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As you can see in the treble clef, the first half note is 2 beats, the last 4 eighth notes is 2 beats, which add up to 4 beats. There are only 4 beats in a bar, so where would the graces notes fit?

Even if I view them as something extra, I'm still confused as to how I can play the bar properly with a metronome.

  • 1
    Hi, whenever posting a sheet music question, please tell us the composer and the edition you are using. – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 11:28

Wow! That book must be really old because most editors would write that as a turn. Most editors would write it as the following

enter image description here

(I could not put a sharp in the turn. My software does not have the sharp turn)

Anyways, I would suggest playing those grace notes a little before beat three. If we are counting in sixteenth notes (1 e + a), starting on the 'a' would be the most natural. In other words, you would start playing the grace notes on the 'and' of the 'and' of beat 2 playing a triplet is pretty natural.

Doing so gives us this rhythm:

enter image description here

I hope that helps! Let me know if you need further clarification

| improve this answer | |
  • Your answer might be correct, or it might be wrong, depending on the time period this piece was written. The two examples you provide represent, roughly, Bach (first) and late Romantic (second). – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 16:59
  • ? the first example would be written in the classical era and beyond. Bach would write it as the second. Also the musical example could not have been written in the baroque era because of (1) the piano was not invented until the classical era and (2) the vast majority of harpsichord music in the baroque era was polyphonic. This example is clearly homophonic – cbracketdash May 15 at 18:38

I would usually play this with the 3 small notes as triplet semiquavers before the first quaver. But for some composers the 3 small notes should be played inside the first quaver, so those 4 notes are demisemiquavers. The earlier the music is, the more likely this is. Beethoven - before the quaver. Bach - on the quaver.

| improve this answer | |
  • If you play the grace notes before the beat, they generally are considerably shorter than when treated as a turn or as appogiatura – Carl Witthoft May 15 at 11:31

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