I’m playing a sonata by Beethoven (op. 78. No. 24 in F# major) and there are two of these trills (see the picture I’ve attached) in the left hand. My question is, how many notes should be in this particular trill? Should it be 32nd notes so that there’s 2 notes in the left hand for every 1 in the right hand? enter image description here

  • What's the indicated tempo of this piece (or section)? I believe that, given the same trilled note length, there would be more notes in that trill for a slow piece than for a fast piece.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jan 15, 2019 at 0:56
  • @dekkadeci It’s marked as Allegro ma non troppo, there isn’t a specific metronome marking but this section moves along fairly quickly.
    – Joy
    Jan 15, 2019 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


There should be sufficient to fill the space, using a reasonably fast but unmeasured alternation of notes. There are musical styles and occasions where a controlled, measured trill is appropriate. I suggest this is not one of them.

  • This is like the infamous "Microsoft Answer" -- true and useless. Jan 15, 2019 at 13:39
  • Would you prefer me to have said 'nineteen'?
    – Laurence
    Jan 16, 2019 at 13:17
  • naah, 23 is much better :-) Jan 16, 2019 at 19:07

Keep in mind that to some extent, the trill speed is up to the performer. Some guidelines:

-- probably want the trill to be faster than the written notes in the other hand, so here at least 32nd note-speed.
-- the faster the trill, the more "urgency" or "liveliness" the mood you're portraying.
-- Decide here what the lead line (melody) is. I don't recall this piece offhand, but it may well be that the upper hand is just ornamental here, and the lower trilled chord is the actual melody (chord progression) introduction. In that case, you may well want the trill not only to be louder than the 16th notes, but to increase in speed as you lead into the grace notes which announce the next measure.

Your Answer

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

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