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Most five year olds understand the Bert and Earnie, their friends, live inside the TV box and sometimes come to visit. Some five years olds have been told that B&E don't really live inside the TV - they live far away and special waves float through the air and bring them to the tv box. These children have learned to humor these idiot caregivers and will dutifully repeat"No , B&E are not inside the tv, they are far away". But between themselves they go back to their original understanding.

I feel like that with the appoggiatura from the classical era. I have learned to accept that when Mozart wrote the appog

[Linked Image]


he really meant the initial group to be playing simply as four sixteenth notes. Why did he not just write four sixteenth notes? The textbook answer seems to be - he liked it that way, at that moment. Perhaps it looks more elegant. Or perhaps, since the appog was an ornament borrowed from the singers, that he was trying to say "make this sound like singing".

But like Bert and Earnie it still bothers me.

Here is the conclusion of the first half of a sonata by Paradisi, who wrote this for harpsichord in 1754.

[Linked Image]

I don't know if you can see it but there are four appog's there. I feel that I want to play them as ornaments. THe appog was a sort of accented note that glided into the next note - is that correct. Or maybe it was leaned on with a slight lengthening of time value.

DOes anyone know the real story about this ornament?


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My understanding is that it has to do with theory. You'll notice that all of the appoggiaturas in question are notes that are upper neighbors of a chord tone. They were written as appoggiaturas to say the performer "This note isn't a part of the chord, but it leads very nicely into the next note which is."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Thanks K - that makes sense - so they require no special articulation - nothing you could hear - that would say - "here's an appog."

What did singers do with them? Or string players? Same thing?

Last edited by Schubertian; 12/31/09 01:42 PM.

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Excerpt from my Mozart Sonatas' introduction, by Nathan Broder:

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Many present-day musicians [such as Mr. Schubertian] have wondered why Mozart and his contemporaries wrote this and other long appoggiaturas in the form of grace-notes.... It must be remembered that throughout the 17th and 18th centuries,... performers, both vocal and instrumental, improvised all sorts of ornaments on the written or printed music.... Leopold Mozart therefore writes, with respect to some examples of long appoggiaturas: "It is true that all the descending appoggiaturas could be set down in large print and divided up within the bar. But if a violinist, who knows not that the appoggiatura is written out, or who is already accustomed to befrill every note, happens on such, how will it fare with the melody as well as with harmony? I will wager that such an individual will add yet another long appogiatura...."

It would seem, therefore, that the long appoggiatura may have been written in the form of a grace-note to warn the player that no additional, improvised, embellishment was wanted.



The great word from that explanation being "befrill".

Hope that helps-

-Jason

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FWIW, the introduction I quoted also has an explicit refutation to Kreisler's explanation, or at least a theoretical explanation along the same lines as Kreisler's. (I just report this out of interest. I have no opinion myself here. I've often heard the music theory explanation too, and I'm sure it's a good part of the answer.)

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Some writers have attempted to explain this procedure by saying that the appoggiatura forms a dissonance with the bass and that the 18th-century composers wanted to make the fundamental progression clear by distinguishing the dissonant suspension from what is basically the first-- consonant-- note of the figure. The trouble with this explanation is that there are some instances where the appoggiatura forms a consonance with the bass. A more convincing explanation, it seems to me, is implied in a passage in Leopold Mozart's book...



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So, what's the difference between that and Beethoven 10/3 first movement, measures 52-54, and 59-61 (sorry, Im bad at adding images of bits of the page).

Are those supposed to be long appoggiaturas as well?

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I have encountered exactly the same notation differences in two editions of the Haydn "Andante con Variazioni" (or "Variationen f-moll") Hob. XVII:6, which I have recently started working on. In measures 31, 32, 40, 41, 42, 90, 91 the Schirmer edition (1927) writes out four thirty-second notes, while the Henle (2006?) in the same measures writes out an appoggiatura leading to a sixteenth-note followed by two thirty-second notes.

Regards,


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Ornaments and appoggiaturas...enough to make you crazy. And I believe Haydn may have been one of the most indiscriminate in his use. I'm currently studying his Sonata in A-flat major, Hob.16/46 and sometimes the appoggiaturas are played as sixteenth (or 32nd notes) other times they are shorter. And the trills can starting above or on the note, or with an ending or without...it seems every edition sees it a different way. Of course, like the good student that I am, I do it the way my teacher tells me to do it.


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To put it more simply (according to Leopold Mozart): The appoggiatura was used as a warning to the performer.

Usually the performers of this musical century enjoyed embellishing and ornamenting the composer's score. It was the accepted practice.

The composer added an appoggiatura when he specifically did NOT want these notes to be embellished.

We don't have this kind of problem anymore, thus no need for appoggiaturas.

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I believe this notational quirk is a holdover from the baroque period into the rococo and classical periods.

In the baroque, it was quite common for performers to work from a figured bass provided by the composer. The composer wrote out the soprano line, the bass line, some roman numerals, as well as the numbers indicating the chord inversion. All of this was necessary to signify the underlying harmony to the performer.

If the soprano line contained a dissonant note that was going to resolve to a consonance within the chord, i.e., an appogiatura, it could not be written in the normal way, as it would mislead the performer as to what the underlying harmony was. Therefore, the convention was to write the dissonant note in the soprano line as a little grace note, and to write the consonant note normally.

The difficulty arose for us in the 21st century because the notational practice didn't concurrently change with the non-improvisatory practice that developed over time in the rococo and classic periods that followed. It took a number of decades. Therefore, we find it still hanging around in Haydn and Mozart and even as late as Schubert.

And that, in my estimation, is the best explanation as to why we are left with this little notational quirk.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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