Ornaments are decorations. An ornament may be placed above, below or sometimes on the left side of a note. It represents a certain pattern or figure of notes to be played.

There are many types of ornaments. The following six are most common since the 1700s and are still used by composers today.

The trill is common in music of all ages. It represents a rapid alteration between two notes. It begins with the marked note and alternates with a note above it. Usually the interval between two notes of a trill is no larger than a second. Nowadays, when specified, the interval between two notes of a trill may be any size.

The grace note is also commonly seen in music of all ages. The only difference is in the way it is represented. The stem of the grace note always points up. The note itself is diminished about half the size of regular notes. For music of the Baroque and Classical era, the grace note represented a dissonant /H{pitch} approached by leap rather than by step. Such a dissonance is called an appoggiatura. It is played in line with the rhythm. The slash indicates that the note value is cut in half. The next note is altered in rhythm to compensate for the difference attributed by the grace note. Nowadays, the grace note represents the pitch to be played as quickly as possible. The rhythmic placement of the following note is unaltered. Such a grace note may not necessarily be a dissonance.

A role is a form of arpeggio but in a much quicker fashion. The squiggle next to the chord indicates that the notes are to be played from bottom up in succession. If the squiggle has an arrow head at the bottom, the chord should be played from the top note downward.

A mordent is mostly common to Baroque and Classical music. It represents the alternation of two notes a diatonic second apart starting with the top note.

A half mordent is also common to the Baroque and Classical music. The alternation is between two notes, a second apart from each other, beginning with the written note.

The turn is commonly used in the Baroque and Classical era. It involves three pitches one diatonic step apart from each other. The written note is the starting point and it represents the middle of the three notes.