Skip to main content


gruppetto (It.). Grouplet. The turn, a type of ornament in vocal and instr. mus. gruppetto implies a 4-note figure, the note above, the note itself, the note below, and the note itself. This figure is perf. after the note itself or instead of it, according to whether the turn sign is placed after the note itself or over it.

The inflection of the upper or lower note of the turn (in either form) is shown by the placing of a sharp, flat, natural, etc., sign above or below.

When the gruppetto occurs after the note the taste of the performer governs the division of the time available. The general principle seems to be that the gruppetto is to be perf. fairly rapidly. To bring this about, the first example just given (if occurring in a slow tempo) might be treated thus:

whilst in a very quick tempo it might be treated as follows (indeed there might be no time to treat it in any other way):

The number of different examples given in different textbooks is very large, and no two textbooks quite agree, but the above statement gives the chief general principles accepted by all. They also apply, of course, to the inverted turn, which begins with the lower auxiliary note, instead of the upper one.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gruppetto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . 25 May. 2019 <>.

"gruppetto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . (May 25, 2019).

"gruppetto." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved May 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.