# how to count a measure with dotted and triplet rhythms

This is the Hungarian Sonata by Richard Clayderman. I don't know how to count this measure.

• You could make it much easier by turning the note in the first quarter into a triplet. Nobody's going to notice the difference, particularly since it's probably going to be rubato anyway. Feb 8, 2021 at 22:34
• @PiedPiper - I once transcribed a 180 bpm piece that uses an 8th rest-dotted 8th-dotted 8th rhythm (the equivalent of a 16th rest-dotted 16th-dotted 16th rhythm at a faster-than-the-OP 90 bpm), and yes, I could tell that using a triplet there instead was wrong. Feb 9, 2021 at 13:42
• @Dekkadeci You obviously have an excellent sense of rhythm. Most amateur pianists don't. Feb 9, 2021 at 14:26
• Consider as another example Chick Corea's "Spain" where - depending on who did the transcription - the initial theme starts with dotted-quarter, dotted-quarter, quarter measures, but then switches to a 4-beat triplet. Definitely a different 'feel' . (Many fakebooks don't do this switch but I think they're wrong) Feb 9, 2021 at 16:45

## 1 Answer

First, recognize that each set of notes is barred together into whole beats.

• Beat 1 = sixtheenth rest + 2 notes following
• Beat 2 = triplet of three eighth notes
• Beat 3 and 4 = dotted-eighth / sixteenth pairs.

To understand the first beat, think of dividing the beat into eight equal parts. The rest/notes align this way:

X: 1
T: Hungarian Sonata
T: Counting example 1
C: Richard Clayderman
K: none clef=perc stafflines=1
M: 4/4
L: 1/32
%%score (V1 | V2)
[V:V1 stem=up] z2 c3c3
[V:V2 stem=down] AAAAAAAA
w: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

However, eighths of a beat don't lend themselves to easy counting, so I would suggest thinking of it, initially, in terms of sixteenth notes.

X: 1
T: Hungarian Sonata
T: Counting example 2
C: Richard Clayderman
K: none clef=perc stafflines=1
M: 4/4
L: 1/16
%%score (V1 | V2)
[V:V1 stem=up] z c3/2c3/2
[V:V2 stem=down] AAAA
w: 1 e & a

Once a feel is developed for that, then the entire measure can be counted in eighth notes. This means the left hand, which is written entirely in eighths, can serve as your metronome whenever playing hands together.

X: 1
T: Hungarian Sonata
T: Counting example 3
C: Richard Clayderman
K: none clef=perc stafflines=1
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
%%score (V1 | V2)
[V:V1 stem=up] z/2 c3/4c3/4 (3ccc c3/2c/2 c3/2c/2
[V:V2 stem=down] AA AA AA AA
w: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
• Especially since there is indeed eight-note pattern in the left hand. Feb 8, 2021 at 22:33
• @user1079505 Do you have an image? If yes, please feel welcome to add it to the post. That's really helpful to know. Feb 8, 2021 at 22:34
• I linked a video where I found it. Feb 8, 2021 at 22:37