Difference Between a Mordent and a Turn?

February 26, 2004 at 05:58 AM · What is the difference between a mordent (the symbol that looks like a wave) and a turn (the symbol that looks like a sideward S) above a note? I think with a mordent you only go down a semi tone(or up) once and then back to the original note, where as in a turn you go up a semi-tone, then back to the original note, then down a semi-tone, then back up to the original note. Is this right? I hope I haven't confused anyone.

Thanks;

Kevin

Replies (3)

February 26, 2004 at 10:47 AM · Yep, that sounds right, although not necessarily a semi-tone; can be a tone too.

February 27, 2004 at 02:51 AM · Kevin, that's right; and whether it's a tone or semitone depends on your key, plus any accidental signs. A mordent is to the note above if the symbol is a zigzag, and to the note below if the zigzag is crossed.

February 27, 2004 at 08:31 AM · Thanks Sue and Gregory;

I thought that was the right way, but since they have been showing up more and more in the pieces that I am playing, I thought I better make sure.

Kevin

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