Topic: Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?  (Read 13469 times)

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Ryan

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« on: February 15, 2006, 05:11 PM »
I've heard them called "12th notes" on more than a few occasions. Though this seems like liberal use of the Western system of rhythmic notation, the method lives on.

What harm, if any, would it do to regard them this way? What good, if any, would it do?

Rack 'em.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 06:25 PM »
It does you no good because there is no such thing as a 12th note.

There's whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, 32nd, 64th, 128th notes/rests ... and so on.

The type of note describes it's note value notation ... not it's grouping. If you play a grouping of 6 notes, called a sextuplet, it's going to be made up of one of the note values I mentioned above ... typically sixteenth-notes.

If you play 4 groups of triplets in 4/4 time, you are playing eighth-note triplets ... not 12th notes. It would be a lot easier if people would simply learn the theory rather than make up new terms that have no need and don't communicate clearly.

Caprende?

felix

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Re:Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 06:36 PM »
prolly just getting it confused with 12/8 time

I guess you could double sextuplets and call them 12's

But I'd just say they were dbl'd sextuplets and not sound well, how can I put this mildly- stoopid?

now you can play 11's and that would be cool!  But that's almost just as dumb if you ask me.  I actually play 7's quite a bit *well used to and probably should be right now!* but you could play 7's in one measure and 5's in the next- then you could say "I played a 12 note gouping in those two measures"

Semantics.

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Offline Chris

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Re:Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2006, 06:58 PM »
Ryan - four groups of 8th note triplets in 4/4 would indeed give 12 notes spread equally across the bar, but they aren't referred to as 12th notes. I suppose one could loosely refer to them as such, but it would be incorrect since they are actually 8th note triplets :P. It's also important to note that 12 notes spread equally in a bar of 12/8 are still 8th notes.

One thing that I am unsure of is how to name denominations of the quarter note that are uncommon. 5s are ok -  quintuplets, but what about 7s, 9s, 10s and 11s? Presumably 12s are given a name somehow based on 32nd note triplets?

EDIT - Felix, I think that 11s can sound pretty cool when used sparingly.
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Offline Bart Elliott

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 07:01 PM »
Anyone can call it what they want ... playing 12, 11, whatever ... but there is no such thing as 12th notes ... that's the point I was trying to make.

If you are trying to say that you are playing 12 strokes per quarter note, that would twice as fast as a sixteenth-note sextuplet. So just say that you are playing 32nd-note sextuplets ... OR ... 64th-note triplets.

If you stick to the math and use real music theory terms and notation, you'll be a lot better off ... and everyone will have a better chance of knowing what you are talking about.

Offline Chris

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 07:06 PM »
If you stick to the math and use real music theory terms and notation, you'll be a lot better off ... and everyone will have a better chance of knowing what you are talking about.

So how does one refer to 7s, 9s, 10s and 11s? Using Latin stems? ie 7s = septuplets? 9s = noveuplets?
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Offline Bart Elliott

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 07:18 PM »
So how does one refer to 7s, 9s, 10s and 11s? Using Latin stems? ie 7s = septuplets? 9s = noveuplets?


If it's note groupings, not phrasing, yes.
Quintuplets, Septuplets, etc.

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 07:19 PM »
So how does one refer to 7s, 9s, 10s and 11s? Using Latin stems? ie 7s = septuplets? 9s = noveuplets?


You refer to them based on the note value of the notes within the grouping:

8th-note septuplets, 16th-note septuplets, and so on.

Another common notational device in more modern music is to show proportional groupings, for example, you might see a group of seven 16th notes, with this written over the group of notes:

7:4

This indicates you fit seven equally spaced notes within the space that four 16th-notes would usually take.

But Bart's right. The names of the notes are well established, and keep doubling in their incrementation: 8th, 16th, 32nd, 64th. The system works.

Plus, the 12th-note concept only works in 4/4. What if you're playing in 4/4, and suddenly the time signature changes to 3/4. By your logic, you'd then be playing "ninth notes." There's no need for that - they're simply 8th-note triplets, regardless of the time signature.
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mapexdrummer1234

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2006, 09:31 PM »
I doesnt matter how you "count" them, i use triplet. find what works for you, if that works then its all good, but No one else willl be able to get what your saying.**


**No insult intended


Offline Jon E

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2006, 07:13 AM »
Quote
What harm, if any, would it do to regard them this way? What good, if any, would it do?

OK, there are lots things in music that can be "fudged" or have some grey areas.  Rhythmic dictation is not really one of them.


Coming from a "trained" musician's viewpoint, I can only echo Bart and Mr.A's points:  Learn the proper musical terminology and use it appropriately and we will all be on the same page.

It can get very frustrating having to "dumb down" my musical training/knowledge in order to communicate with people who aren't willing to "smart up" themselves musically.

(btw: Ryan, this response really isn't aimed at YOU in particular.  I'm glad you're asking what is right and wrong. PS: Give my regrads to Terrence in Sierra Madre!  ;)

Offline Chris

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2006, 07:50 AM »
You refer to them based on the note value of the notes within the grouping:

8th-note septuplets, 16th-note septuplets, and so on.

