Double appogiatura

• Jan 3, 2017 - 23:23

Double Appoggiaturas, and some way to do this:…

Look at 53 - there are three notes that look like appoggiaturas before the main quarter. This phrase is NEVER played like four sixteenth notes. The grace notes are before the beat.


In other instruments - here are strings with similar run ups to the beat, at 62:…


Flute, at 22.

Another example of before the beat grace notes, Paganini:

Here's a double appoggiatura:
Sheets at 48, performer even circled it…


Basically, these are not appoggiaturas in the classic sense, but something more like acciaccaturas. Which is to say, you'll get something more like the desired playback if you enter them as such, and probably some if not most modern editions would in fact notate them that way. You can always hide the slash if you prefer to be faithful to the appearance of some particular edition.

Still, there are enough places - especially in older editions - where acciaccaturas are notated without the slash that we should probably eventually have a way of doing this more directly.

Of course, currently we play acciaccaturas on the beat, also in accordance with standard practice, but there are enough cases where it might be desirable to hear them before the beat that it would eventually be worth supporting that option.

There is already at least one an outstanding feature request dealing with this - see #13811: Select playback method of Grace Notes, Arpeggio & Glissando and Articulations & Ornaments

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

As far as I know appoggiaturas are only one note long. Otherwise how to interpret the rules about how long they are? Half the main note if it is divided by two and two thirds of it if it is divided by three. If you have a run three notes as an appoggiatura does the whole run take the half or two thirds of the main note? (Musescore just plays those as the note values that are entered).

I believe multiple grace notes like this are always acciaccaturas though I have never in my life seen those with a slash (maybe because they are acciaccaturas anyway?).

In reply to by azumbrunn

That's why I linked the wiki, half of it is on double appogiaturas. They're actually pretty common, I was linking Rite of Spring because that's my current project - there's double appoggiaturas all through the famous bassoon solo at the beginning. I linked to a different place because quarter notes are a better example than triplets and 5-tuplet sixteenth notes.

Double appoggiaturas take half of the main note,

Edit" confused acciacatura/appoggiatura for a moment there.

The runs are before the beat, whatever you call them. Specifically, they're 32nd notes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'd need to change the beaming too, though.

Acciaccaturas are played before the beat always, I thought? At least the slashed eighth note ones are. They're actually a little short, too - I always go with 32nd notes for grace note playback, the current playback is often too short to be musical, or occasionally, humanly possible.

EDIT: That issue appears to have seen 3 or four years with no activity...

In reply to by Laurelin

Acciaccaturas are generally on the beat, no before. There are plenty of exceptions though. I prefer them on the beat in most situations. They give the chord a little dissonant bite at the start. If you play them before the beat you lose that bite and the effect is much more anodyne.

I believe the reason so many people play them before the beat is simply that it is the easy way.

I would assume that in Stravinsky (20th century!) an appoggiatura would be written out i.e. the desired rhythm would be notated in full size notes (you can always write appoggiaturas that way). Appoggiaturas written as grace notes are an 18th century thing (has to do with the rules of harmony as they applied them at the time--Mozart is full of them for example). In Stravinsky or any other 20th century score I'd play all grace notes short as acciacaturas, double triple, single, whatever, slashed or not slashed.

In reply to by azumbrunn

There are multiple interpretations for grace notes to be sure. For piano, the most traditional (?) approach for an acciaccatura is to strike it *simultaneously* with the main note, then immediately release it. And it is that interpretation that gives rise to the name (derived from Italian for "crush"). Of course, that interpretation only makes sense for instrument capable of playing notes simultaneously, so I suspect discussions about whether they should go before or after the beat are basically other musicians disagreeing over how to best simulate something that is not physically possible.

As for the "double appoggiatura" (or multiple grace notes in general; terminology is hardly standardized), it is indeed quite common to show them with the slash on the first note of the group. So that's how MuseScore does it - adding multiple acciaccaturas will show the slash on the first one only. But some editions - particularly older ones - omit the slash. So as I said, if you desire to mimic that particular look, simply hide the slash. This isn't unique to multiple grace notes, though - there are also editions that show *single* acciaccaturas with no slash (ie, as if they were appoggiaturas). Same solution applies if you wish to mimic that look.

And yes, eventually at some point we'd like to give more control over playback of ornaments. But such subtle details of playback are of course much lower in priority than the fundamental notation features. We've fixed bugs having to do with grace note playback, and tweaked some things here and there, but actually implementing new features in this area hasn't been as important as fundamental notation. Of course, MuseScore is open source, and if any motivated person wants to try their hand at designing and implementing such a facility, I'm sure that would be welcomed!

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The thing is, this is just not the case in orchestral music, at all. The very beginning of Marche Slav, a very famous Tchaikovsky piece, has the low strings play whole notes with three grace notes, 32nd style barring, no slash. It's a quick sweep up to the whole note. Then the whole becomes four quarters, and while the quarters are absolutely on the beat - it's a march - the first note keeps the 32nd note sweep up.

Grace notes are almost never on the beat in large ensemble music. And it looks very wrong to have more than one of the slashed notes before a primary - I have never seen it in music - and the slashed notes only come in eighth note style. I really don't like having to choose between very inaccurate notation or very inaccurate playback.

About all I have is to put in the wrong playback notes, turn them off, and do some weird second voice invisible workaround. Unfortunately, I can't do that for the Slavonic March - there'd be a very obvious and weird empty first measure.

If you're curious, I've played clarinet for 23 years, mostly in band and orchestra. There aren't a lot of grace notes in band music, but they are... really important in orchestral. And quite common. It seems like a fundamental notation problem to me when I have to do large workarounds like that., if you want the audio of March Slav.

EDIT: And I just tried a work around - Cello part for Waltz of the Flowers has a couple of grace notes like this in a very dramatic section. If I notate it correctly and turn off the playback, the primary note's start is still edited. So that doesn't work.

In reply to by Laurelin

Not sure what you are saying isn't true in orchestral music. That slashes are never used for multiple grace notes? As I said, it is indeed common to omit them especially in set editions, but they are
used very commonly. Both forms are common. That's why MuseScore allows both notations, no workarounds required. Either enter appoggiaturas, or enter accuaccaturas and hide the slash. You can also change the acciaccstutas to sixteenths or thirty-second, and straightforward with no workarounds required.

If you mean it is more common to play multiple grace notes before the beat, no doubt that is true. As has often been observed, the primary purpose of MuseScore is notation, not playback. If for some reason more accurate playback is important to you, then you are indeed welcome to do use workarounds to improve it - my recommendation is usually to add a hidden staff.

But the point is that workarounds are not required to achieve the primary goal if MuseScore which is good notation. And yes, pretty much everyone agrees that someday it would be nice to improve the playback options here. It's just a matter of priorities. Hopefully it happens in the not too distant future.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.