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What does + mean?

Posted: 10 Sep 2016, 15:50
by Gill the Piano
Got Telemann's 36 Fantasias the other day. Here and there above the treble stave there is a +. It occurs in places which would lend themselves to a bit of a twiddle, although the tr is used where he actually wants a trill. Is + a sign for a trill of some sort? Can't find anything about it in Grove or online. The only use of _+ I have come across before is in the old English fingering system, and it definitely isn't that. Help!

Re: What does + mean?

Posted: 10 Sep 2016, 18:55
by Colin Nicholson
I've seen it on an old Diabelli duet.... means to use the thumb replacing the number 1.

Re: What does + mean?

Posted: 11 Sep 2016, 16:17
by Gill the Piano
No, it's not the English fingering +, it's definitely something like an ornament indication but I can't find anything about it anywhere.

Re: What does + mean?

Posted: 11 Sep 2016, 23:34
by Colin Nicholson
I've looked in the Oxford Companion/ couple of music dictionaries and nothing there under ornaments.
However, "Plus" means "more" in French.... so could be an early accent marking.

So.... I opened up "Score Writer" (my old music writing software), and clicked through some of the palette menus, and FOUND IT! .... in amongst the "articulation" markings for notes.... (didn't even know it was there, and don't know what it does). The palette is usually graded, so starts with normal staccato, then an accented staccato.. then working up to tremolo signs... but the + sign is slap bang between trem 4 and the pause sign?!

I then clicked some crotchets into a bar, then clicked on the + sign, and dragged a box around the crotchets (as though I would for staccato dots).... and it conveniently placed a + sign under each crotchet. Played it back on MIDI, but didn't change anything.

So my guess is that it may be some form of ornament (or twiddle as you said), and perhaps the editor added it as an optional extra.... closest I could find was the inverted mordent that has a vertical line.

Only other suggestion is to find it in Sibelius .... might have a better description.

I print screened it here, and just says "plus sign" (cursor arrow above wording didn't pick up on print screen) .... sorry, can't be of any more use!
plus_sign.jpg
Articulation palette
plus_sign.jpg (32.43 KiB) Viewed 1153 times

Re: What does + mean?

Posted: 12 Sep 2016, 16:36
by Gill the Piano
Thanks for that...so I'll flap my fingers in a baroquey trilly sort of way then!

Re: What does + mean?

Posted: 12 Sep 2016, 17:11
by Colin Nicholson
or you could blow a whistle or ding a bell :)