Bach ornament

How can I create these Bach ornaments (see arrows)? I can’t find them in the Glyph tables.

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Those are not native to Dorico. However, you can replace jazz ornaments such as scoops and plops, which are positioned to the left of the note, with any symbol from the Smufl table of glyphs using the “Music Symbols” editor in Layout Mode. These are particularly good for Rameau “port-de-voix” and such, but in you case, be aware that the symbols editor does not allow rotation the glyphs (yet …) and they must therefore remain horizontal

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Are these actual Bach ornaments? I’ve never seen them before.

Coffee stains? :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you, Claude, for your suggestion. It’s a pity that it’s not possible to rotate the suggested jazz ornaments in the editor, so they would show their ascending or descending direction.

In the French Suites the sign occurs frequently.

Any idea what they mean?

But is it a quirk of the edition you’re copying? I’ve played some of the French suite and my edition doesn’t have those markings.

It just appears to be an odd way of notating an appoggiatura. (One that I’d doubt would be universally recognized or understood.)

Henle and Wiener Urtext Edition both have them.

I think they are called ascending or descending accents and they are played like appoggiaturas.

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I’m so fascinated I’ve never seen them before. I’ll also note that they don’t appear to be used by Bach himself; at least not in the manuscript posted to Imslp. (And I know that the picture I posted a few posts above is not actually Bach’s handwriting; however the manuscript for some of the other suites is available.)

A bit OT but I find it strange that the modern edition in Romanos’ post writes the first appoggiatura as a quarter note and not an eighth, as in the MS. This is definitely not advisable. If you play it on the beat and as a quarter, you’ll get nasty parallel fifths between the soprano and the tenor voices.

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I don’t have internet on my PC for unknown reason, but as soon as it’s up again, I’ll post a page out of Beyschlag’s “Die Ornamentik der Musik” (Breitkopf & Härtel, 1909) where he shows some examples of this sign and how it should be executed. All examples are from the French Suites. If you have a chance to look into an Urtext Edition (Henle, Universal, Bärenreiter) you’ll see this sign widely spread.

EDIT: with Internet available again, here’s the page in Beyschlag’s musical ornament book that deals with the Bach sign in question (p. 123):

He suggests to play them as short grace notes! Not quarters, not eights: short grace notes! Don’t know what sources he had to come to that conclusion. Is there a more recent “bible” covering musical ornaments and their execution?

Here’s another way of notating the ornament, from Altnikol’s early edition. Here it’s not necessarily clear what the length of the port de voix should be but it’s clear from the context that they should be eighths (approximately). Really bad that some modern editions insist on notating the first one as a quarter!

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I dont have Beyschlag’s book, but the sign you want is ascribed to JSB in Donnington’s table (p.735). JSB omitted it from the Explication that he wrote at the beginning of the Clavierbüchlein vor W F Bach. In his book, Bach’s Ornaments, Walter Emery also notes that JSB sometimes used this sign.

When I wanted to reproduce Purcell’s ornaments in Sibelius, I imported jpeg scans of them from facsimiles and placed them accurately, though I dont think you can do this in Dorico yet. But the idea that eventually Dorico will be able to reproduce any notation natively is to my way of thinking unrealistic, and for the purpose of expanding things like unusual grace notes this method would seem to suffice, though of course jpegs will not play back (which doesnt worry me personally) – unless they can be associated with another native gracenote that sounds the same!


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Bach - Sarabande
This is Bach’s autograph of the mentioned bars (“Clavier-Büchlein vor Anna Magdalena Bachin ANNO 1722”)

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Is this how JSB writes these consistently? It looks like the lower mark is to indicate the appogiatura, and the upper is a slur.


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I hope this is not getting too much OT, but here are 3 more examples (Sarabande in G, bar 26 & 29-30):
Sarabande Takt 26
Sarabande Takte 29-30
It looks like JSB randomly uses single or two opposite slurs for what he calls “accent steigend” or “accent fallend” in his “Explication unterschiedlicher Zeichen, so gewisse manieren artig zu spielen, andeuten”.

Interesting. Actually Bach did document them in his Table of Ornaments he wrote into his son’s music notebook (Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, 1720) , he lists the steigend (ascending appoggiatura) and fallend (descending appoggiatura). In my Alfred edition of WTC with detailed notes it notes “The double hook (the symbol above) has the same meaning as the single hook”.

Basically the little slur is called a “hook” and just indicates an appoggiatura which can also be notated with a grace-note like thing, and basically means a lazy subdivision in my mind. The double means the same as a single (I guess the direction from context?) The Alfred ed. goes into some detail.

In Dorico you can add a glyph, but I’d just notate it out as an appoggiatura rather than the hook notation which is a bit rare.