Gracenote lasts way too long

• Mar 28, 2020 - 03:55
Reported version
S4 - Minor
by design

In bar 30 of the attached score, the C6 grace note lasts two whole beats, making the dotted half it precedes last only one beat. Obviously I can work around this by notating the rhythm precisely, but certainly this is a bug, no?

Attachment Size
9.mscz 36.55 KB


Certainly a bug? No!

You have an appoggiatura there. Classically, that would take half the time value of the note it precedes or two thirds if that note is dotted and that is what MuseScore is doing. I say classically in the strict sense of in the classical period. Later interpretation became somewhat looser but still even in Fanny Mendelssohn's romantic period the appoggiatura would take a significant part of the following note's time value. I think what you were expecting is an acciaccatura which has a slash through the stem. That is played very short and interpretations vary as to whether it should steal time from the preceding or following note. MuseScore does the latter. Indeed, I think in this context an acciaccatura makes more sense.

See and

and the attached MuseScore example

Attachment Size
Ornaments.mscz 5.05 KB

Possible, but not likely. Instead it may mean a different and minority opinion (one that MuseScore doesn't yet support) on how to interpret grace notes.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks (all)!

"Different and minority," i.e., in this case to interpret it like an acc instead of an app. Can the fact that it's a leap rather than a step help decide (or at least inform) the issue? (Or, short of performance notes left by Mrs. Hensel herself and/or earwitnesses who heard her perform it, is it really just up to the performer?)

In reply to by OlyDLG

I wouldn't say must be a typo, but rather probably.

Although just an amateur, I have been lucky enough to perform concertos with a full orchestra and in preparation I have made very detailed study of the scores including comparing whatever different editions I can obtain. At the very fine detail level I have found a number of conflicting renditions. One then has to make one's choice of interpretation.

Perhaps you can find a different edition that gives further evidence, or perhaps a magnifying glass will reveal a slash on the stem of the grace note. Or just go with your interpretation.

In reply to by [DELETED] 29378932

K, well, the edition I'm working from was edited by Camilla Cai, published 1994 by A-R Editions; I perused the prefatory material, including the "Critical Notes", and though there is note about bar 30, it's not about the appoggiatura. I googled Ms. Cai and she's listed as emerita at Kenyon College and has an email listed, so I emailed her and hopefully may get her opinion on the matter. (I've examined the score very closely and it's definitely notated as an eight note appoggiatura, not an acciaccatura.)

In reply to by OlyDLG

It's my belief that back in those days, appoggiaturas and accacciaturas were interchangeable. After all, what's in a little stroke on the stem? Standard? There WAS no standard. It's all the same, they ain't getting much money for it from the King or whatever benefactor they lived off of, so who cares? It's only now in the 20th and 21st centuries that musicians are caring about how things should be played, or might have been played, being very particular about the nuances and all that kind of woke gobbledygook. If you asked any baroque composer, they might tell you that there was no difference between the two, or that what they thought was appoggiatura was actually accacciatura, or a combination. Engraving was slipshod back in the day. BUT: It's a safe bet that what she meant was to write the quicker version (accacciatura), otherwise she and others would have simply notated what they wanted.