infinity naturals in beethovens lebewohl
February 23, 2010 9:37 AM   Subscribe

What is the symbol above the last note of the third measure (and ninth measure) of Beethoven's "Lebewohl" piano sonata #26, opus 81a? It's two naturals vertically surrounding some a sort of infinity-like glyph: ∞ Visible here:
posted by umlaut to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Your eyes are inventing the infinity sign - that's a turn. Very common in Beethoven slow movements.
posted by altolinguistic at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2010

Best answer: The two natural signs indicate the exact notes to be played when executing the turn (a D natural and B natural, in this case - from the key signature you'd expect a B flat, and the D natural negates the D flat from earlier in the measure).
posted by altolinguistic at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2010

It is indeed a turn, which is an ornament which indicates note should be played "do re do ti do", so to speak.

The natural signs above and below indicate the upper and lower notes of the turn should both be "natural" (as opposed to sharp or flat). In the third measure, without the natural signs, the upper "d" would be flat because of the preceding d flat accidental, and the "b" would be flat because of the key signature.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2010

Argh, too slow.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2010

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