I have been practicing with the Stick Control book by George Lawrence Stone. After a while it starts with the 6/8 time signature, but then I ran into some notation that I can't quite understand. If sixteenth notes fit in a beat, then why do those 8 sixteenth notes have dots? What do they add up to? Why it is called the "precise" notation of that measure?

Rhythm exercises in the form of 3 eighth notes followed by an octuplet of sixteenth notes. A foot note explains: "The notation [...] although irregular, seems to lead up in a more readable manner into the closed rolls on page 26. The precise notation of this measure should be as follows:", a measure is shown with 3 eighth notes followed by 8 dotted sixteenth notes with and numeral 8 above

Then the next pages also introduces 10 sixteenth notes that fit in one beat, similar to 8, and the 10 of them have dots and the same explanation too.

1 Answer 1


I suspect that there is a mistake with the figure in the footnote.

To fill the bar properly, there should be eight dotted 32nd notes (demisemiquavers), and the tuplet numeral should be removed. Like this: bar in 6/8, three quavers, followed by eight dotted demisemiquavers

This would be rhythmically equivalent to the notation in example 17, but it's much harder to read.

  • Oh thanks, and I guess the same would apply to 10 (unfortunately, I could only attach one image). So, basically this one with 7 is incorrect too: rpmseattle.com/of_note/create-a-tuplet-of-any-ratio-in-sibelius
    – David
    Apr 15, 2023 at 15:27
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    @David I was wondering about the 10, is that in 6/8 as well, or a different time signature? Apr 15, 2023 at 15:39
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    @David The first image on that page is wrong because there really shouldn't be augmentation dots inside a tuplet. Tuplets stretch (or sometimes squash) the value of the notes so that they fit into the allotted time. Fortunately, that page seems to be explaining how to get rid of them in Sibelius; the image at the bottom of that page is correct. Apr 15, 2023 at 15:40
  • Yes, the exercises in 10s are also in 6/8. Thanks for the other clarification.
    – David
    Apr 15, 2023 at 15:51
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    @David I am not sure how you could write 10 notes in one beat using "precise notation"; the numbers don't really add up. Apr 15, 2023 at 16:28

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