Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

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Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 19:10

Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by ConnorGBrown »


I've just used Sibelius to write out a septuplet over a dotted quarter (half of the 6:8 bar). To fit it, I used a custom tuplet of 7:6, and then hid the 7:6 (the ratios often being unnecessary) and replaced it with a text character.
Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.34.55 PM.png
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The other option required dotted sixteenths, as the tuplet was taking place over a dotted quarter. Using ordinary sixteenths would of course net me a tuplet taking place over only two eighth notes instead of three.
Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.17.02 PM.png
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Would using the dotted sixteenths be a legitimate method of writing the septuplet, or is that simply a computer-related notation quirk?
I can't imagine ever seeing anyone write this by hand as dotted sixteenths, though the purely mathematic reasoning for it is there.

Has anyone seen this done by proper engravers, or is it simply an issue found within notation software?


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David Ward
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Re: Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by David Ward »

I would certainly regard the first as correct. In Finale (using Speedy Entry) it is very easy to do as I would expect (screenshot). Is this really difficult in Sibelius?
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John Ruggero
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Re: Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by John Ruggero »

I agree with David, the first example is the usual way to do it. But surely Sibelius can't require a workaround to do something so basic.

The second version is not correct since a septuplet of dotted sixteenths replacing six dotted sixteenths is clearly not equal to 6 regular sixteenths. On the other hand, 8 dotted thirty-seconds would equal 6 regular sixteenths in 6/8 meter. So I guess one could do a 7:8 septuplet of dotted thirty-second notes, if one wanted the most esoteric solution. But many prefer that the number of notes in a tuplet always be greater than the number of corresponding real values; so they wouldn't be fond of this solution.
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