Meaning Behind the Word: Trill

Trill refers to a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, typically a principal note and the one immediately above or below it in the musical scale.


The term trill originates from the Italian word "trillo", meaning to vibrate or quiver. It describes the rapid oscillation of pitch produced by the performer.


In various musical contexts, the term trill is frequently encountered:

  • Classical Music: Trills are commonly found in compositions from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, adding ornamentation and expression to the music.
  • Jazz and Improvisation: Jazz musicians often incorporate trills into their solos to create excitement and tension.
  • Opera: Singers use trills to embellish vocal lines, showcasing their technical prowess and adding beauty to the performance.


Trills are essential elements of musical expression, conveying emotion, virtuosity, and style. They enhance the beauty and complexity of compositions, captivating audiences with their mesmerizing sound.