I've been practicing Arban's Trumpet Studies book and have a question.

In Scale Studies (pg 64) exercise #16 contains 16th, 32nd, and 64th notes. See Wikipedia for images of notes.

My question is, Why does Arban's show 10 32nd notes per beat? And 14 64th notes per beat? When other sources says there should be 8 32nd notes per beat, and 16 64th notes per beat.

Is this wrong? Please explain if this is correct and if so how?

Arban's Exercise #16

  • Needn't really have been written out with demisemiquavers at all. Longer notation with a faster bpm would have sufficed!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 13:17
  • For me, the hardest part to grasp/accept has been the odd number of notes in a beat. Ten (10) notes in a beat would mean 5-tuples every half beat (not impossible, I've played music with odd time signatures 5/4, etc) and similarly for 14 notes (so 7-tuples every half beat). When practicing I'm trying to keep each note the same length which is difficult if I can't count it more slowly and work my way up. At these speeds, however, it's really play it as fast as your fingers can move, so maybe I'm over thinking it.
    – PatS
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


The notation isn't literal in this case. What Arban is getting at, is that the entire scale should be played in a single beat. It would perhaps be more clear had tuplet notation been used. For example, in the circled scale, a bracketed "10" would appear above the notes.

(I checked both of my editions of Arban, and they're notated the same way throughout the entire scales section.)

  • All would have been better written with an appropriately longer note at the end of the descending run, and probably sounded better, too.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 9:21
  • @Tim Arban wants the scale to continue all the way until the beginning of the next scale. So the longer notes appear only at the beginning of each measure.
    – Aaron
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:58
  • Yes, I understand what he wants. Just throwing in my tuppenceworth of how I think it may be improved!!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 16:16

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