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How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? #1609400
01/31/11 12:14 PM
01/31/11 12:14 PM
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Most people say, just fit the triplets into the beats, or "count 1-trip-let-2-trip-let-3-...", but with these weird triplets below I don't see how that applies. First of all, not all the triplets are of the same kind (there are three different types, in fact). I found it so confusing that (being a math teacher) I had to first break down each beat into four parts (ONE-two-three-four-ONE-two-three-four) to handle the 16th and 32nd notes (which are counted by inserting "and" between the quarter-counts), and then for the triplets I had to count in my head

ONE two 2 1/3 three 3 2/3 four ONE ...

Is my counting method crazy? Would you guys just say, to heck with that and just go with the flow?
[Linked Image]

Perhaps some of you more conventional counters would say (for the first four measures above by Bach) count:
ONE-trip-let-TWO-trip-let-THREE-and-FOUR-and-trip-let-
ONE-e-and-a-TWO-e-and-THREE-and-FOUR-trip-let-
ONE-trip-let-TWO-trip-let-THREE-trip-let-FOUR-and-
ONE-and-trip-let-TWO-e-and-a-THREE-e-and-FOUR-and-
I tried this, but it only helped me for the rhythm of one staff at a time, and not both at once.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 01/31/11 03:40 PM.
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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609534
01/31/11 02:58 PM
01/31/11 02:58 PM
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Where you have triplets against 4 sixteenths, plot out 12 32nd notes in both the RH and LH figures and that will show you where the notes line up. Each "regular" 16th equals 3 32nds and each triplet eighth equals 4 32nds.

Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609558
01/31/11 03:31 PM
01/31/11 03:31 PM
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First step play the melody without the accompaniment. (find the pulse)
Second play the accompaniment without the melody.(find the pulse)
Make sure you understand where the pulse is on the melody and the accompaniment then try to bring them together keeping the pulse in both hands. It may require some practice.
Counting is not a good idea with cross rhythms or small fractions; because is very distracting. Interpreting pieces such as your sample, requires the use of your ear and sense of rhythm.
Understanding note value obviously is important but counting it is not what you need.
Also notice that in your sample piece there are patterns in how the accompaniment supports the melody.

Last edited by Kurtmen; 01/31/11 04:02 PM.

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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609615
01/31/11 04:52 PM
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I can see your confusion, in fact this score is confusing me too.

Let's recapitulate, the trio is supposed to group THREE notes and you should play them in the time of TWO notes, right?

Most measure the trios are following this rule

But in the bass of measure 22 I dont see how to fit it. A trio with only TWO quarter notes, wtf?? What I think, also from the place of the notes, is that the second quarter of these notes actually should have been an eight note.

In measure 23, the same problem but worse. Here the trio is grouping 1 eight and 2 sixteenth, which is TWO eights??? Same happens in measure 27 Here I don't see what they may have intended.



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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609618
01/31/11 04:55 PM
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I now notice that the pattern in measure 24 resembles that of the trio in the bass of bar 20. Therefore I think they made the trio grouping sign too long, and that they should not have included the third 16th note in measure 24 into the trio.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609716
01/31/11 06:38 PM
01/31/11 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
But in the bass of measure 22 I dont see how to fit it. A trio with only TWO quarter notes, wtf??


The way I read it, we have triplets in the treble, so the triplets in the bass are simply twice as longs as the upper triplets. So they form three equal-length notes that span over two normal quarter notes. Hence they are triplets.

Originally Posted by wouter79
In measure 23, the same problem but worse. Here the trio is grouping 1 eight and 2 sixteenth, which is TWO eights???

The triplet symbol went a bit too far here, it was supposed to end at the first of the two 16th notes. Hence they add up to three 16th notes spaninng over one 8th note. The computer program that translated the Bach midi file to this score needs some polishing in its notations. But still, even after understanding what is intended, I still found the rhythm very confusing to sight-read.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 01/31/11 06:39 PM.
Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609800
01/31/11 08:28 PM
01/31/11 08:28 PM
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Before you sight-read a piece like this, you should learn to play triplets and duplets in each hand independently. You should not have to think about these things. It is a skill you need to work at.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609801
01/31/11 08:30 PM
01/31/11 08:30 PM
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I'm not completely sure, but looking at this piece of music the rhythm is difficult to feel, or work out. My hunch is that this is written recently by a composer who hasn't fully worked out the best way to represent her ideas (best for the performer that is!). Or perhaps a composer who deliberately wants to send reader on a challenging journey of deciphering. Maybe it's a piece that plays accurately through the computer, and that seemed like all that was needed, but the logic and feel of the notation is important too!

