Understanding the Appoggiatura


Question: What’s the difference between an appoggiatura and a grace note?

Well, there are actually two kinds of grace notes: short (acciaccatura) and long (appoggiatura). Both are marked as a smaller note, often with a slash across the stem and sometimes with a slur connected to the next note. Acciaccaturas are played in a “short” unequal manner, before the principal note. Appoggiaturas are “long” grace notes with equal measure to the principal note, such as a graced quarter note played as two equal eighth notes. Both can come from below or above, but appoggiaturas tend to be above the principal note due to their more structural role, serving as short suspensions on strong beats.

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