What do we learn in this chapter?

A grace note is a musical ornament creating rhythmic and melodic interest. One or two grace notes are placed ahead of the note, and they are usually a half or whole step apart. It is a pure gestural effect that doesn’t consume an official duration, so it enriches music when a player accommodates it musically depending on the tempo and style of music. (Some grace notes such as appoggiatura receive the time value, however.)

A trill is also used as a musical ornament. It consists of a rapid alteration between two adjacent notes, usually a half or whole step apart. Both grace note and trill are frequently used in Baroque music and jazz. A subtle and fine interest can be generated by employing these simple ornaments because they often involve a non-harmonic tone. Playing a note that does not belong to the harmony creates a harmonic surprise (dissonance), and music can become enjoyable when both dissonance and consonance are well presented. Non-harmonic tones will be discussed further in chapter 7 and 8.

A grace note and trill can be created in various situations, such as: