Issues : Terzverschreibung error

b. 20

composition: Op. 21, Concerto in F minor, Mvt II

c2 in chord in A, FE (→EE) & GE2

a1 in chord in GE1


The version of GE1 is certainly erroneous: it is most probably a revised Terzverschreibung error, by adding a . Chopin restored the chord with c2, written in A, in a proofreading of FE (→EE). At the time of executing this proofreading, a superfluous  was moved together with the note head.  

category imprint: Differences between sources

issues: Errors in GE , Terzverschreibung error , GE revisions , Authentic corrections of FE

b. 25

composition: Op. 21, Concerto in F minor, Mvt II

E1-G1-E-G in A, literal reading

G1-B1-E-G in A (probable interpretation) & GE2

G1-E-G in GE1 (→FEEE)


The chord written in A, although acceptable from the harmonic point of view, is almost certainly erroneous due to its sonically unjustified piano complication. However, it remains unclear which chord Chopin meant:

  • G1-B1-E-G seems to be most natural: an octave transposition of chords is a popular means of the virtuoso concert texture (cf., e.g. the 3rd mov., bar 69 or 511-513). We would then be dealing with Chopin's typical Terzverschreibung error. This is how it was interpreted in GE2 and we suggest this interpretation as the text of A;
  • G1-E-G – a lighter chord due to a very low register (cf. the 3rd mov., bar 77). In this case it is also a Terzverschreibung error that would have to be taken into consideration: Chopin could have written the correct chord and then consider the bottom note to be a B1 and "correct" the alleged mistake, by adding a note placed a third below (the top bottom note seems to have been added later). Such a scenario assumes, however, that two mistakes were committed: an erroneous evaluation of the pitch of the written note and the fact of leaving it, in spite of the fact it was supposed to be removed (cf. the Etude in G major, Op. 10 No. 5, bars 83-84).

In any case, the proofreading of GE1 (→FEEE), probably coming from Chopin, must be considered to be the final decision and this is the version we give in the main text.

category imprint: Interpretations within context; Differences between sources

issues: Terzverschreibung error , GE revisions , Errors of A , Authentic corrections of GE , Partial corrections

b. 28

composition: Op. 21, Concerto in F minor, Mvt II

4 grace notes in A

3 grace notes in GE (→FEEE)


In a proofreading of GE (→FEEE) Chopin removed the second out of four small semiquavers written in A, most probably, however, it was an erroneously engraved a1. In spite of the fact that Chopin's intention of removing the correct note (f1) was not explicitly expressed in this situation, a reduced number of notes in this ornament remains a fact. Due to this reason, in the main text we give the version of the editions.

category imprint: Differences between sources; Corrections & alterations

issues: Errors in GE , Terzverschreibung error , Authentic corrections of GE

b. 28

composition: Op. 21, Concerto in F minor, Mvt II

e2 in A (→GE)

c2 in FE (→EE)


The less pianistically convenient cinstead of eis almost certainly a Terzverschreibung error of the engraver of FE (→EE).

category imprint: Differences between sources

issues: Errors in FE , Errors in EE , Terzverschreibung error

b. 81

composition: Op. 21, Concerto in F minor, Mvt II

8 notes in A

8 notes in GE

9 notes with g2 in FE (→EE), contextual interpretation

9 notes with g2 suggested by the editors

9 notes with e2 – another interpretation of FE (→EE)

Idem, alternative rhythm


The roulade ending this bar has two basic versions in the sources:

  • an eight-note one in A (→GE), in which f2 appears directly after d2;
  • a nine-note one in FE (→EE), in which between d2 and f2 there is also g2.

The second was undoubtedly introduced on Chopin's request, however, its notation raises certain doubts – the g2 note added in the proofreading is preceded with a  (cautionary?), being totally unjustified in this context (e.g. both in analogous bars 13 and 32 and in the discussed bar the top most note of this figure, g3, is written without a ). Therefore, one could wonder whether a Terzverschreibung error could have been committed here and whether the intended note could have been an e2, which naturally develops the melodic line of this figure after the esemiquaver. We suggest this possibility as an alternative interpretation of the Chopin proofreading of FE.

Differences in the notation of the rhythm of the figure's ending – see the last note in this bar – cause that two slightly differing rhythmic schemes can be ascribed to each of the versions of the roulade discussed above.

category imprint: Differences between sources; Editorial revisions; Corrections & alterations

issues: Terzverschreibung error , Cautionary accidentals , Authentic corrections of FE