Understanding the Two Types of Grace Notes
A grace note is displayed in a relatively small font size, and is performed by borrowing time from a longer note before or after it. A grace note looks like this:
Composer distinguishes two types of grace notes according to whether the grace note borrows time from the longer note before or after it.
In formal music language, different terms are sometimes used to distinguish these two types of graces notes that borrow time from the left or right. Other music terms related to grace notes include appoggiatura and accacciatura. These other terms often carry more meaning than just whether the note borrows time from the left or right. These terms are sometimes also used differently in different countries, and for different periods (styles) of music. Much controversy surrounds the use of these terms. Composer intentionally avoids confusion and controversy by not using the terms appoggiatura and accacciatura. Instead, Composer uses a single term grace note to describe any note that is (1) displayed in a smaller font size and (2) borrows time from either the left or right.
When you add a grace note, you must specify whether this is the type of grace note that borrows time from a note to its right, or borrows time from a note (or rest) to its left. That will determine how Composer performs the grace note during playback. The above chart indicates which buttons in the Grace Note Palette (SHIFT+G) create the two types of grace notes. The button for a grace note that borrows time from the left draws a leftward arrow above the grace note, in order to suggest that the grace note borrows time from the left; and similarly for the grace note that borrows time from the right.