Writing for a violin section, I come up with having to write tuplets with the same pitch. Is it still normal to write the tuplet in short hand? Let's say I have a tuplet of three eights, can I write it as one slashed dotted quarter note? I understand that in the past paper and printing was expensive that's why they tried to scimp. To me there is an aspect of less clutter on the music sheet. What is right today?


There is also the issue of wrong interpretations. If you use short hand notation you run the risk that some players may butcher your music by playing and / or understanding the shorthand incorrectly. If you spell everything out then at least there is no possibility of confusion.

What you can also do is spell out the the first bars where this triplets come and use the short hand afterwards to have a best-of-both-worlds effect.


There is no 'right' today; if you want to keep it within a few music sheets, you can use slashed dotted quarter notes; if you don't mind writing the same note many times, write it. There is no difference to it.

The former way will show that you know a few ways to save time, and someone might appreciate that; it is the way I would choose. I believe this way the whole piece will look 'cleaner' (less notes on the paper) and easier to read. But generally, people will play the passage, whatever they see. I don't think someone will see three eighths get bored to read them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.