Grace notes

Grace notes are notes without a fixed duration, which are intended to be played quickly. They are scaled-down versions of normal notes, and are commonly shown with a slash through their stem.

Grace notes with slashed stems are known as “acciaccaturas” and are often played very fast. Grace notes without slashed stems are known as “appoggiaturas” and are often played slower than acciaccaturas. In Baroque music, appoggiaturas are often understood to last for a specific duration, based on the prevailing meter and the rhythmic value of the notehead to which they are attached. Therefore in Dorico Pro, slashed and unslashed grace notes are handled differently in playback.

Grace notes do not take up space rhythmically, as they are intended to be fitted into the space before the note to which they are attached, which is the note immediately to their right.

There can be multiple grace notes before a notehead. If there are two or more grace notes attached to the same notehead, and they have a rhythmic value that shows a flag on the stem, such as eighth notes (quavers) and 16th notes (semiquavers), they are automatically beamed together.

Figure 1. Multiple grace notes before notes

In Dorico Pro, grace notes are scaled to 3/5 the size of a normal notehead by default and are affected by your note spacing settings. There is a separate option specifically for grace note spacing.

You can add notations, such as slurs and articulations, to grace notes in the same ways as to normal notes, and you can transpose grace notes after they have been input.