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#949206 - 11/14/04 05:55 PM What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
classicalgirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Illinois
Yesterday I saw a book titled "Ornamentation: A Question & Answer Manual", by Valery Lloyd-Watts and Carole L. Bigler, published by Alfred.

The reason it caught my eye is that a few weeks ago, I noticed that my daughter was playing grace notes on the beat. She said that her teacher had told her that that is how they should be played. More than thirty years ago, I was taught to play a grace note before the beat so that the 'main' note could be played on the beat. I have played them that way ever since. I asked my daughter's teacher about the way she taught my daughter to play grace notes, and she maintained that the grace note was not to be played before the beat, rather on the beat. When I saw the ornamentation book at the music store, I thought I'd see what the authors said about grace notes (appogiaturas). They, too, said that the appoggiature is played very quickly on the beat of the main note. So I guess my teacher was wrong.

The book I saw yesterday looked interesting and quite thorough to me. It began by defining/describing ornaments, then went into an explanation of how Art and Architecture influenced the development of music. Finally, examples of the various ornaments were given with explanations of how to play them.

It seemed like a wonderful reference book to have, but perhaps this would be covered in a good music dictionary - we don't have one, so I wouldn't know what is covered in one. Do you think it would be a helpful book for an intermediate student?
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. Plato

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#949207 - 11/14/04 06:52 PM Re: What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It's good and would be very helpful for an intermediate student. Go for it!

By the way, although grace notes are typically played on the beat, the romantic era saw them moved to before the beat a fair bit of the time. You'll find that none of the rules regarding these things are consistent. \:D
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#949208 - 11/14/04 11:53 PM Re: What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3711
Loc: Virginia, USA
You need to be careful with the fuzzy term grace note.

The appogiatura is indeed played on the beat, but the acciacatura is played before the beat. It is not always easy to be sure which one is indicated.
gotta go practice

#949209 - 11/15/04 10:16 AM Re: What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
Kempff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 167
Loc: Dubai
I think it's really up to the performer. I read somewhere that Arrau used to play them in a wierd way, usually on the beat.
Perfection itself is imperfection- Horowitz

#949210 - 11/15/04 12:07 PM Re: What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
classicalgirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Illinois
Originally posted by Kreisler:
You'll find that none of the rules regarding these things are consistent. \:D [/b]
Now, why does that not surprise me?

I do think I will get the book; I'm curious to see what the difference is between 'acciacatura' and 'appogiatura' (thanks Tim for pointing out that all small notes are not the same). I remember seeing something in the book about what it means when the small notes have lines through them and how to play those. Trills were also discussed with various lines through them. I have a feeling we will be needing this information.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. Plato

#949211 - 11/16/04 05:40 PM Re: What do you think of this book (ornamentation)?
dissonance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 20
Loc: Scottsdale
yeah, the grace note can borrow time from the previous note or the note following it.

The appoggiatura (to lean) borrows half of the time from the main note. There're also grace notes with a slash through the stem, those I think are to be play quickly -- but not too sure.

The acciaccatura (crush) is a second below the main note, and it's play at the same time as the main note. Then it's quickly released.


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