I have learned part of the French counting system (crotchet=Ta, crotchet rest=Sa etc.). Where can I find the rest of the system? I've spent hours searching and have found more questions than answers.

  • Try using a good music library instead of the interweb. For example, find a copy of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. If you want good, well researched answers for arcane topics, the interweb is not the best resource.
    – Stinkfoot
    Nov 24, 2017 at 18:59
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    I was taught this by a piano teacher. I was not able to find it as French not names but it seems the internet calls it “takadimi”. Nov 24, 2017 at 19:02
  • @xerotolerant : the internet" doesn't call it anything. "the internet" is a random mixture of whatever people, informed or not, decide to put up there. This site is somewhat better because there are strict controls, and someone might actually source something from a real book or a bona-fide, credentialed expert. – Stinkfoot
    – Stinkfoot
    Nov 24, 2017 at 21:28
  • @Stinkfoot I can’t tell if you’re scolding me or politely asking me to do something. Nov 24, 2017 at 22:16
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    @xerotolerant - Neither. Just pointing out that interweb sources are often far from the best. Often their greatest benefit is pointing you to real books from reliable, credentialed teachers and scholars. It's very easy to put up a some BS on a web page, and nobody can hold you accountable for it.
    – Stinkfoot
    Nov 24, 2017 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


Seems like Zoltan Kodaly is the perpetrator. Hungarian, not French. Look him up, and I think you have what you need.

EDIT - further investigation leads to 'French time names', sometimes accredited to Galin - Paris - Cheve system. Using such as 'Ta-a-a-a' for semibreve (full note), 'Ta-a' for minim, 'Ta' for crotchet (1/4), down to 'Ta-fa-te-fe' for 4 1/16th notes (semi quavers). Similar, but not identical to the above mentioned - and, yes, French. I remember using it in the '50s/'60s in music lessons, briefly.

  • Thank you. That's similar but not the same. Wikipedia speaks about it as the French "Time-Names system". Below are the few note values that are on Wikipedia but I can't find the more complex ones such as triplets or beamed groups of mixed quavers and semiquavers that I learned. Whole Note: Ta-a-a-a Half Note: Ta-a Quarter Note: Ta 2 Eighth Note: Ta Te 4 Sixteenth Notes: Tafa Tefe Nov 24, 2017 at 18:21

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