I'm trying to write out a bar which is in 4/4, and has five crotchet triplets, the last one staccato, followed by a pushed quaver into the next bar (A quaver tied to the next crotchet in the next bar). What's the simplest way to do it as far as reading it is concerned?

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    Could you write an example of the notation, even if it's hard to read? I'm having trouble figuring out what you mean from the written description. – Karen Jan 4 '16 at 14:11

If I understand you correctly, it should be something like this:

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You're talking about something more or less like this, I presume:

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Bear in mind that the dotted quaver in the triplet is exactly equal to the meter's quaver. Depending on how short your staccato is, it will sound pretty much like Matt L.'s example. If you don't play the fifth triplet crochet staccato, though, you will still have a distinct break before the pushed quaver.

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    I must admit that I'm not a great sight-reader, but don't you think that the sixteenth rest and the dotted eighth note inside the triplet are harder to read than when you pull it out of the triplet? I think most players will need to look twice (at least) to figure out that the last note falls exactly on the last straight eighth note of the bar. – Matt L. Jan 4 '16 at 20:53
  • It depends on how used to hemiola you are, @MattL. There are trade-offs: do it this way, and you need to be used to converting dotted triplet notes to their base meter equivalents (which becomes pretty second nature after a while); do it your way, and it isn't immediately apparent that you are dealing with 5 triplet crochets. Any road, if you count it as if it were a measure of 6/4 time at ♩. = ♩ of 4/4, you will come out with the right duration anyway. – user16935 Jan 4 '16 at 22:16

Do you by any chance mean quintuplets or in other words 5 in the time of four?


Triplets mean specifically three in the time of two.

Just for your reference talking about a certain number of notes in the time of something else the nomenclature is...

  • Duplet (Two in the time of three
  • Triplet (Three in the time of two)
  • Quadruplet (Four in the time of two or three.)
  • Quintuplet (Five in the time of four)
  • Sextuplet (Six in the time of four or three.)
  • Septuplet (Seven in the time of four or six.)
  • Octuplet (Eight in the time of six or four.)
  • No. Specifically three in time of two - triplets. But the second lot only needs two in the same timing as the first three.Otherwise, how could I fit the quaver in. – Tim Jan 5 '16 at 9:34

If I'm understanding properly, I would suggest having the second set of triplets written as eighth/quaver triplets. So the first three notes would be quarter/crochet triplets, with the following two notes being spelled out with either two triplet quavers tied and the third (the staccato note) being un-tied, or a crochet and a quaver with the tuplet bracket, which should spell out the rhythm properly. At that point, I would just place a quaver rest and your quaver that will tie to the following measures first note.

  • Matt L.'s answer depicts this nicely. – Basstickler Jan 4 '16 at 15:05

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