The existing literature on appoggiatura conventions in vocal music of Mozart's time, though it has peered under many of the right rocks, is hampered by three problems of focus. One is that a largely specious distinction has arisen between the application of these conventions to recitative and to measured music. A second is the failure of some investigators to distinguish sufficiently the prosodic appoggiatura (a dissonance applied to express the weight of an accented syllable) from the ornamental or expressive appoggiatura (the same musical value employed independently of any prosodic mandate)-with the result that theorists' discussions of the latter practice have been applied misleadingly to the former. Third, the appoggiatura requires to be understood in the context of a range of devices used to "lean" on accented syllables, of which the familiar alteration of the first note in a pair is the simplest example. The present paper employs theoretical works, annotated performance materials, instrumental transcriptions, and internal evidence of scores to examine the appoggiatura in Mozart's time. The conclusions are: 1) The prosodic appoggiatura was not, during that time, understood as an optional nuance, ornament, or expressive device, but rather as a simple principle of execution. 2) Although there are still some passages in which it it is open to question whether a prosodic appoggiatura would have been required, they are fewer than previous accounts have suggested, and almost always related to special musical factors that are readily identifiable. Different ways of executing the appoggiatura are also surveyed briefly at the end of the paper.
- Copyright 1989 The American Musicological Society, Inc.