An embellishing note preceding an essential melodic note

"Appoggiatura" is a musical ornamentation technique centered around the rapid performance of a brief additional note just before the main note. The defining feature of this ornamental note is its swift resolution in a harmonious manner onto the main note, adding extra emotion and expressiveness to musical passages. The term "Appoggiatura" originates from the Italian word "Appoggiare", which means "to support" or "to lean upon".

When performing an appoggiatura, musicians typically play this brief additional note quickly just before the main note, creating an instant sense of harmony. This immediate harmony helps to enhance the emotional depth of the music, allowing the audience to more profoundly experience the emotional aspects of the music.

In sheet music, appoggiature are typically marked with small eighth notes as symbols.

"Appoggiatura" shares similarities with "Acciaccatura", but while appoggiature emphasize the auxiliary note, acciaccature emphasize the main note.

The origin of appoggiature can be traced back to the Baroque period and has continued to be used in later musical eras. This ornamental technique enriches musical expression by introducing subtle tension and emotional variation. In music, appoggiature are often used to highlight specific notes, intensify emotions, or create a sense of urgency.

Example of Appoggiatura

What is the appoggiatura? | ABRSM Theory Grade 4 | Video Lesson