two incomplete measure of 9/8 time

I am trying to figure out the missing rests in the time signature. I think for the first bar there will be a dotted quarter rest. I am not too sure about the next one. Any hints or directions appreciated.

2 Answers 2


In 9/8 time, it is customary to notate it as three groups of three beats each. Thus, you are correct that the first measure would be completed by a dotted quarter rest.

Keeping this convention in mind, and observing that the second measure's "middle" three beats are accounted for by the dotted quarter-note, should allow for the question to be answered.

  • And just in case the above wasn't enough: the first eighth note should be followed by a quarter rest, and the final eighth note should be preceded by a quarter rest. The measure should be eighth note, quarter rest, dotted quarter note, quarter rest, eighth note.
    – Aaron
    Nov 1, 2021 at 0:34
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    @Swaraj Looking through your questions on this site, it appears you're working your way through a music theory textbook? Is that the case? If yes, then the book should already have addressed the question of 3/4 time and also given you the information needed for 3/8 time. I suggest re-reading the earlier parts of the book. If you're not working from a textbook, then I recommend finding either a textbook, a YouTube video series, a tutorial website, or other resource to walk you through some of the basics.
    – Aaron
    Nov 1, 2021 at 1:20
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    I thought I've read that a quarter rest shouldn't be used at the end of a compound meter grouping of 3 eighth notes - two eighth rests should be used instead. (Similarly, in 3/4 time, two quarter rests should be used at the end of a measure instead of a half rest.)
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 1, 2021 at 12:43
  • @Dekkadeci - can't see how - they're only specified silences, like specified notes, and a quarter note/rest = two eighth notes/rests. A question is born?
    – Tim
    Nov 1, 2021 at 13:28
  • @Dekkadeci: Elaine Gould agrees with you (screenshot from p. 163 of Behind Bars). Basically, if you have an eighth note on the third sub-beat, you can precede it by either a quarter rest or two eighth rests ("if it is important that the player sense all three divisions".) But if you have an eighth note on the first sub-beat, it should be followed by two eight rests. Nov 1, 2021 at 15:24

9/8 is equivalent of 9 eighth notes per bar. BUT because the top number is a multiple of 3, those eighth notes are set out in groups of 3 (or equivalents of 3 quavers). As in, the bar could be divided into 3 equal parts.

It's the same with other compound time signatures - 6/8 divides into 2x3, 12/8 into 4x3.

So, now, it's pretty simple sums!


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