A rapid alternation with the note above or below

"Mordent" is a musical ornamentation technique typically employed in the melodic aspects of music with the aim of introducing immediate musical variations, infusing dynamics, and enhancing expressiveness.

In the execution of a mordent, it is customary to initiate with the main note, followed by a swift transition to an upper auxiliary note, and concluding with a return to the main note. The tempo of this ornamental flourish is usually rapid, giving rise to a very brief duration of the technique. The mordent technique exhibits versatility, finding application across a wide array of musical instruments, including the piano, string instruments, woodwind instruments, and others.

Within sheet music, the number of twists in the mordent notation corresponds to the number of alternations between the main note and the auxiliary note, with an increase in twists signifying more alternations.

The mordent technique imparts noticeable musical variations into a musical passage, rendering specific notes more vivid and prominent. It serves the purpose of emphasizing particular notes, creating additional musical effects, or heightening the dramatic tension within the music. This technique often adapts to the style and emotional context of the music, yielding diverse musical effects.

Example of Mordent

Clinic: Ornamentation - Mordents