3

When 2 quavers = 3 triplets at the top of the piece the notes are to be played swung. To me this means that the up beat in the piece will be closer to the next beat instead of falling exactly in the middle creating the "swing feel". What happens though when some of the notes are not swung and the upbeat falls exactly in the middle of beats 1 and 2. Is there a way to notate this or do we just ignore this when writing sheet music?

3
  • You could just write 'straight eights' at that point, or cancel the 2 quavers =3 triplets', until re-instated.
    – Tim
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 11:02
  • Would that work for one beat?
    – user35708
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 14:38
  • Not really... more for a section.
    – Tim
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:24

1 Answer 1

2

I think the answer depends on whether this is a whole section that goes to a straight feel or whether this is an occasional beat here and there that are straight. I have not personally seen just a few beats that are straight within a swung piece, but in music that is written in compound time, when there are just two eighth notes in a beat, they are written with a duple sign. I don't see why they can't be used in a swung piece. You might have to override some software defaults to do that, but I think that would be the best way to indicate a single beat is to be played straight. For an entire section, use a double bar line and add a marking to indicate that the feel has changed to straight 8ths.

3
  • Not a whole section, just a note here or there. I am studying a swung pop song but every now and again there is a note that is straight on the up beat and not swung. I don't think the singer is aware of it and you can't even here this unless you are paying attention to detail
    – user35708
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 13:40
  • 1
    Sounds to me that it should be left as is. There are times when a couple of notes aren't swung, but it's often at the singer's discretion, and as you say, he's probably not aware, and may do something different each time.
    – Tim
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:23
  • I thought @armani was writing a piece and didn't want specific beats swung.
    – Heather S.
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 16:49