The Bebung - A Guide to Ornamentation

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The Bebung

The bebung is an old form of musical ornament found in works written for the clavichord; it is expressed by a curve and dots placed over a note which is to be gently repeated without lifting the finger entirely from the key:

Although its proper performance is only possible upon the clavichord, it is, nevertheless, met with in the piano works of Beethoven and Chopin. The dots are usually omitted, and it generally consists of a curve placed over, or under, two notes, or chords, of the same pitch; at first sight it appears to be a bind or tie, but as a change of finger is marked, it is obvious that a repetition of the note is intended. In playing the bebung on the piano it is generally understood that the first note should be struck somewhat firmly, and the second note lightly and smoothly, carefully avoiding any break between the two notes.

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