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I was looking at Saint-Saens Bacchanale sheet music and saw 2 half notes in a measure combined with sixteenth note stems in a 2/4 time signature.

What is this and how would you play it?

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This is notation of between-two-note-tremolo, so this would be played as 16th notes alternating between f and a for the duration of a half note.

This notation is pretty much exclusively a piano notation, for other instruments such a tremolo is usally notated with non attached beams like this:

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