I'm learning Muzio Clementi's Sonatina Opus 36, Number 4. In Andante con espressione, there are a number of turns as played in this video (it will take you to the correct time in the video). I had done some studying and learned that a turn is the note above, the note, the note below, and then the note again. However, it doesn't sound like that is what is being played by Cory Hall.

Thank you!


learned that a turn is the note above, the note, the note below, and then the note again. However, it doesn't sound that that is what is being played by Cory Hall.

Make sure you start with the actual note first; thus it's actually written pitch -- note above -- written pitch -- note below -- written pitch. Indeed, this is what Cory Hall plays:

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And to compare this to the original*** for any readers without the score, see below. You'll notice that the turn symbol matches exactly the contour of what you are to play!

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By contrast, here it what it would be with a reverse turn; note that the symbol is flipped!

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***But as Patrx2 helpfully points out, these were just additions added later by some editor.

  • And even if they were turns, IMO the OP's interpretation of how to play them is more musically intelligent than Cory Hall's version. (A few randomly selected YouTube videos of his performances of other composers didn't show much musical intelligence, either, beyond the ability to play the notes more or less in strict tempo). – user19146 Aug 5 '16 at 22:36
  • There are several YouTube videos of the sonata that play these ornaments the OP's way, or as 6-note trills with a turn, e.g Bb A Bb A G A for the first one. – user19146 Aug 5 '16 at 23:00
  • Awesome! Thank you for the very detailed answer. Is this the same way to play the turns in the next movement, as shown here: youtu.be/naAzi1D2L9M?t=6m8s This time it sounds like he's only playing four notes. – Anson Savage Aug 6 '16 at 16:03
  • @AnsonSavage Glad to help. In the fourth movement, he is only playing four notes, of the pattern you described in your original question (above--note--below--note). But remember that these were additions added later, so there's no "right" way to play this; these are only this performer's interpretation, perhaps influenced by a particular edition of the score. – Richard Aug 6 '16 at 16:18
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    @Richard, actually, the turns in the last movement are in the Artaria edition. – user16935 Aug 6 '16 at 19:19

They aren't turns, they're trills. There aren't any turns notated in the entire movement according to the Artaria first edition.

  • I see. In that version, they're written as those sideways quarter rest things (as seen on page 15). In my version, I think they're written as turns (sideways S shapes). If I play them like trills how do I play them? Thanks! – Anson Savage Aug 6 '16 at 0:45
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    A simple shake starting on the upper auxiliary, I think. This emphasises the auxiliary as a dissonant non-harmonic tone, and sets up the skips of a third after the trilled B♭ better. The problem with turning the trills (other than that I don't believe that particular symbol was used for turned trills in Clementi's time) is that, for the second trill, the lower auxiliary is actually more consonant than the chord tone. That adds a touch of ambiguity I don't think is really called for here - the trills are a kind of appoggiatura leading by skip (after the B♭ trill) into a pair of appoggiature. – user16935 Aug 6 '16 at 7:29

I don't have the score, but it might be an "inverted turn" where you would start on the lower note instead of the upper note: http://piano.about.com/od/musical-keys-symbols/ss/Turn_Piano-Ornaments.htm

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