Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
Post Reply
ConnorGBrown
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 19:10

Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by ConnorGBrown »

Hello,

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
Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.34.55 PM.png (27.32 KiB) Viewed 275 times
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
Screen Shot 2021-04-30 at 10.17.02 PM.png (81.94 KiB) Viewed 276 times
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?

Thanks!

User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 362
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

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?
Attachments
Screenshot 2021-05-01 at 13.26.51.png
Screenshot 2021-05-01 at 13.26.51.png (91.51 KiB) Viewed 248 times
Finale 25.5 & F 26.2.2
Mac OS 10.13.6 & 10.14.6
http://www.composers-uk.com/davidward/news.htm

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1770
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

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.
Example.jpeg
Example.jpeg (38.64 KiB) Viewed 247 times
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

ConnorGBrown
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Feb 2021, 19:10

Re: Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by ConnorGBrown »

Right, John. The sixteenths / thirty-seconds issue is a good point.

The reason for the oddness in Sibelius is that it uses a very handy quick entry tool for tuplets that—in this case—had a wonky result. If you write a note (e.g. quarter note), then press command-3, it will create a quarter note triplet (which takes up a half note of space). If I placed a sixteenth and pressed command-6, the resultant sextuplet would occur over a single quarter note. For the septuplet, I believe it does the same thing and places the seven notes over a single quarter note, which in the above case is unwanted because the bar is 6:8 not 4:4. Since Sibelius assumes you're placing the tuplet over a single quarter note and not a dotted quarter (the half beat of 6:8), it comes out leaving that unwanted extra eighth rest. If you make dotted sixteenths though, the tuplet becomes "dotted" essentially, and so the quarter-note that it took up before now becomes a dotted quarter (the bottom picture in my first post).

Anyway, that version is clearly funky. I hadn't thought much further into it; it's definitely a computer-related issue and not something a real engraver would do.

Though I'd still be interested in seeing if anyone ever writes dotted tuplets. I'm not sure I've seen on the in the wild, but composers can be crazy in the most tedious of ways.

Thanks!

RMK
Posts: 90
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 12:12

Re: Legitmacy of Dotted Tuplets

Post by RMK »

ConnorGBrown wrote:
09 May 2021, 13:57

Though I'd still be interested in seeing if anyone ever writes dotted tuplets. I'm not sure I've seen on the in the wild, but composers can be crazy in the most tedious of ways.

Thanks!
Elliott Carter

Post Reply