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  • Manuel Diewald

Non-Chord Tone Series: Appoggiatura

My name is Manuel Diewald and I am a Sydney-based guitar teacher in West Pennant Hills with a B.Mus. (Hons) (First) in Music Pedagogy from The University of New South Wales (UNSW).


Continuing with our Non-Chord Tone series, we are looking at an Appoggiatura. So what is an appoggiatura in music? This compositional technique is the opposite of the last Non-Chord Tone we looked at, the Escape Tone. Check out my latest blog to familiarise yourself with that compositional technique.


With the Appoggiatura, the Non-Chord Tone is approached by a leap and is resolved by a step. Something to clarify here is that an Appoggiatura may also be referred to as a Passing Tone which is on the strong beat (Accented Passing Tone). The difference here is that the Non-Chord Tone in a Passing Tone is approached by a step and resolved by a step where the Non-Chord Tone in the Appoggiatura, as mentioned before, is approached by a leap and resolved by a step.


In the example below, we can see that the note A in the first Bar on the third beat is the Non-Chord Tone, as it does not belong to the C major chord, and is approached by a leap. It then resolves to the note G in the first beat of the second bar in our G major chord. It is important to note that the Non-Chord Tone is approached upwards and resolves downwards.




Have a look at some of the music you are working on and see if you can find any Appoggiaturas. Think about how they contribute to the piece, what they offer, and what affect they have on the melody.

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