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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Theory question in the General forums; What is it called when a valve is depressed and released quickly just before the next melodic note? It only ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Apr 2009
    Winnipeg Canada

    Theory question

    What is it called when a valve is depressed and released quickly just before the next melodic note? It only lasts milliseconds and adds to the phrasing of the piece. Would this be on the music or just an improvisation of the player?
    Just curious,
    Bruce in the Peg

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  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
    Near Portland, OR.

    Re: Theory question

    Isn't that called an appogiature?

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  3. #3
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    Nov 2003

    Re: Theory question


  4. #4
    Forte User nordlandstrompet's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    Re: Theory question

    Like this?

    Often called "Grace note" (or "Acciaccatura")

    You can read about the use here:
    Last edited by nordlandstrompet; 11-28-2009 at 11:29 AM. Reason: adding link
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  5. #5
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Ithaca NY

    Re: Theory question

    Whether the valve is depressed then released, or the opposite, or if valves are even used as this kind of ornament - the grace note - can be played on other instruments too. The length given determines if it is an appoggiatura or an acciaccatura - the first may be as long, or sometimes even longer than the note it precedes, the second is typically very short.
    Some allowance for interpretation by the player is allowed, especially during a solo or cadenza.


  6. #6
    Forte User
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    Jan 2009
    Clarksburg, WV

    Re: Theory question

    If I'm reading the question correctly, its a type of grace note.

  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Theory question

    There is a whole chapter on this in the Arbans book.

    The purpose of these ornaments is to introduce a "dissonance" or musical tension into the melody. When played properly, they do not really "stick out" but they do give the phrase being played more "weight".

    One needs to do a little research as they are sometimes played before the beat, sometimes on the beat.

    Bruce, sometimes they are notated (romantic music for instance) and sometimes soloists add them during an improvisation.
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  8. #8
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    Re: Theory question


    You also find them used extensively in Bagpipe scores to add expression and interest to the music. Bagpipes of course are nine note arranged non- chromatically and, as ROWUK suggests, the grace notes are generally 'not quite heard'.

    When my brother learned the pipes he didn't get the instrument into his hands for the first six months - at all. He played a chanter (the bit with the holes and one of the 4 reeds). Progressively, over the next couple of months the bag was introduced followed, one at a time, by the three drones. But - and here's the point - my brother said to me that apart from the breath control, the grace notes were the hardest thing to get a grip on - some of the grace note expressions included a sequence of 7 notes of 1/32 duration but written as if they took NO space in the score - such is the speed at which they are to be played.

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