2

I have a question about sheet music for D. Scarlatti's sonata K56. The time signature of the piece is 12/8, but in the very first measure there are actually 12.5 beats in the upper staff, including the 1/8 rest at the beginning. In the lower staff there are 12 beats as expected.

My question is, how this should be properly played. There are basically 2 possible solutions:

  1. Reduce the duration of the rest at the beginning from 1/8 to 1/16. This would bring the number of beats to the desired number of 12. However, this would also create a partial overlap between the C3 and C5 notes, which was maybe not intention of the composer.
  2. Make the first measure slightly longer. This would be equivalent to adding a 1/16 rest to the lower staff.
11

Each bar (measure) would be the same length time-wise. Like it is in almost every piece.

Your calculations have been thrown because there is a tuplet in the first bar. The bracket with a number 5 is the culprit. Those five notes need to be played in the time of two quavers. That, along with the quaver rest, will account for the first three quavers in 12/8. If you prefer to count in a slower four, each of the three quavers counts one. The first count of one, in that case, is a short rest, then all five notes, to land on beat two (the A♭).

0

Actually, there isn't 12 beats - it's 4. A compound 4, indeed (3 eight notes for each beat).

First beat: first 8th is rest, the other 2 are subdivided into a 16th quintuple (5 notes in the place of 4). No problem here at all, just divide this time frame in 5 equal parts.

The second, third and fourth beats are ok too, 3 8th notes each. In the next measure, this figuration is repeated, but with regular 16th notes now.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.