Flute – The Trill in the Classical Period (1750–1820) Pt 5

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Flute – The Trill in the Classical Period (1750–1820) Pt 5


Flute – The Trill in the Classical Period (1750–1820) Pt 5

Flute – Muzio Clementi’s Introduction to the Art of Playing on the Pianoforte of 1801 contains an ornament table from which the following is drawn:

From Muzio Clementi’s table of graces, 1801.

Clementi distinguishes short trills and passing shakes, but shows both with main-note starts. The meaning of passing shake (Pralltriller) has changed, and it will be shown this way (three notes, main-upper-main) and in this context (on the first of a pair of scale-wise descending notes) in almost all methods after 1800. It is often shown with a triplet rhythm (see under Dressler below). C. P. E. Bach and others would have called this so-called Pralltriller a Schneller rather than a proper Pralltriller, and many today would call it an inverted mordent.

A complete trill in Clementi starts with the upper or lower note, and not the main note. A sometime exception is when the note on which the trill is to be made is preceded by a note below or above it; see the last line below (also cf. the illustration from Tromlitz, above).

From Muzio Clementi’s table of graces, 1801.

Tebaldo Monzani’s Instructions for Playing the German-Flute [PDF version here] was first published in 1801. The excerpts we give below are from the 3rd Edition, c.1813. Concerning the performance of trills, he shows only what we see immediately below in his brief table of ornaments.

From Monzani’s Instructions, 1801/c.1813.

But in a companion volume, Seven Studios [PDF version here], to his Instructions, we find the following in Studio 1 (marked allegro moderato). Monzani is presumably cautioning against a three-note Pralltriller as shown in Clementi. (This may also indicate that it is acceptable or encouraged to add short trills in similar passages where Monzani has written only short appoggiaturas. The short appoggiaturas are, of course, always firmly on the beat—see here.)

From Monzani’s Seven Studios, c.1813.

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