I don't know how to play measures 13-16. The change of Clef confuses me. enter image description here

  • The change of clef is simply to prevent having lots of ledger lines. Apr 1, 2018 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Here, Beethoven is explicitly showing which hand plays which notes. In this piece, the bottom staff, no matter the clef, is played by the left hand. The upper staff, no matter the clef, is played by the right hand.

So starting with the pickup to m. 4, your left hand plays two notes, then the right hand plays two notes. Then, although the hands start to play the same two pitches (D♯ and E), you play two notes with the left hand, two with the right, two with the left, and then stick with the right hand.

And if anyone is curious, check out these two snippets from two world-renowned pianists:

These recordings are from a great article by Richard Cohn of Yale University called "Why We Don't Teach Meter, and Why We Should."

  • 4
    But, on average, they both got it right...
    – Tim
    Mar 30, 2018 at 12:12
  • Why did Beethoven compose it like that? Wouldn't it be easier to have one hand doing the things?
    – Zektor
    Mar 30, 2018 at 12:38
  • 2
    @ToddWilcox In Rick's defense, he's addressing the lopsided way in which we teach so much harmony and, in comparison, relatively little meter. Mar 30, 2018 at 13:52
  • 1
    Yes, comparatively I see much less discussion of meter and, more importantly IMHO, rhythm as opposed to harmony. Looking back, I feel like we should have been told to study at least one work that was entirely rhythmic to better understand how rhythm alone is musical and how rhythm has its own "language" that interacts with melodic and harmonic "languages". Very disappointing, in retrospect. Another way to say it would be, "I took all these music theory classes but all I know about rhythm I learned from Trent Reznor and Jambala Africa". Mar 30, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox Something tells me that shot glass won't sell very well. Mar 30, 2018 at 17:18

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