I thought I remembered when you're starting a note off the beat, you do something maybe with tied eighth notes, but I'm not sure. Is this image the standard way to write this?:

enter image description here


Looks o.k. If the third beat had been 'pushed' (starting on the and of 2) then it's easier to read with a tied quaver, thus physically looking like the bar is split into two halves, but there's no such thing here. And more and more, that idea isn't being adhered to.


The old 'rules' have relaxed considerably now that syncopation is so commonplace. 1 and 2 are fine. Some would argue over 3. The world is not yet ready for 4.

enter image description here

  • What's the main difference between 3 and 4?
    – Hatshepsut
    Nov 20 '16 at 16:47
  • 1
    @Hatshepsut 3 is easier to read, because you can still visualise where the beat is between each crotchet. The dotted minim in 4 makes it quite hard to intuitively count. Sure, you could figure it out, but notation is supposed to be easy to read, and there are clearer ways to write that rhythm. There are possibly clearer ways to write 3 as well, but it's still quite readable when you're used to syncopation.
    – endorph
    Nov 20 '16 at 23:39
  • 1
    I don't think I've ever ran into anybody who would argue over #3 - even Mozart himself wrote that way: see page 3 of this manuscript (second from bottom is the opening to his Piano Concerto #20). Nov 22 '16 at 14:43

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.