Word of the day

Grace note (noun) a notation in written music, indicating the presence of a note which is not essential to the melody or harmony but which instead provides a musical embellishment or ornamentation.

Grace notes are used extensively in the notation of traditional Irish music and the main trad show on RTE Lyric fm takes its name from this musical feature.

Grace Notes is also the title of a 1997 novel by Northern Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the novel features a young music teacher and composer suffering postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter. As the novel builds towards a radio broadcast of the symphony which she has been composing, her struggles, thoughts and reflections form ‘the notes between the notes’, or grace notes, of the title.

image from musescore.org

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