appoggiatura

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appoggiatura (It.). Leaning note. A grace note or species of ornament of which the exact interpretation has differed in various periods. In the 18th cent. the appoggiatura was often unwritten and left, e.g. in Handel and Mozart, to be inserted by the singer. Operatic appoggiatura was regarded as obsolete until its revival in certain operatic productions c.1960. Its harmonic application may be described as follows: Properly an unprepared suspension (if such a contradictory term may be allowed) whether it be shown in full-sized type as a part of the chord in which it momentarily appears, or as a small note printed just before that chord. Having a harmonic status it is not an ‘ornament’ in the same sense as, for instance, the acciaccatura.

(a) With ordinary and dotted notes.

The appoggiatura is as important melodically as the note on which it ‘leans’, from which it takes normally half the time-value (two-thirds the time-value if the supporting note is dotted).

(b) With tied notes.

When the appoggiatura ‘leans upon’ two tied notes, it normally takes the whole of the time-value of the first of these to itself.

(c) With a chord.

As the appoggiatura leans only upon one note of the chord the other notes are unaffected.

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ap·pog·gia·tu·ra / əˌpäjəˈtoŏrə/ • n. (pl. -tu·ras or -tu·re / -ˈtoŏrā/ ) Mus. a grace note performed before a note of the melody and typically having half its time value.

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appoggiatura XVIII. — It., f. appoggiare cause to lean.

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