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I am doing an exercise where I have to convert 6/4 to 2/2. My book has no answers and I cant find enough info anywhere else. please could someone tell me if they think this is done right? I cant figure out if these triplets are right since there are crotchet and quaver triplets.

Passage from Chopin Nocturne converted from 6/4 to 2/2

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    That seems fine. Unlike my neck. Can you please rotate your photo and update it? Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 20:18
  • Btw, you probably need to buy a pencil with a higher hardness ;-) Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 20:19
  • I second @musicamante. This is correct.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 21:07
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    Psssht. . . took me all of 5 seconds to download the image and rotate it. :) Your answer looks correct. (I would agree with @musicamante about your pencil though-- I recommend a thick (maybe 0.5mm) 2B mechanical-- and if I were your composition teacher, I'd say your work is too messy and make you rewrite it). Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 21:11
  • @Bennyboy1973 it took me even less to rotate my head (but more to make the pain end). That's not the point: we should focus on providing answers, not understanding questions. Not everybody has the means to rotate their screens (I'm obviously not referring to handled devices) or images on the spot, and some people might just get annoyed by that at a point they could even ignore a post at all. If it takes 5 seconds, then it's 5 secs for the OP and a bigger and more interested audience, against 5 secs for everybody else and lots of annoyed people who could have answered but gave up instead. Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 22:26

2 Answers 2

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Yes, that looks right. 6/4 is compound duple time. Two main beats, each subdivided into three. 2/2 is simple duple, two beats subdivided into two. So we have to over-ride the twos by using triplets.

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With respect to this particular piece, this is definitely the way to "convert" 6/4 to 2/2, and your note values seem to be correct.

To answer "How do you convert 6/4 into 2/2 time?" more generally:

One other way I could interpret "conversion" is to preserve the total quantity of "beats" and divide each six-beat measure (in 6/4) into three two-beat measures (in 2/2). In that case every quarter note in 6/4 would become a half note in 2/2. Some measures will end up with ties across bar lines.

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  • IMO, the given interpretation best reflects the musical intention.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 21:07
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    No. Both 6/4 and 2/2 are two main beats to the bar. You are suggesting the equivalent of re-writing it in 3/2, which is three main beats to the bar.
    – Laurence
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 0:10
  • @LaurencePayne Definitely this piece has two main beats to the bar. (As I said in my answer.) I was trying to make the answer more universal: Not every use of 6/4 time is like this. In some pieces, it can be three main beats divided into two (or other stranger things.) I generally try to make my SE answers address the question not just for the OP, but for anyone in the future for whom this question turns up in a web search.
    – Theodore
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 14:10
  • No. 'Three main beats divided into two' would be written as 3/2. I agree that today's music often mixes up 3x2 and 2x3, without bothering to continually change time signature. But those are still the basic definitions of 6/4 and 3/2. Same as 6/8 and 3/4.
    – Laurence
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 17:18
  • @LaurencePayne Although 6/4 is commonly used to indicate compound duple meter, see the Wikipedia article Sextuple metre, which indicates that 6/4 is a common time signature for simple sextuple metre.
    – Theodore
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 18:06

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