Ornamentation diagram?

• Nov 6, 2018 - 19:24

Sorry for the vague title, I have absolutely no idea what this is called.

You know how sometimes complex ornaments in a score that are denoted by symbols above notes (like a regular note with a trill symbol) will have a standalone measure directly above the staff with the entire ornament written out how it should be played? I've seen it plenty of times in piano music I've played in the past when the composer had a specific way in mind of playing an ornament but didn't want to write out the ornamentation in the main staff.

I have a section of a violin part where I need two pralls to be slurred. I want to put a diagram above the staff showing how they should be played. Is there any way to do this? Or will I need to just write it out in the main staff for both pralls?

I've attached the relevant section of the part. The first part before the rest measure is how I want it to be written in the staff. The last measure is how I would write the ornament in the diagram.


Thanks in advance!


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I don't think Ossia is there proper term for what the OP wanted, but the way to make it is the same. Ossia refers to an alternate part to be played, usually because one or the other is considered too difficult. This is directions on how to play an ornament. I've seen this either look like an ossia or in a footnote or preface.

In reply to by mike320

Interesting, I've never heard the term "ossia" defined in such a way as to exclude notations on playing ornaments. I don't dispute it, but then is there a term for the same device used for the purpose of demonstrating ornaments?

For 3.0:

The term "cutaway" used in Staff Properties is mostly meant to be suggestive of a different use case for this same feature. Scores where parts that aren't playing disappear not just on a system-by-system basis but ona measure-by-measure basis. "Cutaway" a is a semi-standard term for this notational device; I'm not aware of another. If there were a more general term to encompass this type of cutaway staves as well as ossias and the measures that look just like ossias but as used to write out ornaments, that could make sense to use instead. But at least "cutaway" is likely to mean more to the average user than "ossia".

BTW, combining " new cutaway" with the new "Hide when empty: Always" setting - dead simple way of creating ossias or cutaway staves in 3.0, for those still trying to wrap their brains around what possible value the new settings provide. I implemented these features more or less simultaneously, specifically to create a unified approach for ossias, cutaway staves, and "temporary" staves (hidden system-by-system). So Staff Properties is now your one-stop shop for all of these, while Style / Score is needed only for creating true "condensed" scores (with all staves hidden when empty), and the two are completely independent, so you can toggle the global "Hide empty staves" setting to switch between full and condensed scores while ossias remain ossias and temporary staves remain temporary staves.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've never heard of a term for a diagram that explains an ornament. Any time I've ever heard ossia used it was in reference to an alternate passage that can be played by the musician, which means it's optional, while an ornament is expected to be played. I do realize in the Baroque era this varied some, but the ornaments were not of necessity accompanied by an explanatory diagram. Since the definition of various ornaments have changed over history, these explanatory diagrams are not unusual today.

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