I know that 3/4 is strong-weak-weak. I've also heard that when it comes to rests, if I have a quarter note on 1, I should then have two quarter rests rather than a half rest.

But how about the opposite? Is this ok?

Half note across beats 2 and 3 of 3/4

Or should it instead be tied quarters for beats 2 and 3?

I have a score where these notes are basically echoing an attack on 1 in another staff, a few measures in a row. I think it would look messier if it were tied quarters instead, but I also want to do the right thing.

(I don't generally tie across 2 and 3 in 4/4, since 3 is a strong beat; that case is more obvious.)

  • Consider the Sarabande, an old dance in 3/4 time, with emphasis on the second beat of the bar. There's no real need to tie two crotchets for beats 2 and 3, a minim will suffice, and probably be more welcomed by readers. Even the ubiquitous 4/4 is more and more written 'against the rules', with no designation as to where the middle of the bar is. Obviously that 'rule' can't be followed in 3/4 time!
    – Tim
    Jan 30, 2023 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is totally fine, common practice and if fact using tied quarters for no real reason would be the more obscure choice here.

An important thing to keep in mind about 3/4 is that the composition 1 + 2 is historically a very typical type of syncope since renaissance music (usually in the typical form [4 4. 8]). So notating this with tied quarters may even defeat the purpose.

  • Thanks! My brain has trouble reconciling that 2 and 3 should have quarter rests rather than a half rest, while a half note is preferable to tied quarters. But I'm happy to be reassured. :)
    – tunesmith
    Jan 29, 2023 at 22:17

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