Baroque Trill Styles Chart

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Uploaded on Mar 18, 2012

The trill (or shake, as it was known from the 16th until the 19th century) is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill. It is sometimes referred to by the German triller, the Italian trillo, the French trille or the Spanish trino. A cadential trill is a trill associated with a cadence.

In the baroque period, a number of signs indicating specific patterns with which a trill should be begun or ended were used. In the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach lists a number of these signs together with the correct way to interpret them. Unless one of these specific signs is indicated, the details of how to play the trill are up to the performer. In general, however, trills in this period are executed beginning on the auxiliary note, before the written note, often producing the effect of a harmonic suspension which resolves to the principal note. But, if the note preceding the ornamented note is itself one scale degree above the principal note, then the dissonant note has already been stated, and the trill typically starts on the principal note.

Several trill symbols and techniques common in the Baroque and early Classical period have fallen entirely out of use, including for instance the brief Pralltriller, represented by a very brief wavy line, referred to by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (Versuch) (1753–1762).

Beyond the baroque period, specific signs for ornamentation are very rare. Continuing through the time of Mozart, the default expectations for the interpretation of trills continued to be similar to those of the baroque. In music after the time of Mozart, the trill usually begins on the principal note.

All of these are only rules of thumb, and, together with the overall rate of the trill and whether that rate is constant or variable, can only be determined by considering the context in which the trill appears, and is usually to a large degree a matter of opinion with no single "right" way of executing the ornament.

baroque Trill

Pages 2
Duration 00:36
Measures 18
Key signature natural
Parts 1
Part names Piano
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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The trill with "prefix from above" (with and without termination) is used left and right in the organ and harpsichord works of Bach, and not here (nor are the symbols for them in MuseScore's pallette. The terms I just used are those used in the jpg just cited, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Tableofornaments750.jpg
Looking at bars 9 to 12 the little hook is very small and not falling in the right place. In the list of Musescore symbols (as in the symbols from the Master Palette when pressing Z) the nearest thing to use could be the Right-facing Hook. The table of ornaments on Wikipedia seems to show something like it https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Tableofornaments750.jpg This web page has an interesting history of the hook used by Bach http://www.iment.com/maida/familytree/henry/music/bachnotation.htm#o9 Other tables use something like a large apostrophe like the IMSLP version e.g. http://imslp.org/wiki/File:WIMA.2dd9-explica.pdf I assume that this is because the handwritten original symbols appear like apostrophes http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/3/3f/IMSLP371715-PMLP240573-Explication_Autograph.pdf
The beams have joined. Is this the result of opening and editing an old score with Musescore 2.0?
Also the link in the title takes me here https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baroque_Trill_Instructions.png which is a crop of this https://html2-f.scribdassets.com/2sar8u7zeo4wxtk/images/1-13308ab772.jpg
I think this is an eighth note/quaver in the original https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Tableofornaments750.jpg and in Bach's own hand http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/3/3f/IMSLP371715-PMLP240573-Explication_Autograph.pdf
Good catch! It should actually be an 8th note on measure 4. It should be fixed now. Thanks!
Here are the links for those interested in Bach's own handwritten original http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/3/3f/IMSLP371715-PMLP240573-Explication_Autograph.pdf which is from IMSLP http://imslp.org/wiki/Explication_unterschiedlicher_Zeichen_%28Bach,_Johann_Sebastian%29 and the same typeset in an image on Wikipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Tableofornaments750.jpg
Could this feature also work in other voices except for the second? I've a piece that I'm engraving that contains tremolandi between two notes a fourth apart, and these occur in the second voice.
Absolutely! The 3rd or 4th voices work just as well.
And what if I'm hearing two voices at the same time?
Step 5 is to make the primary voice silent. Then you only hear one voice. Please note that this technique is only necessary in MuseScore 1.3 and below. MS2.1 and above fully support the trill natively.
And what should I do if I'm hearing two voices at once?
Love it! Also, can you please make classical and romantic trills?
Glad it helps! The only difference is that In classic period music, the trill (usually, but not always) STARTS on the fundamental and goes upward to the upper neighbor. If it's a baroque piece, the trill usually (but not always) STARTS on the upper neighbor first.
magataganm , This is very useful to make trill (and also tremolo) in musescore that you mentioned about it . But unfortunately most of the musescore users doesn't know about this . I told this link to many musescore users and also in my last piece I used this to write trill and tremolos . Musescore had to inform about this to users into the Handbook .
I also hope that MuseScore future releases contain an integrated playback support for articulations and ornaments. Implementing these "back-door" solutions is quite time-consuming and prone to error. I realize that playback is not a primary purpose of MuseScore however, some composers find it invaluable to hear passages as they are intended such that appropriate adjustments can be made. Thank you for your feedback
Due to requests, I added a second page detailing the procedures for adding working ornamentation to MuseScore using the "Hidden Voice" procedure. For instructions, please see page 2 of this document.
if it were in the key of A flat, would you complete these trills in the key of the first note, or would it change to the key of A flat?
I'm certainly not an expert but have read that with extremely rare exceptions and with respect to Bach, all ornaments begin on the beat and are played diatonically within the key in force at the moment they occur (please see: http://www.iment.com/maida/familytree/henry/music/bachnotation.htm).
Thanks for this post! It's a great summary.
I've also seen in a lot of baroque :64'th for 2 notes then 32-1 16-1 and finally 8'th
Do you have the specific pitch pattern and the symbol used (perhaps a link to a picture or web page)? Thanks!
A more readable version of a chart I found quite useful!