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So, let's say you have a measure of 3/4. Like the following:

Measure of 3/4

Then you have a triplet in the next measure, like this:

Triplet

How would I "cut off" the last quarter rest from that triplet? I was thinking to create a measure of 2/3, or two "third notes" aka triplets. Is there a better way to do this?

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  • Just to make sure I understand what you want. You have music that is going at, say, 80 quarter notes per minute, and somewhere in the middle you want a measure with 2 quarter notes at 120 quarter notes per minute. Aug 11 '20 at 20:30
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    Is the first measure 3/4 with syncopation, or is it 6/8? Aug 11 '20 at 20:52
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    We discussed these time signatures recently. Here, if it's any help: music.stackexchange.com/questions/101870/… Aug 11 '20 at 22:27
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    @OldBrixtonian Because the note grouping used is characteristic for 6/8 rather than 3/4, and because the rhythm would be rather natural in 6/8, and syncopated in 3/4. Of course there is nothing wrong with using syncopation, and such short-hand notation of syncopated rhythm can be sometimes used, given OP is asking about time signatures and notation, it looks like something they may want to double check. Aug 11 '20 at 22:33
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    Your idea is right ZipCreator, but it would be 2/6, not 2/3. You’d use 3 on the bottom if it were half-note triplets, but 6 for quarter-note triplets (and 12 for eighth-note triplets). Alternatively, you can do a tempo modulation. Aug 12 '20 at 0:24
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The simplest solution given by the Wikipedia Irrational Meters entry. You would just write it as two half-notes, which, given the 2/3 time signature, would be understood as two thirds-of-a-whole-note.

for example, one beat in ​4⁄5 is written as a normal quarter note, four quarter notes complete the bar, but the whole bar lasts only ​4⁄5 of a reference whole note, and a beat ​1⁄5 of one (or ​4⁄5 of a normal quarter note).

Another possibility, from Wikipedia's Tuplet:Notation entry would be to notate the tuplet using a [3:2] ratio indication, meaning "three of this type of note comprises two beats", but you'd only have two notes present within the tuplet.

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    What I meant was that the time signature should be 2/6. Then it's two quarter-note triplets like the OP wanted. Aug 12 '20 at 1:07
  • @PatMuchmore OP indicates 2/3 time but used a quarter-note triplet as his example. So am I understanding correctly that two quarter notes would give 2/6 and two half notes would give 2/3?
    – Aaron
    Aug 12 '20 at 1:48
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    Right, that’s the OP’s mistake: 3rd notes would be half note triplets, sixth notes are quarter note triplets. Aug 12 '20 at 2:57
  • Do you still want to retain '2/3' in the 1st para?
    – Tim
    Aug 12 '20 at 6:14
  • @Tim Yes, unless my post is incorrect. My intention is to err on the side of the OP meaning "2/3" and that the quarter-note triplet was just to get across the idea of what was being sought.
    – Aaron
    Aug 12 '20 at 6:21
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Thinking "out of the box", if you can allow yourself to change the first measure time signature, you may consider:

X: 1  
K: Bb
M: 9/8  
L: 1/16
V:Vc clef=bass
C,3D,3 E,3(D,3 D,3) C,3 | [M: 2/4]  C4B,4 |]

or

X: 1  
K: Bb
M: 9/8  
L: 1/16
V:Vc clef=bass
C,3D,3E,3 D,6 C,3 | [M: 2/4]  C4B,4 |]

This of course depends on the rest of the composition. The dotted eights might be annoying to read, but might be easier than irrational meters.

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  • Really is easier to read and play if you stick with 3/4 - 2/4 time and add a written instruction as to the change in meter (bpm) Aug 12 '20 at 12:59
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I think this is what you're trying to do:

enter image description here

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  • Bad notation! No biscuit! Notes (post + head + flag) do not accept the concept of a nonbinary base unit Aug 13 '20 at 13:50
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    :-) As a matter of fact Carl, I myself find this particular example less appealing, but only 'cos the notes are a bit er... uninformative. I can't see any advantage of the 2/6 bar over a 3/8 one with two dotted quavers, except that the two bars together would then amount to one 9/8 bar. Nonetheless, that's how I personally - not knowing the context - would write it, but I'd add the magic word riten. extended by a horizontal line over the two notes, just to stop it sounding like 9/8 and being in any way foot-tappable. Might even add a giusto over the following bar. There. Biscuit? Aug 13 '20 at 15:38

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