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Mordents & Pralltrillers

In response to:

Letters from the November 5, 1964 issue

Editors’ Note: In reply to a letter from Sol Babitz in the November 5 issue of the NYR—in which, owing to an editorial slip, the word “mordent” was misspelled—Stanley Kauffmann writes:

I cannot quarrel with Mr. Babitz’s expertise; I can only cite my occasions of sin. A New Dictionary of Music by Arthur Jacobs says: “These two [ornaments] are sometimes called respectively inverted mordent and just mordent; and in German Mordent means only the second, the first being called Pralltriller.” The American College Dictionary defines a pralltriller as “an inverted mordent.”

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