# How do you interpret this in sheet music?

I am new to reading sheet music and how do you interpret this? I did not understand why is there a rest in the middle of the beamed notes. Thanks in advance. Edit : The time signature is 6/8 and its at 81bpm

• I don't see rests in the middle of the beamed notes. I see ties, but not rests. – Dekkadeci Apr 12 at 7:24
• Why do the tied notes need to be tied notes? – Tim Apr 12 at 8:19
• @Tim what are you asking? They're tied to indicate not to re-attack. Personally I'd prefer to see marked duples, but that's me. – Carl Witthoft Apr 12 at 13:37
• @CarlWitthoft - a dotted quaver, like the first note, lasts as long as a quaver tied to a semiquaver, doesn't it? So, that bar could have been written with two dotted quavers, or two lots of quavers tied to semis, or one of each, in either order. I wondered why it was written as it was. – Tim Apr 12 at 13:40
• @Tim ahhh, your wording fooled me. I agree it's a poor way to notate this – Carl Witthoft Apr 12 at 13:41

In the blue box, there are two instances of a beam group including:
a dotted quaver, and a semiquaver tied to a quaver.

The short thick black line is an unconnected beam for the semiquaver (not a minim rest).

If the group of notes was not beamed together it would look like this:

But, in this time signature this group of notes takes up a whole beat of time, so they should be beamed together (as above).

This rhythm could have been better written as 4 dotted 8th notes beamed in 2 pairs in my opinion. Sometimes notation programs will interpret rhythms like this in a way that looks more complicated than it is. Basically it is a 4 against 6, or 2 against 3 rhythm. Think of each group of three 8th notes as six 16th notes:

The left hand is: Ta-ta-Ta-ta-Ta-ta or 1 3 5

The right hand is: Ta-ta-ta-Ta-ta-ta or 1 4

The Capital Ta’s are the actual notes and the small ta’s are the counts in between.

In the left hand you have 2 x 3/8: count 123 456

The r.h. plays 4 beats, the 1. and 3. are with beat 1 and 4 of the l.h., the 2. and 4. are precisely in the middle between 2 - 3 and 5 - 6.

When you are not sure count the 16th notes: 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a 5 a 6 a

the notes of the r.h. are placed on the bold beats.

It would help to know the time signature, which is not show but is implied by the bass and the first measure. You seem to be in 6/8 time and the composer is trying to fit 4 even notes into a measure of 6/8. Each note in the boxed measure is 3 16th notes in length. In 6/8 there are 12 16th notes per measure, and 12 divided by 4 is 3. It is not a great way to notate this, I would think one could use the same notation as used to indicate a triplet in 4/4 time, e.g. a group of 4 notes that fill the measure with an arc over them and the number 4.

As for counting it you could think of counting the measure as

(1 1&, 2 2&, 3 3&, 4 4&, 5 5&, 6 6&);

where the 1&, 2& etc indicate the up of the corresponding number beat. A verbose notation I admit but I am not aware of how to do better notation in this text window.

Then the notes above are played on the following division of the beats

(1, 2&, 4, 5&) = the down beat of 1, up beat (or and) of 2, down of 4 and up of 5

This will produce 4 over 6.

In general when trying to figure out poly rhythms, like 3 over 4, 5 over 7 etc. I will write them out like this to determine exactly where each beat goes. But in the end you have to "feel it". So this measure should "feel" like 4, rather than 6.

How you count it depends on whether it is a fast or slow 6/8. For a slow 6/8 you can use the counting I gave above. If it's a fast 6/8 you will probably be counting it as 2/4 or 2/2 and treat the eight notes as triplets. In that case the boxed measure can (and should) be treated as, 1 - & - 2 - &.