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Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
#3050998 11/29/20 07:07 PM
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Everyone knows that groups of three are called triplets. But what do we call marked groups of five, or six, or ...?

I’ve worked on two pieces recently (Liszt and Messiaen) that have groups of seven. Are these “septuplets”? “Groups of seven”?

We occasionally see larger groups, such as 9, 11, 13, 15, etc. Is there a standard naming convention for these?

Last edited by Eric NYC; 11/29/20 07:08 PM.

Yamaha Avantgrand N3, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)
Re: Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
Eric NYC #3051007 11/29/20 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric NYC
Everyone knows that groups of three are called triplets. But what do we call marked groups of five, or six, or ...?

I’ve worked on two pieces recently (Liszt and Messiaen) that have groups of seven. Are these “septuplets”? “Groups of seven”?

We occasionally see larger groups, such as 9, 11, 13, 15, etc. Is there a standard naming convention for these?

My understanding is that these groups of notes (often over a steady accompaniment) can be called quintuplets, sextuplets, septuplets., etc., as you suggest. If there is a group of a larger number of notes (again often over a steady accompaniment) I consider them fioritura, such as we often see in the piano writings of Chopin, Field, and Hummel, for example.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
Eric NYC #3051348 11/30/20 04:30 PM
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Thanks.

P.S. Now that I know what to call them, I have to figure out how to play them! For example, the Messiaen piece I'm working on has an instance of 7 against 3 –– within one quarter-note beat it's marked as "7 (pour 8)" and "3 (pour 2)."


Yamaha Avantgrand N3, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)
Re: Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
Eric NYC #3051357 11/30/20 04:55 PM
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In general, I believe they're referred to as "tuplets". Within that, there are specific ones with special names, such as 3 (triplets), 5 (quintuplets), etc...

Once it gets much beyond that, I don't think there's really any special names - as Bruce mentioned, you can generally refer to them as fioritura. As for me, while it is definitely non-standard, I usually refer to them as the number + "let". So in Chopin, you might find a run of 27 - I would just call that a "27-let". Not nearly as elegant a term as "triplet", but it gets the point across... smile


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
Re: Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
Eric NYC #3051529 12/01/20 07:01 AM
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Quintuplets, sextuplets and septuplets are names that are quite used. After that I dont think there is a specific name, for example for groups of 9 or 11. I think there are a number of possible usage. Essentially it is just a group of notes played faster than the usual notation would imply.

Re: Triplets... Quintuplets? Sextuplets? Septuplets? ...
Eric NYC #3051790 12/01/20 08:44 PM
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BruceD, 8ude, Sidokar: Thanks.


Yamaha Avantgrand N3, Bush & Lane upright grand (1920s), Steinway upright grand (1893)

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