrepresented as an apoggiatura.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:40, 23 April 2013 (UTC)


Not sure how to handle a particular effect or ornament that is characteristic of one class of woodwinds: Native American flutes. It's called the warble. See and search for warble on

The effect/ornament is only possible on some Native American flute designs, since specific acoustics need to happen for the warble to sound. The sounds is a controlled oscillation between two harmonics in the sound chamber of the instrument. The effect might be compared (in significance, not in sound) to the growl that sax players produce.

I think it deserves coverage on the music side of Wiki (aside from the Native American flute side), but I don't exactly think that Warble deserves its own page. Does it go here?? Anywhere??

ClintGoss (talk) 09:50, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


I came to this site from Wik/Floyd Cramer, where there was a link for slip-note to Appoggiatura. But the word slip-note is absent here. Kdammers (talk) 10:27, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move: "Musical scale" → "Scale (music)"[edit]

I have initiated a formal RM action to move Musical scale to Scale (music). Contributions and comments would be very welcome; decisions of this kind could affect the choice of title for many music theory articles.

NoeticaTea? 00:12, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

François Couperin[edit]

François Couperin's Premier Liver de Pièces de Clavecin (1713) seems to contain a rather large table of ornaments and their proper execution explained. L'art de toucher le clavecin also includes some detailed examples, along with various other instructions on playing the harpsichord. Does anyone else think that either should be included in the section of the article concerning Key treatises detailing ornamentation? Or should we stick to the Renaissance/Early Baroque header? --Chrysalifourfour (talk) 21:55, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

