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This trill is in my music and I don't know how to play it.

  • 4
    As loudly as humanly possible, apparently. Feb 18, 2017 at 19:01
  • I'm not sure if I would trill to the first available diatonic note, the F#, or trill up to the G in note sequence. Since it resolves to the G, I'd probably trill to the F# and get the chromatic upwards resolution. More context (style or time period) and what instrument would help. Feb 18, 2017 at 19:39
  • 3
    It may be important to know which instrument you play.
    – yo'
    Feb 18, 2017 at 20:16
  • It won't be piano, r.h., but what is it?
    – Tim
    Feb 19, 2017 at 7:46
  • 1
    I play the tenor sax, and an F-G trill would be just as easy as an F-F#
    – user37026
    Feb 20, 2017 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


You play:

  • fff so obviously very loudly. Note that probably the whole trill shall be very loud; a loud sharp attack would be better noted sfz, but actually, both interpretations are possible.

  • Then it's easy: you play the thrill on F-G the whole time. Accidentals don't have to be repeated after a tie, so there is certainly no F# involved.

  • The final eight-note G staccato just tells you that you shall end in G and that the G shall be prominent; not necessarily very loud, but the audience have to be sure that you intended to end in G rather than F (or fade out or whatever.

  • Playing F to G would be skipping the next available diatonic note of the key, so why wouldn't you play it F - F#? Is the accidental replacing the F#''s position in the diatonic sequence and not acting as an additional accidental note? Feb 19, 2017 at 3:56
  • To clarify, I would expect that to trill up a whole step from the F to G, the trill sign should be a TR#, where a regular TR would select the next available note in the diatonic scale that the key signature presents. Feb 19, 2017 at 4:27
  • 1
    @AlphonsoBalvenie That's not how trills work. A trill always alternates between two pitches with adjacent note names. If the main note should be a version with an accidental, it is written to the left of the note, and an accidental for the ancillary note is notated above the trill. You never trill between f and f sharp. You could trill between e sharp and f sharp, but only if you notate it as an e sharp. Feb 19, 2017 at 11:24
  • @AlphonsoBalvenie That would have been likely noted as a trill on E# (with the # accidental explicitly written).
    – yo'
    Feb 19, 2017 at 12:21
  • yeah, that's what I thought too. The confusion came when I looked it up in one of my theory books and it indicated that the trill should always go to the next available note in the diatonic sequence available in the key. In some cases transcriptions don't always get the rules correct and you have to rely on style knowledge. Looking at the phrase again, it could be described as G Mixolydian, making a F to G trill appropriate. Feb 19, 2017 at 20:19

I think the sound of F and F# are more suited, as it's all leading to a cadence on the final G - subdominant of the key (more like D than Bm), so the trill would then give a leading note rather than the target note of G. Obviously very loudly.

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