I'm having trouble playing the trills below, especially with the two sixteenth notes at the end. Basically, I'm wondering if the trill's notes were written in full, how would they look?

Score excerpt

This comes from Muzio Clementi, Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 1, Mvmt. 2, m. 3.

  • Tempo indications and an indication of what era we are dealing with here will be great.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 5, 2015 at 17:12
  • If it specifically written for piano we can deduce it is not baroque.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 5, 2015 at 17:16

2 Answers 2


Wow I did this type of theory work but a week ago.

The use of the grace not is trying to indicate that the composer wants you to use the turn motif at the end of the trill. You give no indication on the tempo of the piece so it is not all that clear if they want a long trill or a short one.

Also whether it is a baroque trill or a modern one I cannot say from that picture alone. If it is a baroque trill it usually starts on the upper auxiliary note where a modern trill will usually begin on the principle note.

I'm going to give you some ideas as to best illustrate how you should play with the information I have no. Feel free to add and more details and I will edit my post.

If the piece is Adagio and a baroque trill then it would resemble something like this.

Baroque Adagio Trill

If it is a presto Baroque trill it will naturally have fewer notes.

Baroque Presto Trill

It has been shown to me that this is most probably from a classical era piece and that the tempo is Andante. I have left the Baroque trills as I do think the distinction may be worth preserving.

That means that the trills start on the principle note and that the relaxed pace may still have a lot of notes in the trill.

Modern trill at Andante.

  • Thanks a lot for the explanation. The music piece is the second movement of Sonatina 1 from Clementi (Andante). This one specifically - free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=299 Does that mean the first example you mentioned would be the correct one for this piece?
    – laurent
    Oct 5, 2015 at 18:54
  • 1
    Aah a piano player not a harpsichordist. So clearly not baroque but most probably more leaning towards classical era. So clearly these baroque trills do not apply. Give me the evening I will come back first thing tomorrow and illustrate the modern trill. Need to go to bed now.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 5, 2015 at 19:01

Just to fill out Neil Meyer's answer, there are two primary options for handling this ornamentation:

Slow option

Particularly for a pianist new to trills, you can play them two-against-one to the left hand:

Clementi trill easy version

Faster option

For a pianist more comfortable with trills, start with two-against-one, but then double the speed to four-against-one:

Clementi trill faster version

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