Ever wondered whether that one trill should start with the upper or the main note? How to play that shake? And getting even more confused after having asked some friends? Or read online information?Good news.
You’re not alone. Mozart’s ornamentation system is complicated. There is no simple answer. And what I like to do in such cases might work for you: go back to the original information. Find out yourself.
So you dive into the world of original sources. Great! Two things will occur. First, the amount of information is overwhelming. Just visit a site like archive.org and you’ll know what I mean. Secondly, the sources we have are not (to say the least) written with our today’s standard of clarity. So you read and after a while the confusion gets bigger. Wish you had a… summary…
That is exactly one of the pain points of those sources. The are written often as if there was no proof reader, no structure up front. Probably they had. But what those musician’s or writers didn’t care about in the 18th century was…time. As interesting these books are to read, they do not meet our current standard of indexation or flexibility in reading. The content is organised, but written out in a conversational way, jumping back and forth, and often you’ll find yourself searching long time for a specific ‘problem’ that you want information about. So that is why I do make my own summaries of the sources I want to know better. As I did here.