Straight to the question, if I have this following numerical scores notation :

4/4, Do=C

enter image description here

How to draw it into staff musical notation (If you have better way to say this musical notation type, please tell me)? Especially the red-circled part.

Thank you. Please clarify anything if it's needed.

P.S. Please explain as simple as you can, since I'm a beginner in musical world. Also, sorry if the title is not accurate enough, since it's quite hard for me to entitle my problem. Thanks.

EDIT : There should be "3" on top of the line on 1 2 3.

  • 3
    I've never seen the numerical scores notation you're using. Can you please explain it or post a link that explains it m
    – Kevin
    May 16, 2014 at 18:35
  • 1
    "numerical musical scores" google search yields: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbered_musical_notation
    – Dave
    May 16, 2014 at 22:23
  • check the section on tuples -- it confirms your and Bob's answer.
    – Dave
    May 17, 2014 at 3:14
  • @Kevin edited just now. it should have "---3---" on top of them May 17, 2014 at 9:08

3 Answers 3


This to me looks like eighth note triplets. The idea would be to play 3 eight notes where two should be. To notate this you would beam the three notes together and put a 3 over them to signify it is a triplet.

Presuming the numbers in your score are scale degrees, it would look something like this:

enter image description here

If you were counting this you would count:

1 - trip - let - 2 - 3 - 4

This signifies where each note goes in relation to each other.

  • (Not to doubt your answer at all) Why it's become 1/8? Isn't it should be 1/12 each? (1/4 divided with 3)? (I know that there's no twelve-th note) May 16, 2014 at 17:15
  • @MosesAprico Music only notation for certain durations i.e. 1(whole note), 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, ect. To get other durations modifiers must be used. In this case the triplet says to play 3 where we normal play 2 so you are right in saying each triplet is worth 1/12, but this is how we express it musically.
    – Dom
    May 16, 2014 at 17:19
  • Rather than thinking that one flag means 1/8th note, think of it as 1 subdivision (then each flag is one more subdivision, etc.). Then, with the three on top, it is one subdivision that breaks a "beat" into 3 equal parts, not 2 equal parts. You wouldn't have one for 4 because that's two standard subdivisions, but you'll see it again with two flags and the numbers 5 and 6. All that means is "these 3/5/6/whatever notes fit into 1 beat."
    – psosuna
    Apr 17, 2018 at 19:05

What you have looks like 8th note triplets to me as well, since that's what makes it come out right in 4/4 time. However, correct numerical notation (as far as I can see with a bit of research) should have a 3 over the top of the bar. As you have it it is incorrectly notated.

This is a great summary of musical notation. It's appropriate for a beginner who is willing to put some effort into understanding it, and to ask questions on forums like these when he gets stuck. (Hint, hint...) Look at the section on tuplets for more information about how to notate this sort of thing.


enter image description here

Pardon the terrible handwriting, but this is how I believe your score came notated? Depending on the exact instrument, the notation can differ. This is because JianPu is relative in pitch - i.e. a "1" in C major would be a C, but depending on the instrument, it can be a C4 (if it's a "1" on a Alto Sheng) or a C3 (if it's on a Tenor Sheng. Rhythm-wise, Dom is absoultely right, though - if, that is, that there is indeed a missing beam under the "123".

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