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Lesson 4.11 - Ornaments

There are 6 types of ornament you need to know for Grade 4 ABRSM Music Theory (Grade 5 Trinity  Music Theory).

An ornament is a note or group of notes that "decorate" the main melody note. You will only need to know the names of the signs at this stage and will  NOT  be required to write out how the ornament sounds.

Trill

A trill is a rapid alternation between the written note and the note above it.
A trill is a rapid alternation between the written note and the note above it. Sometimes there may be a small turn at the end, don't let this put you off. Also depending on the period of music the starting note may be the written note  or the upper note.

Turn

There are two kinds of turn you need to know. The first is the turn on a note where you start on the upper note, then a rapid triplet descending down through the main note to the lower note and returning to the main note.
Starting on the upper note, then a rapid triplet descending down through the main note to the lower note and returning to the main note.
The second type is a turn  between  notes. In this case you start with the written note, before doing the rapid triplet as above

Same as a turn on a note with the addition of the main written note at the start.

Mordents

Again there are two types, the upper and lower mordent, they both start on the main written note and rapidly move one step away and back again, the only difference between the two being, the upper mordent steps up and the lower mordent steps down. Notice the slash in the sign for a lower mordent.
Written note, step up and back again.
Main written note, lower note and return to main note.

Acciaccatura

This is often called a grace note and may be called such in an exam. It is also sometimes referred to as a crush note describing its effect of rapidly crushing the smaller note just before and onto the main written note. However, this term is best avoided in the exam even if it is helpful in remembering its function.

Appoggiatura

Leaning note dividing the time value of the main written note in half

The effect of an Appoggiatura is very similar to that of the acciaccatura, except is is slower, often dividing the time value of the main written note in half. Notice the sign for the appoggiatura, does  not  have the "slash" through it like the grace note.

Download a FREE Worksheet with answers on this lesson HERE

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