The main theme to the Mazurka No. 16 bears a vague resemblance in its contour to that in the fourteenth. Even though both are from the same set, similarities between the two may well be coincidental, especially since this A flat major mazurka is of a generally positive mood, whereas No. 14 is reflective and sad.
The main theme to No. 16 is full of pauses -- pauses which impart an elegance to its dance-like nature and seem to draw momentary attention to the last phrase, even to the last chord, which is always on the ascent. The whole is graceful and light, yet there are wistful overtones to the music, which give it that typical Chopinesque mixture of sweetness and sorrow. Still, this piece is more elegant, even aristocratic, than melancholy or regretful. The tempo marking is Moderato, con anima, and the emotional tenor throughout the piece is always subdued, whether in its brighter moments or in its more reflective ones. A typical performance of this mazurka lasts about three minutes.