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Owen Jander and Greer Garden

A term used to describe melody that is ornamented, either written out by the composer, or improvised by the performer. It can apply to a single melodic line, or to polyphony. In the florid organum of Aquitaine in the early 12th century the upper part of the note-against-note counterpoint is embellished with melismas. The term is also used to describe the ...



A cadential upper-note trill, often with a turn at the end. See Ornaments.


William C. Holmes

(1) In the 17th and 18th centuries a passage or cadenza inserted into a piece by a performer.

(2) In the same period, an epilogue inserted into a stage work (opera or play) in honour of a patron’s birthday or wedding, or for some other festive occasion. This usually consisted of recitatives and arias but choruses were sometimes included. The ...



A type of ornament which, in its standard form, consists in the rapid alternation of the main note with a subsidiary note a step below. See Ornaments.


Klaus Aringer

In 15th-century keyboard music, a form of conclusion consisting of formulaic counterpoint over the long-held final note (ultima) of a section of the cantus firmus, before reaching a closing consonance. Octaves and 5ths frequently constitute the salient features of the figuration. This procedure was a part of organ-playing practice in the 15th century, the most extensive collections of examples being in Conrad Paumann's ...


Greer Garden

In Baroque vocal and instrumental music, an appoggiatura, particularly one that resolves upwards by a tone or semitone. Deriving from late 16th-century Italian improvisatory practice – Bovicelli's Regole, passaggi di musica, madrigali et motetti passeggiati (1594/R) contains written-out examples – it became one of the most important graces of French Baroque music. In France it was rarely printed before the late 17th century, but was left to the performer to add extempore. Bacilly explained in his ...



Sometimes puntato means that notes are to be played staccato when indicated by ‘points’ (dots) above or below the notes in question. Puntato may also be used for ‘dotted’ notes in the sense of a dotted quaver (generally followed by a semiquaver). See also Piquer...


(Fr. coulé; Ger. Schleifer). An ornament consisting of two short notes making a conjunct approach to the main note. The direction is usually upwards with the ornament on the beat, but downward motion is also found and an unaccented interpretation is occasionally possible.




A type of ornament in which the main note alternates with its two auxiliaries a step above and below. See Ornaments.