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I just started learning this piece on my own. I played the trill (red circle) as A G F# G (So with the context it's G AGF#G A. Is it correct? When I listen to the videos played by professionals on youtube, the F# note all sounded a little higher pitch than mine, but it's obviously not G. They sound better than my playing. I've listened repeatedly and my ears are fine, and my keyboard is also good since this is the only place that sounds different.

Beethoven Sonata Op. 49 No. 2, mm. 7–16; m. 12 ornament circled in red.

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  • I'm a little unclear on what you're asking. Are you just asking if you're playing the correct notes, or do you imagine the recordings might be playing something different?
    – Aaron
    Aug 20 at 1:17
  • I think I'm playing the correct notes. I also think they are the notes the others were playing, since there is no pitch that is a little higher than F# but is not G. Obviously no one was playing A G G G. So it has to be A G F# G. But it just puzzles me why it sounds different in others' recording (more than one recordings) than my playing. I guess I would like to get people here to confirm that I'm playing the correct four notes for the trill. If it's correct, I will just keep playing it even if it sounds different from others.
    – seamurmurs
    Aug 20 at 1:40
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Yes, the ornament, known as a turn, is executed A-G-F#-G. Unless otherwise specified, ornaments are played within the given key signature.

For additional reassurance, of the editions on IMSLP that offer explicit notation (see below), all give A-G-F#-G. The Barry Cooper / ABRSM edition also gives the same notation.

Casella

Beethoven 49/2 m12 ornament, Casella edition

von Bülow

Beethoven 49/2 m12, von Bülow edition Beethoven 49/2 ornament explicitly notated, von Bülow edition

Schnabel

Beethoven 49/2 m12, Schnabel edition Beethoven 49/2 ornament explicitly notated, Schnabel edition

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    I can only speculate on why the F# in the recordings might sound sharp: when playing quickly, the sounds of the F# and G can overlap slightly. Perhaps this overlap is pulling the sound — or your perception of the sound — sharp. If you're using YouTube videos, you could try slowing the speed so the F# lasts longer.
    – Aaron
    Aug 20 at 2:09
  • Thanks. Indeed! I found a tutorial video where it's played very slow, and I realized I played the F# too long. When the F# is quickly followed by the G, it sounded as if the F# was higher pitch. Glad I've asked, or I'd continue to play it the wrong way. (and thanks for telling me the term "turn")
    – seamurmurs
    Aug 20 at 2:35
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    @seamurmurs Another factor that might influence your perception is that a little rubato is allowed in the timing of these notes. Although the rhythm shown above is by far the most common, and in a brisk tempo it's less likely to be altered, I might choose to stretch the initial G and cram the remaining notes together, or to stretch the A. (Stretching the F# out would feel a bit odd, though.) Aug 20 at 13:41
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    I've never heard the lower note (F# in this case) played longer than the rest, but I have heard variations where the original note is held for a bit longer, in this instance for a full quarter beat, while the 4 notes of the ornament are all played the same length, fitting as 32nd notes into the eighth beat before the next note. Alternatively, all 5 notes could be equally spread across one dotted quarter beat, but then the ornament would typically be drawn directly above the note rather than in between 2 notes. Aug 20 at 13:52
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    @seamurmurs It's really nice to know that your initial question has led to several discoveries — ones that will help you in other pieces as well. Kudos.
    – Aaron
    Sep 24 at 3:40

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