# Is splitting the quarters into triplets syncopation?

Let's take the Amazing Grace song as example (`3/4` rhythm):

``````A   - maz  -       z    i  n g     Grace       How     Sweet     the
3     1      2     3      3.5      1     2     3       1   2     3   ...
^--------^
Equal durations
``````

If I split each quarter in triplets (3 equal notes per one quarter) it would be transformed in something like this:

``````A   - maz  -       z      ing     Grace         How     Sweet     the
3     1      2     3      3.6     1      2      3       1   2     3   ...
1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3  1,2    3       1,2,3  1,2,3  1,2,3   ....
^------^
0.66 + 0.33 durations
``````

Now, taking it one step further, with my left hand on the piano I would do a chop like this:

``````3/4 Rhythm 1     2     3
Triplets 1,2,3 1,2,3 1,2,3
Piano *-- * *-- * *-- *
Accent ^     ^     ^
``````

To me this doesn't seem syncopated, because I still keep the accent on the first beats. However, is this syncopation?

How is this technique called?

If the original song is written in `4/4`, then using the triplets it's converted int `12/8` (and `3/4` would be `9/8`).

I know songs having the same feel, which are originally written in 12/8 or 9/8.

• Sometimes it's easier to write and read when a song with triplet feel, as in 12/8, is shown in 4/4. There's usually a note (literally!) at the top showing how each 'beat' is divided.
– Tim
Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 9:48
• @Tim I'm not really sure what you mean. I do like this triplet feel, but what I'm unsure is if this rhythm is considered syncopated or not. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 10:06
• Correct answer: "no." Useful answer- see Richard's . Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 12:54