The following measure is from "Clair De Lune ~ Adagio Sostenuto de la Sonata Op. 27 N. 2 De Beethoven", guitar sheet music .

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Correct me if I'm wrong but the last semiquaver isn't going to be played, right?

Lets say each quaver is getting one foot tap. Foot tap for F and dotted A, a second on D and the final foot tap for F. Correct?

Why did the notation software add the last semiquaver after the "vertical axis" of F note? why it is not aligned under the F ?

Time signature: 4/4

  • @Luke Time signature is 4/4
    – Chiron
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:14
  • 1
    Hmm. It doesn't look like proper notation to me. There should be a crochet rest after the minim. My hunch is that it is just phrasing because the dotted quaver and the semiquaver are not in the triplet.
    – Luke_0
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:23
  • 2
    @Luke: I believe the minim/half note should have been dotted. Aug 20, 2012 at 22:18
  • 1
    There is a Debussy piece called Clair de Lune. It would be clear if you call this Moonlight Sonata.
    – mathlander
    Mar 19, 2023 at 4:01

3 Answers 3


Why is the last semiquaver outside the last triplet of the measure?
Because it should be!
You can think of the last quarter beat of the measure as being divided into three voices:
a) An eighth rest and two eighth notes (D51 and F5)
b) A dotted eighth note and a sixteenth note (A4 and A4)
c) A quarter note (F3)
The last eighth note of voice a) should be placed approximately one third from the end of an imagined full quarter note length, while the sixteenth note of voice b) should be placed one quarter from the end of this imagined length.

The last semiquaver isn't going to be played, right?
Wrong! Voice b) is the melody! The other notes are (mainly) accompaniment.2
Listen to this recording and you will understand how it should be played. The sheet music or notation used for that recording might not be identical to yours, but you should get the idea.

The music, "Piano Sonata No. 14" (in C sharp) by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a piano sonata that in your sheet music has been adapted for the guitar. It is nicknamed the Moonlight Sonata, (or in French Sonate au clair de lune).

1The notes sounding on the guitar is actually one octave down, but I chose here to write the octave numberings generally associated with the lines of the staff.
2This is a slight overstatement in order to emphasize the importance of voice b).

  • I need to think about this. Excellent answer (+1) I need to be able to play it. Lets say each quaver is getting one foot tap. How to play it? This will help me to visualize it
    – Chiron
    Aug 20, 2012 at 22:37
  • It would be interesting to learn what the down vote was for. Is anything incorrect or does the answer not answer the question? How can I improve it? :-) Aug 21, 2012 at 6:17
  • 1
    I'm not the one who down voted it. It is always annoying me that someone down vote without leaving a comment.
    – Chiron
    Aug 21, 2012 at 8:55
  • @Chiron: I know you didn't. I'm happy for your upvote since it likely means that you were helped by my answer. Aug 21, 2012 at 17:58
  • @Chiron If each triplet quaver (each triplet eighth note) is one foot tap, imagine sub-dividing each foot tap into four equal parts. The last semiquaver (the last sixteenth note) starts on the second sub-division of the last foot tap: _---_---_=--
    – Bavi_H
    Aug 23, 2012 at 4:57

Even though this question has already long been answered, I thought I would show a picture of the note durations in case it helps someone. The time of a single quarter note can be filled many ways:

|___________| : One quarter note
|_____|_____| : Two eighth notes
|___|___|___| : Three triplets
|__|__|__|__| : Four sixteenth notes

So the rhythm Beethoven uses here is:


You can see how the notes are staggered.

  • Help! Preformatted block of ASCII art isn't coming through correctly. Oct 15, 2014 at 18:13
  • 1
    I managed to fix it eventually... per this meta note, use <pre> (and no indent) to prevent jTab taking control; also the < brackets needed to go, not 100% sure what was unhappy with them!
    – AakashM
    Oct 17, 2014 at 13:16

First of all, this has nothing to do with "solfege".

Secondly, Clair de Lune is composed by Debussy and isn't played (or named) "Adagio sostenuto". This is a bar from Beethoven's Sonata #14, usually just called Moonlight Sonata (this shows it in d minor instead of 'c# minor` which is the original key).

Regarding the music: the passage is mostly fine. It's not what was originally written, but the result would be close. What may be throwing you off is that if this passage were really written with the last quarter note (crotchet) on beat 4 the preceding half note (minim) would either have a quarter beat (crotchet) rest after it or it would have a dot added so it was 3 beats.

The top two voices are correct. The bottom voice should be a whole note (I guess what you would call a "semibreve").

Check the links and compare. Good luck!

  • http://imslp.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_No.14,_Op.27_No.2_(Beethoven,_Ludwig_van)
    – Luke_0
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:46
  • What is this link for?
    – tptcat
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:48
  • @tptcat The original paper that I have is named as I mentioned, interpreted by Josefina Robledo. Good to know it is a Debussy music. Thanks!
    – Chiron
    Aug 20, 2012 at 18:56
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    No. That's what I'm saying. It is NOT Claire de Lune. What you have is Moonlight Sonata. If my response answers your question please be sure to mark it as answered.
    – tptcat
    Aug 20, 2012 at 19:06
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    Clair de Lune = Moonlight = Chiaro di Luna = Luz de la Luna = Mondschein. Would it surprise you to find out that they call it "Mondschein" in Germany and "Clair de Lune" in France? Aug 20, 2012 at 23:04

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