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The first triplet is very uneven. Its total length is 1/4.

Triplet 1:

A (1/8), D#(1/4), F#(1/4 divided by 3 = 1/12)

For how long should I hold A and D#? Should I hold D# with 1st finger until C# from the 2nd triplet is pressed with the 2nd finger?

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Or just together with F#:

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Triplet 2:

C# (1/4), F#(1/12), A(1/12)

Here I keep pressing C# with 2nd finger while playing F# (4th), A (5th)

Triplet 3 (simple):

I hold B# till the end of this triplet and the next one.

Please, explain, how to play the 1st triplet?

  • 1
    Up - and down- stems always indicate different voices. Each voice here is clearly marked as to note lengths, as Lawrence "KIng of" Payne answered. Aug 21, 2017 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


You can see WHEN the D# and C# are played. There are no rests in the lower voice, and no overlaps. All you're really being asked to do is 'bring out' the melody A, D#, C#. Maybe easier to see if I write it separately, with the triplet indications that Beethoven has tired of writing by this point.enter image description here


Technically, it doesn't matter how long you hold those notes, because Beethoven tells you to keep the damper pedal held down for the entire first movement. Even though a modern Steinway sustains longer than his piano, some respected pianists still perform it like this.

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