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Encyclopedia > Grace note

A grace note is a kind of music notation used to denote several kinds of musical ornaments. When occurring by itself, a single grace note normally indicates the intention of either an appoggiatura or an acciaccatura. When they occur in groups, grace notes can be interpreted to indicate any of several different classes of ornamentation, depending on interpretation. The acciaccatura (see ornament) as notated. ... Music notation is a system of writing for music. ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ...

Contents

Notation

In notation a grace note is distinguished from a regular note by print size. A grace note is indicated by printing a note that is much smaller than a regular note, sometimes with a slash through the note stem (if two or more grace notes, there might be a slash through the note stem of the first note but not the subsequent grace note). The presence or absence of a slash through a note stem is often interpreted to indicate the intention of an acciaccatura or an appoggiatura, respectively. Note that in the works of some composers, especially Frédéric Chopin, a long series of notes may be printed in the small type reserved for grace notes simply to show that the amount of time to be taken up by those notes as a whole unit is a subjective matter to be decided by the performer. Such a group of small-printed notes may or may not have an accompanying principal note, and so may or may not be considered as grace notes in analysis. The only known photograph of Frédéric Chopin, believed to have been taken by Louis-Auguste Bisson in 1849. ...


Function

A grace note represents an ornament, and distinguishing whether a given singular grace note is to be played as an appoggiatura or acciaccatura in the performance practice of a given historical period (or in the practice of a given composer) is usually the subject of lively debate. This is because we must rely on literary, interpretative accounts of performance practice in those days before such time as audio recording was implemented, since only a composer's personal or sanctioned recording could directly document usage. In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... The authentic performance movement is an effort on the part of musicians and scholars to perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they were performed when they were originally written. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Methods and media for sound recording are varied and have undergone significant changes between the first time sound was actually recorded for later playback until now. ...


As either an appoggiatura or an acciaccatura, grace notes occur as notes of short duration before the sounding of the relatively longer-lasting note which immediately follows them. This longer note, to which any grace notes can be considered harmonically and melodically subservient (except in the cases of certain appoggiaturas, in which the ornament may be held for a longer duration than the note it ornaments), is called the principal in relation to the grace notes. Please see the article on ornamentation for a discussion of the rhythmic differences between the interpretations and usages of grace notes outlined herein. In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ...


Use in music

In bagpipe music there is extensive use of grace notes. Indeed, because the chanter is not tongued but supplied by a continuous air source from the bag, grace notes are sometimes the only way to differentiate between notes. For example, inserting a grace note between two crochets played on the same note is the only way to indicate them as opposed to them sounding like a single minim. Various multiple grace note ornaments are formalised into distinct types, such as doublings, throws and birls. All of these are played on the beat, while grace notes on other instruments tend to be played as leading up to the beat. A bagpipe performer in Amsterdam. ... It has been suggested that Practice chanter be merged into this article or section. ...


In modern editions of classical works, editors often seek to eliminate the potential for different interpretations of ornamental symbology, of which grace notes are a prime example, by converting a composer's original ornamental notation into literal notation, the interpretation of which is far less subject to variation. Most modern composers, although by no means all of them, have followed this trend in the prima facie notation of their works. Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ...


Metaphorical use

The term grace note is sometimes colloquially used in a metaphorical sense to indicate concerns which are of secondary importance to that which is of primary concern. For example, in planning a banquet, one might consider the decision of the color of napkins to be used to be a 'grace note' in relation to deciding the courses that would be offered on the menu.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
grace note - definition of grace note in Encyclopedia (634 words)
The mordent is thought of as a rapid single alteration between an indicated note, the note above (in the case of the upper mordent) or below (in the case of the lower or inverted mordent) the indicated note, and the indicated note again.
It should be noted that in the Baroque period, a Mordant (the German equivalent of mordent) was what later came to be called an inverted mordent and what is now often called a lower mordent.
An inverted turn (the note below the one indicated, the note itself, the note above it, and the note itself again) is usually indicated by putting a short vertical line through the normal turn sign, though sometimes the sign itself is turned upsidedown.
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