I found two different way to group 16th note in diffirent sheetmusic. I would like know if both are same or different as I am just a begunner to the world of music notes. enter image description here

enter image description here

4 Answers 4


They could be the same, could be different. It can depend where they are in a bar, and what the time signature is. A lot of us still prefer to see 4/4 bars that split (to the reader) into two equal halves. The top version would, if it shows beats 2 and 3, not align to that ideal. But the bottom version would. If, in 4/4, the top version was on beats 1 and 2, or 3 and 4, it would work fine.

It can also be indicative of phrasing, although slurs do a much better job.


Depends on the Time Signature.

The first grouping would be ideal in Time Signature with minim beats, the beats are upheld but the subdivision of the beat aids in the reading of notes.

The second grouping is correct when you have crotchet beats because there is a grouping rule that says you subdivide the beats when you have semi-quavers in Time Signatures with crotchet or dotted crotchet beats.

  • 4
    I have never heard this rule. Do you have a reference that explains it further?
    – Heather S.
    Oct 1, 2018 at 17:58
  • I agree that I have seen the first style in pieces in 2/2 (or C with a bar) time and the second in 4/4 time. I also have not seen it as a written-down rule though. Oct 2, 2018 at 9:39
  • Where did this grouping 'rule' come from?
    – Tim
    Oct 2, 2018 at 12:16

I would read them both the same way. This is just differences in publishing style. My guess is that the first one is an older style.

  • No there are definitive grouping rules at stake here.
    – Neil Meyer
    Oct 1, 2018 at 15:30
  • @NeilMeyer, please explain those rules. Nevermind, I am reading your answer.
    – Heather S.
    Oct 1, 2018 at 17:57

A performer would play both versions the same way (you wouldn't accent the first note of every group or anything like that!). The differences are more for ease of reading / comprehension rather than performance instructions.

The top example (Hanon) might be grouped as 8-note sets to show where the finger pattern repeats (you use 1234 5432 / 5432 1234 over and over again, just starting on a different note).

The second example makes it a bit easier to see where the crotchet beats are. (4 per bar). You could group them like the first example, but it might be slightly harder to read that way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.