Just my thoughts after a brief look (my brain hurt too much to try and decipher further). Compare the LH of bar 3 with bar 8, very strange I think (the little numbers are all 3's aren't they?).

Or maybe it's Elliot Carter? confused


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609867
01/31/11 10:15 PM
01/31/11 10:15 PM
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It's a Bach two-part invention. We can't criticize him for composing crazily, can we?

Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609937
02/01/11 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
It's a Bach two-part invention. We can't criticize him for composing crazily, can we?

Hahahahahaha [Linked Image]

Told you I didn't look at it for very long. I do hope it's not one of the ones i've played (but it's small and the resolution's not great on my laptop anyway, so maybe I just can't see what i'm meant to see).

Ah yes, I can see now that it's Invention 16. I haven't studied that one (in this life). I do hope you sort it out ok.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609969
02/01/11 12:56 AM
02/01/11 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
Originally Posted by wouter79
But in the bass of measure 22 I dont see how to fit it. A trio with only TWO quarter notes, wtf??


The way I read it, we have triplets in the treble, so the triplets in the bass are simply twice as longs as the upper triplets. So they form three equal-length notes that span over two normal quarter notes. Hence they are triplets.



The way that left hand part in that measure is written is wrong. It should be two quarter-note triplets, each with three notes, not three triplets with two notes.

Also, the non-standard beaming is part of what makes this hard to read. The whole thing looks oddly like what happens when you use software to notate something being played on a MIDI keyboard, and the settings and timing aren't quite right.






Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1609974
02/01/11 01:11 AM
02/01/11 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
The triplet symbol went a bit too far here, it was supposed to end at the first of the two 16th notes. Hence they add up to three 16th notes spaninng over one 8th note. The computer program that translated the Bach midi file to this score needs some polishing in its notations. But still, even after understanding what is intended, I still found the rhythm very confusing to sight-read.

yes, and if I'd read the whole thread I would have realised why, as the above quote shows. I don't think anyone should have to read music like this. Needs some editing, and better input.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610001
02/01/11 02:11 AM
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Why not just download an accurate version of the score from IMSLP?

Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610052
02/01/11 05:26 AM
02/01/11 05:26 AM
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Why not try something else that's not so tricky and is notated in a playable fashion?


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610068
02/01/11 06:59 AM
02/01/11 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
The computer program that translated the Bach midi file to this score needs some polishing in its notations.
You're not wrong. This certainly demonstrates the limitations of some computer notation programs!


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610101
02/01/11 09:30 AM
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It's not a limitation of a computer notation program, it's a limitation of the humans who created and imported the MIDI file.

The settings were all wrong. Whoever created the MIDI file didn't correctly set the time and key signatures or quantization level, so the notation software had no idea what to do with it, and whoever imported it didn't bother to correct any of it.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610349
02/01/11 03:24 PM
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"It should be two quarter-note triplets, each with three notes, not three triplets with two notes."

Ah yes that must be what they intended. I missed that there are only 6 quarter notes in that measure.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: Kreisler] #1610451
02/01/11 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
It's not a limitation of a computer notation program, it's a limitation of the humans who created and imported the MIDI file.

The settings were all wrong. Whoever created the MIDI file didn't correctly set the time and key signatures or quantization level, so the notation software had no idea what to do with it, and whoever imported it didn't bother to correct any of it.
Point taken. So not only do you need to be able to edit such things at the end, you also have to be able to set them up properly in the beginning.


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Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610504
02/01/11 06:02 PM
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Ok, regardless of whatever discombobulation the computer program did in the conversion or how the midi file was created to begin with, is the above score playable by a human at first sight? Would even the best sight-readers in the world get the rhythm dead-on if playing at the correct tempo? Or would he just play the notes correctly, and people (not knowing the score) would only think that his rhythm is correct?

Last edited by MathTeacher; 02/01/11 06:06 PM.
Re: How do you count these weird triplets while sight-reading? [Re: MathTeacher] #1610511
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
Ok, regardless of whatever discombobulation the computer program did in the conversion or how the midi file was created to begin with, is the above score playable by a human at first sight?
Yes, I think so, slowly, and with cursing all the way.
Get a proper score and see how much easier it is to read! smile


Du holde Kunst...
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