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In the sentence:

"Over the airwaves, following a commercial, played the melancholy piano chords from Moonlight Sonata." — Can "play" go in that position?

It does sound strange to me, but if I simplify it, it seems like it might work: "On the radio played the song." But I'm not sure.

But putting it at the end also sounds strange:

"Over the airwaves, following a commercial, the melancholy piano chords from Moonlight Sonata played."

It seems like I would need an adverb at the end to make it not feel so abrupt at the end. e.g.

"Over the airwaves, following a commercial, the melancholy piano chords from Moonlight Sonata played softy." (but I don't want to do that even if it's correct.)

Any help on which of these are correct? All?

(Also, I am considering using "On the radio" instead of "Over the airwaves" — would that make any difference?

Also, is it "from Moonlight Sonata"? "of Moonlight Sonata" "from the opening of Moonlight Sonata")

Thanks!!!

  • 2
    All of your suggestions are correct. – Peter Shor Jun 5 at 11:29
  • 1
    The variants convey different moods. – Lawrence Jun 5 at 11:35
  • It is unusual (but not wrong) to use that word order, where the verb played is before the subject chords. – GEdgar Jun 5 at 12:53
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I think either version is acceptable and the meaning is clear.
You don't need softly at the end.
"On the radio" instead of "Over the airwaves" either is correct, but Over the airwaves might be considered old fashioned, so if you were trying to invoke a retro atmosphere it could be more appropriate.
It is only the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata that is slow and melancholy (Adagio sostenuto). The second movement is Allegretto and the third Presto agitato. So you could say " ... played the melancholy piano chords from the opening movement of the Moonlight Sonata."

  • awesome, thanks so much!! (it does sound the most weird the first way still, but if it's right I'll consider it again) – romebot Jun 5 at 12:15
  • If the Moonlight Sonata was played on the radio following a commercial, almost certainly it would start with the first movement. So I don't really see why you need to specify opening movement. – Peter Shor Jun 5 at 12:17
  • @PeterShor agreed, but I get the impression that the sentence is trying to set a mood and neither of the other two movements would would have the same effect. Many people know that piece of music, so it would invoke the desired atmosphere. – Peter Jennings Jun 5 at 12:54

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