I'm writing a violin quartet and am currently writing the melody of a solo part in the piece, and I stumbled upon a technical problem.

So basically I want to write these two figures (The duplet and the eight note on the 3rd beat) as one:

Note values

So that it'll sound like:


But written as one figure. Can anyone help me out? :)


2 Answers 2

  1. Are two separate "voices" out of the question? If not, couldn't you use:

duplet and non-duplet at the same time

  1. I'm no string player, but wouldn't this (for a moment) imply that the D-flat and C are sounding together? Isn't that, well... restrictively difficult?

  2. If what you want to hear, as you state it, is something like that, would a different notation suffice?

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  • It's written for one instrument, so it should be one voice. I could write it like the example you give, but I want it to have that delayed tuplet feel. So then my question would become: how to write it the way you say, but make sure it is played with a tuplet feel?
    – koeno100
    Jan 16, 2018 at 18:57
  • I should clarify: when using the term "voice," musicians often mean simultaneous lines of music. For example, one hand on the piano may play half notes with the thumb while playing quarter notes with the other fingers. Similarly, a violinist may play double stops, holding one string for half notes, while the other plays quarter notes. For notation's sake, it can be easier to notate an "upper" voice and a "lower" voice, rather than using ties all over the place.
    – Neal
    Jan 16, 2018 at 19:00
  • Well in that case, the first figure should suffice!
    – koeno100
    Jan 16, 2018 at 20:07

I don't think people will know how to play Neal's answer. They'll just play a portamento or even skip the Db all together, since they can't let the Db ring out anyway. Theoretically if this is a divisi part it's possible, but you'll never find anybody able to play it exactly as written, i.e. it'll just sound like a double-stop.

If you definitely want a hint of the Db to be heard, I'd go for a acciaccatura, which IMO conveys better what you want to achieve:

grace note:

Depending on the tempo of course, this will still be played as a portamento, I think, since anything else seems humanly impossible.

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