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Ossia

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simpler path, alternate route,
easy way out, fork in the road

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In a musical composition, an ossia (oh-SEE-yah) -- meaning “or” -- is an alternative version of a passage, usually printed above the original in smaller type. Ossia passages are often easier to play; their usual purpose is to allow less technically proficient players -- or ones with smaller hands -- to get through the tough parts.

In a casting, the Ossia Card indicates the availability of an alternate path -- usually a simpler one. Choosing to take it can be wise -- simple is often best. Taking the simpler path can also, however, be a cop out. Questions arise regarding our motivations: are we drawn to the path of least resistance with a conscious end in mind, or are we avoiding something?

An ossia doesn’t always indicate an easier passage; sometimes it’s just an alternative, a “player’s choice.” The only way to really know the nature of a path is to take it; sometimes the easy way out isn’t so easy. Ultimately, the Ossia Card is about choice: whatever road it is we’re traveling includes a fork.

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To divine the meaning of this card in a casting, consider the Solfege Die it was drawn above or under.

Click here to learn more about the Compositional Cards as a whole.


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Ossia


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