Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

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Brooke Martin
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Brooke Martin » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:18 pm

"And I don't have a score to hand to see what the composer notated. It might well work to follow whatever happens there on guitar - as per usual, if it sound right it is right!"

In the first measure of Gnossienne I, for instance, the grace note is written with a slash through it, making it an acciaccatura--played before the beat. In this first measure, the A in the chord with the grace note (which is from E to D sharp) would be played on the beat, along with the D sharp. I suppose you might still say that the grace note could be played so quickly with the D sharp (as a sort of "crushed note") that you could still play the grace note and chord together and the A would sound like it was on the beat. Still, I know how I'd play it on the piano, and I don't see why it would be played any differently on the guitar (meaning I think the grace note would be played before the beat and the bass note on the beat). A very interesting discussion indeed. :)

Alexander Kalil
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:05 pm
And again I would very much like to know of any clear instances of pre-beat graces
Granados' Spanish Dance No 5 immediately comes to mind. The first three measures contain 15 individual grace notes, all of which are played before the beat by almost everyone, including Granados himself. :-)
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Grace1.png
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On the other hand, measure 18 starts with an ornament accompanied by a bass note. Modern players tend to interpret the ornament on the beat, playing the bass note together with the first grace note. This is at odds with Granados' recording (ca 1913), where he plays the bass note together with the principal note, thus effectively interpreting the ornament as before the beat!
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Grace2.png
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Last edited by Alexander Kalil on Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

JohnB
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by JohnB » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:19 pm

Eric Taylor in "The AB Guide to Music Theory" Part 1 says, talking about grace notes, that in the 18th C the convention was that they were played on the beat but during the 19th C it became increasingly common for composers to expect them to be played before the beat. However, this was not universal and some composers expected them on the beat.

Of course, Eric Taylor book is a general music theory guide and not a treatise on historic practice.
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astro64
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by astro64 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:15 pm

It seems when there is a bass note involved as well, it may be harder to play the grace note prior to the beat on the guitar than on the piano, perhaps. E.g. if the grace note is played with a slur down to the main note, the bass would drown out the slurred note. If you instead do not use a slur, speed and timing would be still be tricky. Can anyone point at good quality recordings that may demonstrate this on the guitar?

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:16 am

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:05 pm
And again I would very much like to know of any clear instances of pre-beat graces
Granados' Spanish Dance No 5 immediately comes to mind. The first three measures contain 15 individual grace notes, all of which are played before the beat by almost everyone, including Granados himself. :-)
......
Thank you for taking the trouble to post those. I was of course, unclearly, meaning examples of grace notes, on chords, on guitar :oops:

astro 64 put it much more succinctly.
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Brooke Martin
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Brooke Martin » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:02 pm

"In the Classical era, they're generally played before the beat..."

Mark, when I wrote this, I was referring to acciaccaturas, performed before the beat, not appogiaturas, usually played on the beat, as you wrote: "...in fact you can pretty much say that "on-the-beat" execution of appoggiature was taught as the rule."

It gets a little confusing.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:35 pm

Brooke Martin wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:02 pm
"In the Classical era, they're generally played before the beat..."
Mark, when I wrote this, I was referring to acciaccaturas, performed before the beat, not appogiaturas, usually played on the beat
Did you not look at the examples from the period that I posted? They are all, by your definition, acciaccature and yet all to be executed on the beat.

Granados and Satie are of no relevance to "classical" style.

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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by escasou » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:07 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:30 pm
Brooke Martin wrote: For me, the question really arose with some Sor pieces that had grace notes with slashes through them, meaning that they're acciaccaturas.
Strictly speaking they might more clearly be referred to as short appoggiature which actually speaks of their execution. Nomenclature sometimes becomes misused and then commonly aprropriated - the term acciaccatura originally pertained to a specific keyboard effect whereby a dissonant note would be struck simultaneously with its resolution - the dissonant note immediately being muted. This effect is of course also available in certain instances on some string instruments such as the lute or guitar.

During the 1700s no particular written distinction was made between long and short appoggiature. The slash began to be added by the early 1800s, however there was no intention to change the execution but simply to provide a visual difference between the two ornaments. Be careful with Sor - it very much depends on the edition as to whether you will find these slashes in the graces.
Brooke Martin wrote:In the Classical era, they're generally played before the beat.
What is your source for this information? It stands at odds with everything that I have ever read about the performance of 19th C music - in fact you can pretty much say that "on-the-beat" execution of appoggiature was taught as the rule.

There are many instruction manuals which present examples of written graces followed by their execution which make this abundantly clear. Here is one example:
on-beat_1.png
The above is taken from a flute method of around 1790; the top line is marked, "as we write", the lower one, "as we play".
on-beat_2.png
From Czerny's 1839 "Complete Practical Pianoforte School" again marked "written" and "played".
on-beat_3.png
... and this from Carcassi.

There are dozens and dozens of examples to be found - all of them specify the same manner of execution - some even complaining of how "some" performers get it wrong and how bad this sounds.

Hi. This is a very interesting and important topic. Many current performers do not play well and confuse the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century ornaments. As Mark explains, we can find many examples of 18th and 19th century methods on how these notes should be executed. See, for example, in addition to Carcassi's method, the practical examples of Giacomo Merchi's (1777), Charles Doisy's (1801) or François Molino (1823) method's, or what other authors, such as Dionisio Aguado, wrote on this subject. Regards.

escasou
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by escasou » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:30 am

One example from Molino's method:

Image

Regards.

Alexander Kalil
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:01 pm

escasou wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:07 pm
Many current performers do not play well and confuse the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century ornaments.

I think you're being too dogmatic here. In the absence of universal consensus on which ornaments of which era should be played on or before the beat it ultimately remains a matter of performer's preference. I doubt if any serious performer today is not aware of what Carulli, Molino, Czerny, etc, have to say about ornaments. And yet, when faced with a particular instance of a 19th century ornament they may chose to execute it differently. By doing so they are not 'confusing 19th and 20th century ornaments' but simply making use of their artistic freedom of expression. As demonstrated above, sometimes performers even chose to contradict the composer's own execution available on historical tape!

escasou
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Re: Planting right-hand thumb for chord tone with grace note?

Post by escasou » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:49 am

Hi. Sorry if I sounded too dogmatic. I only suggest consulting the methodology in this regard (it can be surprising how many performers do not read that kind of old books). In the context of the guitar, it's clear how to perform grace notes in some contexts; in this case, I'm not so sure if it's a case of interpretation, maybe it's only some kind of innocent freedom and absence of knowledge. Regards.

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