views updated May 23 2018

acciaccatura. A species of grace note, indicated by a small note with its stem crossed through, viz.,

The prin. note retains its accent and almost all its time-value. The auxiliary note is theoretically timeless; it is just ‘crushed’ in as quickly as possible before the prin. note is heard. Some renowned pianists even play the 2 notes simultaneously, immediately releasing the acciaccatura and retaining the prin. note.

Sometimes 2 or more small notes are shown before the prin. notes, and then they generally amount to acciaccature (being in most cases perf. on the ‘crushed-in’, or timeless and accentless, principle), although they have no strokes through their tails, and although the names double or triple appoggiatura are often given them.

Although the acciaccatura is theoretically timeless, it nevertheless must take a fragment of time from somewhere. In the cases shown above (which may be considered the normal ones) it takes it from the following note. In 2 other cases, however, time is taken from the preceding note: (1) when harmonically and in context it is clearly attached to that note rather than the following note; (2) when, in pf. mus., it appears in the bass followed by a chord in the left hand or in both hands—the composer's intention being to increase harmonic richness by sounding the bass note in a lower octave and then holding it by the pedal whilst the chord is played; in this case the chord (as a whole) is to be heard on the beat, the acciaccatura slightly preceding it. See also mordent.


views updated Jun 11 2018

ac·ciac·ca·tu·ra / äˌchäkəˈtoŏrə/ • n. (pl. -tu·ras or -tu·re / -ˈtoŏrā; -ˈtoŏrē/ ) Mus. a grace note performed as quickly as possible before an essential note of a melody.