A rapid alternation with the note above or below

A Mordent is an ornamentation that is used in melody parts. It is created by the rapid alternation of the main note with an upper auxiliary note (Upper Mordent) or a lower auxiliary note (Inverted Mordent/Lower Mordent), with the relationship between a whole step or half step. In general, Mordent typically starts with the main note, followed by the auxiliary note, and then returns to the main note. In sheet music, the more curved the Mordent notation is, the more alternations between the main note and the auxiliary note are required.

Example of Mordent

Clinic: Ornamentation - Mordents

Writer: Frankie Chan