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As a studying method I am making a reduction of Wagner's Parsifal ouverture. In bar 3, the rhythm does not fit. The quarter, dotted eight, sixteenth and half note take up a sixteenth beat more space than there is.

I checked several sources, all have the dotted eight, so that is no mistake presumably. What does this mean musically? And how should I notate it in Dorico, a program that forces correct rhythm?

  • Let's split each of those notes into 16ths. 1st = 4, dotted = 3, 1/16 = 1, minim = 8. That adds to 16.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 10:01
  • You are adding wrong, as answer states Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


I think this is one of those cases where staring at something too long makes the notes swim around on the page. Happens to everyone sometimes! :D

A dotted eighth = 3/16, so that plus a sixteenth is a quarter.

  • 1
    It definitely was. Stared at it for an hour!
    – Quant
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 10:04
  • In college, I used to do my homework at a pub with great nachos, about 200 kinds of international beers, and a waitress I had a crush on. Believe me, I had this experience VERY often! :D Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 8:10
  • When you stare at something for a long time, why might objects appear to move on the page? That is what might happen when you stare at music notation for a long time, try notating it in Dorico and face problems.
    – Vighnesh
    Commented Jan 31 at 7:20

To answer the last part of the question (though it's not actually needed here): the best way to input a bar with 'too many notes' in Dorico is to use hidden tuplets. That probably works for most other apps too.


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