First of all, I don't think that Couperin's table really constitutes a "treatise", though the explanations are exceptionally ample. Second, that list of "key treatises" seems to belong to the Renaissance/Early Baroque section. (A similar one could of course be added to the Baroque section.) As things stand, I see only that well-known German bully J. S. Bach represented in the Baroque section (with a table that scarcely bears comparison in elegance or comprehensiveness to Couperin's, or to those of any number of other distinguished French composers). Surely this imbalance needs to be corrected. On the other hand, there is a conflict built into the article structure, which starts off by enumerating some typical ornaments of "Western classical music", and then follows with sections at the same hierarchical level on "Baroque music" and "Renaissance and early Baroque" (presumably nothing at all to do with Europe, since the next section on this level is "Indian classical music", then "non-classical music", and so on). One way or another, something really must be said about French 18th-century ornamentation practice, and the way in which it differs both from other national styles of the same period (Italian, English, Spanish, etc.) and from the practice of earlier and later periods in France. Those generic "Western classical" ornaments need to be put in some kind of context (I don't find them particularly appropriate to the music of Oswald von Wolkenstein, Edgard Varèse, Guillaume de Machaut, or John Cage, for example) and perhaps, in the process, integrated into appropriate historical sections.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:40, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
You're quite right on the above. Perhaps indeed a complimentary section on late Baroque ornamentation is necessary. Indeed, Couperin's L'art de toucher is not a treaty on ornamentation per se, however a significant part of it deals with ornaments and their execution. Similarly, CPE Bach's Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen is on playing the Clavier and as such it includes aspects of ornamentation. I'll try to compile a list of major late Baroque sources on the subject and add it to the article. As for the rest of the article's conflicting points you mention above, I find no harm in having the non-classical music sections, since they all are about ornamentation as a stylistic element. I do agree though that comparisons must be made between the different contexts within which ornaments evolved, i.e. late renaissance, early baroque, late baroque, style galante, Italy, France, Germany etc. Furthermore, I should like to see a section dedicated to the different approach of ornamentation between instruments (i.e. the same ornament is not necessarily executed the same way on a viol as on a harpsichord, as on voice etc). This might well connect with the rise of the seconda prattica and monody and accordingly the stylistic evolution of composition. I'm afraid I don't have enough sources at hand, so I'm writing the above as a general suggestion to anyone who should like to have a go. Greetings from Athens, Greece! --Chrysalifourfour (talk) 12:51, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I think we are in complete agreement here, but I should clarify that I, too, not only find no problem with including the "nonclassical" categories, though I do find this an awkward catchall. It seems to me also that there are whole important categories of world music left out at present. Surely the musics of China, Japan, Indonesia, and North Africa (to name but a few) have their own traditions, and should be included here. It is at this point that the "nonclassical" catchall becomes really awkward, since all of these have their "classical" and "nonclassical" repertories, whereas the current "nonclassical" section covers exclusively American and "celtic" categories.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 15:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't know much about world music, but I suspect there are definitional problems. In Baroque music we tend to think of the ornaments as something added on to the musical line, but maybe in Chinese music they're considered essential. Furthermore, the Baroque idea that there are strict rules about ornamentation (and notation for it) would be foreign to a solo singer presenting, say, the Star-Spangled Banner, who would feel free to improvise ornamentation without consulting a treatise. —Wahoofive (talk) 16:11, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but even within the narrow limits of European Baroque music this problem exists. What you are describing really is the difference between stock ornamental figures (or "graces") and free ornamentation. In the early 18th century (and the brief essay by Couperin that initiated this discussion is probably the most important historical source for this) these two categories are largely associated with French and Italian music, respectively. The classical example for the former are the tables of so-called agréments supplied with various collections of printed music in France, and for the latter the various publications of Corelli's Op. 5 solo sonatas, "with Corelli's own embellishments in the slow movements". This Italian manner can of course easily be traced back to the diminution practice of the late-16th and early 17th centuries, but attempting to sift the material into neat categories is probably impossible. I suppose one important question this raises for this article is: should it be restricted to the category of "graces", or are free ornaments (like the Chopin example prominently displayed at the beginning) also to be included? If the latter is the case, then a solo singer in the Sufi tradition ornamenting the Star Spangled Banner is just as valid an example (reliable sources permitting, of course) as a pralltriller in bar 17 of the eleventh Prelude from the WTC II.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:29, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Though by no means I oppose to the idea of having articles on free ornamentation of non-classical musics, I would imagine that this very article is more about the western classical ornamentation. I personally don't mind referring to e.g. Indian music's ornaments, but this would make much more sense in the respective article of Classical Indian music. Similarly, Byzantine music could accordingly have a section regarding its ornamentation, and whether it is a stylistic matter, or indeed of essence. Bottom-line, I think this article should stick to ornamentation within the context of western classical music and its evolution (as Mr Kohl rightly points above, the very same ornament may be quite different in Machaut's context, than it may be in Froberger, than it may be in Chopin and so on).--Chrysalifourfour (talk) 19:16, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
This is a perfectly acceptable way of proceeding, as far as I am concerned, and perhaps advisable in order to prevent "article sprawl". However, if its scope is to become narrower, shouldn't it be renamed to reflect this ("Ornament (Western classical music)", or something similar)? At the same time, provision should be made elsewhere to receive any material deemed to be outside of the new, more focused subject of this article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:06, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Can we define a boundary between "free ornamentation" and improvisation? —Wahoofive (talk) 17:33, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Yet another good question. I would say that while there is certainly a great deal of overlap, improvisation itself may be divided into ornamentation (when it adds embellishment to a recognizable, pre-existent musical object—most characteristically a melody), and non-ornamentation (when it uses a generalized pattern, such as a common chord progression, or no preconceived pattern at all—what is called "free improvisation"). (Free ornamentation of course can be carefully calculated and composed, and though the Chopin example given at the beginning of this article may well have had its origin in improvisation, it is not now usually regarded as such, and yet it is still an instance of "free ornamentation".) However, drawing the line between these areas is going to have problems similar to those encountered in various legal cases over breach of copyright, namely, where does the common language of a musical repertory leave off, and the characteristics defining a particular piece of music distinct from all others begin?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:59, 6 June 2013 (UTC)


Can anyone explain it more precisely?-- (talk) 20:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

See also link[edit]

I'd just like to say that I removed the see also link in #appoggiatura because I felt this article is more in-depth. But, feel free to revert if needed! George8211 // Give a trout a home! 20:27, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Cuts and strikes In irish / 'Celtic' music[edit]

In Irish music the function of cuts and strikes can be considered distinct from 'grace notes' in classical/art music. Cuts and strikes are used as articulations. When played by an experienced player there duration is so short that there pitch is not easily perceived. They sound like a 'blip' or 'click' between two notes rather than a note in there own right. Additionally they are normally played using fingerings that don't sound a clean, in tune note (on flute / whistle). Because the duration is so brief there pitch and tone really does not matter.

A 'roll' in tin whistle / flute technique is an ornament formed from a cut followed by a strike. They sound very different from a turn especially at slow speed. Cuts and strikes have the same duration regardless of tempo. As a roll is played faster the notes between the cut/strike gets shorter. At slower speeds it sounds like three notes with two blips between them.

These issues are discussed extensively by Grey Larsen in his flute and whistle tutor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:23C4:3409:EE00:E0F8:A605:C4EF:F614 (talk) 16:34, 10 June 2017 (UTC)