I'm rearranging a piece of mine from 12/8 to 4/4. This works pretty fine for the harmony since those were arpeggiated chords, 4 groups of 3. But I notice the melody is rather complicated to transfer to 4/4, and I've found out that what works best (musically) is that it alternates between 2/4 and 3/4. But this is only for the melody, not for the harmony which is still 4/4. Now since this is for piano, obviously I'm wondering whether people can count like that: 2 different rhythms at the same time (I know I can't, but I can't play piano anyway) I.e. is this playable?

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Or will pianists want to kill me?

2 Answers 2


Three against two is really easy for any experienced musician.
If you were going to write seven against five, most people would have trouble playing it accurately.

  • 5
    What I'd kill over is the inaccurate spacing of the note heads. Dec 12, 2020 at 22:29
  • Hahaha, yes, that is worth killing over.
    – Creynders
    Dec 13, 2020 at 9:04
  • @chrylis-cautiouslyoptimistic- - what's wrong with them? Beats 1 and 3 align in both clefs, and the triplet on top has a little gap so the last crotchet can be seen to fit where it should.
    – Tim
    Dec 15, 2020 at 9:47
  • @Tim The note heads aren't evenly spaced, and particularly when trying to demonstrate a polyrhythm, note heads in a group (such as a single triplet bracket) should be spaced consistently. Dec 15, 2020 at 10:10
  • @chrylis-cautiouslyoptimistic- - I understand that. However, for the less experienced players, I feel the way it's shown is more helpful - it shows when things get played. We'll agree to differ! And I have a pedant degree...
    – Tim
    Dec 15, 2020 at 10:21

Needs a little bit of looking at, more for which notes are played than where they all fit between each other, but any player from grade VI upwards would manage that, and pros wouldn't even get a small weapon out.

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