ornament (music)

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ornaments (Fr. agréments; It. fioriture; Ger. Verzierungen, Manieren). Embellishments and decorations of a melody as expressed through small notes or special signs. Further detail will be found under acciaccatura, appoggiatura, mordent, gruppetto, and trill. In early vocal mus. and opera, embellishments were improvised by the singers, some of whom carried them to great lengths. In the 19th and early 20th cents. this improvised ornamentation became almost unknown (except in jazz), but since the 1950s it has been restored to some perf. of oratorios and operas, incl. (under Charles Mackerras and others) the operas of Mozart.

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