Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Michelle Notes

Last night a dear young one was learning about grace notes. They are the small notes before regular sized notes in a music score. They are a form of ornamentation, usually seen in earlier music, Baroque or Classical, but Chopin used this style of notation too. I went on discussing how different composers meant them to be played on the beat, or before the beat. We noticed that sometimes the stem of the notes have slashes through them, and that was the way the composers told us what they meant. Mozart sometimes wrote grace notes that today we would have written as regular sixteenth notes; practices have changed regarding manuscript writing and what was intended. That's why we study history as well as the music, so that we perform it closely to the way the composer intended.

"Do you mean my friend Grace has notes named after her?" Michelle interrupted. "Are there any Michelle notes?" Well....

So we changed the name of these notes the rest of her lesson. I'm sure Haydn wouldn't mind a few Michelle notes in his piece; she was quite graceful about them.

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