Non Fiction Review: Ornamentation

Ornamentation by Valery Lloyd-Watts

Ornamentation: A Question & Answer Manual
by Valery Lloyd-Watts, Carole L. Bigler, Willard A. Palmer

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives valuable information about how to interpret ornamentation markings such as trills, turns, and mordents in music. Each era of music had their own style of ornamentation with slight differences, so it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly how the composer intended their ornaments to be played. This book clears away all that confusion, and gives precise instructions about how to play ornaments in music from all the eras.

I loved that this book is divided into sections for Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern music with detailed explanations of the ornamentation styles of each era. They aren’t extremely different. There are just small changes throughout history that are interesting to learn about!

Each ornament is analyzed in detail with several clear music examples to illustrate how they should be played.

I thought it was really interesting to read about how the styles of art and architecture in each era also influenced the styles of music. You can definitely see those things reflected in the use of ornamentation and also how they are notated.

This book is such a huge help for musicians!

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