Acciaccatura – Definition & Meaning


Music is a language that speaks to the soul, and one of the essential elements of music is the acciaccatura. This musical term may not be familiar to everyone, but it is a crucial part of musical notation. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of acciaccatura.


The acciaccatura is a musical ornament that is played very quickly before the main note. It is a grace note that is played as a crushed note, meaning it is played very close to the main note and is quickly released. The acciaccatura is notated with a small note with a diagonal line through the stem.


The word acciaccatura comes from the Italian word “acciaccare,” which means “to crush” or “to beat down.” The term was first used in the 18th century by Italian composers, and it has since become a standard term in music notation.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the acciaccatura is “a grace note performed as quickly as possible before a principal note and falling on the beat.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a short note of embellishment played before a principal note.”


The acciaccatura is associated with classical music, and it is commonly used in piano music. It is often used to add ornamentation and embellishment to a piece of music, and it can also be used to create tension and anticipation.


The acciaccatura is sometimes referred to as a “crushed note,” a “grace note,” or a “leaning note.”


There are no antonyms for the acciaccatura, as it is a specific musical term.

The same root words

The root word of acciaccatura is “acciaccare,” which means “to crush” or “to beat down.”

Example Sentences

  1. The pianist added an acciaccatura to the beginning of the piece to add some flair.
  2. The composer instructed the violinist to play the acciaccatura as quickly as possible.
  3. The acciaccatura added a sense of urgency to the music.

The acciaccatura is a small but essential element of music notation. It is a grace note that is played quickly before the main note, adding ornamentation and embellishment to a piece of music. Understanding the meaning and use of the acciaccatura can enhance our appreciation of classical music and help us to better understand the language of music.

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