mordent

mordent

[mawr-dnt]
noun Music.
1.
a melodic embellishment consisting of a rapid alternation of a principal tone with the tone a half or a whole step below it, called single or short when the auxiliary tone occurs once and double or long when this occurs twice or more.
Also, mordant.


Origin:
1800–10; < German < Italian mordente biting < Latin mordent-, stem of mordēns, present participle of mordēre to bite; see -ent

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World English Dictionary
mordent (ˈmɔːdənt)
 
n
music Also called: lower mordent a melodic ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of a note with a note one degree lower than it
 
[C19: from German, from Italian mordente, from mordere to bite]

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