I assumed that that would be the case (using established note values) but probably should have made a point of writing it.


Plus, the 12th-note concept only works in 4/4. What if you're playing in 4/4, and suddenly the time signature changes to 3/4. By your logic, you'd then be playing "ninth notes." There's no need for that - they're simply 8th-note triplets, regardless of the time signature.

Ah, but by using that logic one could argue that an 8th note (or, indeed, any established value) would no longer be an 8th note in 3/4.

I think I read somewhere that the established note values (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc) are based on the length of time occupied in a bar of 4/4.

But I agree with the argument that convention is convention for a REASON, and it should be stuck to.
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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 08:03 AM »
A key tenet of notation is that a note is a certain kind of note - regardless of the time signature - based on the appearance of the note.

"hollow" note = whole
"hollow" note with stem = half
solid note with stem = quarter
solid note with stem and one flag = eighth
solid note with stem and two flags = sixteenth

And so on. Thus, an eighth is always an eighth, regardless of time signature, or how many of them are grouped together, as long as the notes are solid, have a stem, and have one flag. When you read music, you look at everything: time signature, type of note, grouping of notes, etc.

But the system is well-established, and the logic is solid. No need to reinvent it, particularly when doing so will DECREASE the clarity of communicating with others who may not share your own personal sense of logic.
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Offline Chris

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2006, 08:10 AM »
A key tenet of notation is that a note is a certain kind of note - regardless of the time signature - based on the appearance of the note.

"hollow" note = whole
"hollow" note with stem = half
solid note with stem = quarter
solid note with stem and one flag = eighth
solid note with stem and two flags = sixteenth

And so on. Thus, an eighth is always an eighth, regardless of time signature, or how many of them are grouped together, as long as the notes are solid, have a stem, and have one flag. When you read music, you look at everything: time signature, type of note, grouping of notes, etc.

But the system is well-established, and the logic is solid. No need to reinvent it, particularly when doing so will DECREASE the clarity of communicating with others who may not share your own personal sense of logic.

I agree utterly with what you just posted, but my previous post was merely pointing out that the whole "12th note in 4/4 becomes 9th note in 3/4" strain of logic could equally be applied to an 8th note - ie move it out of 4/4 and it becomes something other than an 8th note. Or vice versa. One could argue that if the note value was labelled as a 12th note, it would ALWAYS be a 12th note, even in 3/4. However,  I know that there is no such thing as a 12th note!

[edit - although I suppose if there was such a thing as a 12th note, it would have either a different head or some sort of flag to make in distinguishable from the other note values]
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Offline Bart Elliott

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2006, 08:31 AM »
[edit - although I suppose if there was such a thing as a 12th note, it would have either a different head or some sort of flag to make in distinguishable from the other note values]

Exactly. There is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note.  8)

Anyone calling anything a "12th-note" ...
1. Doesn't know what they are really talking about.
2. Are making up terms to try to explain what they don't understand.
3. Don't realize that there are terms already in place to describe what this is.
4. Are foolish to try and defend their stance.

For everyone reading this thread ...
I'm not trying to be harsh, but truthful. Asking questions are great ... as long as you are willing to accept the truth and/or real answer. I'm not interested in debating music theory with anyone. There ARE absolutes in music ... and what we are discussing is one of those absolutes.

Trying to use the term "12th-note" is like trying to change the English alphabet. You can't just create some new letter and start arguing or justifying your point; its foolishness. There are only 26 letters in the English alphabet; period. The same is true with music notation. A note value is established, has a name, and has a particular look (symbol) for it; period.

Arguing the fundamentals of music, the basic building blocks, is just silly and a complete waste of time ... in my opinion.

Offline Dave Heim

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2006, 08:42 AM »
Trying to use the term "12th-note" is like trying to change the English alphabet. You can't just create some new letter and start arguing or justifying your point; its foolishness.

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Offline Louis Russell

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2006, 09:01 AM »
communicating with others who may not share your own personal sense of logic.

I love that phrase!  
No one will believe it's the "Blues" if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it last night!

JamesC

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2006, 11:33 AM »
Interesting point Chris - what you said totally makes sense.  It seems as if the note values are "defined" from 4/4 time signature.

This is analogous to your weight.  When someone asks you how much you weigh, you say, (XXX pounds).  You don't say, (XXX pounds, on the planet earth, at such & such elevation...).  But theoretically, you should give all that info.  A better system would be to not use weight, but to use mass instead.

It's as if all note values should have a little asterisk next to them that says, "As defined in 4/4 time signature".  But since we all know that already, we just accept it.

As an engineer, I deal with this junk all the time.  People mix up weight and mass (they're not the same), people also mix up units, etc.  It can be really frustrating - especially when you have multiple countries and standards involved.  Embarassingly, the US's system is the worst .


I've often wondered what to call these things - we used to call them 9'lets: where you have a bar of 4/4, and you play two sets of quarter note triplets - giving you 6 notes: R L R L R L.  Then, instead of playing singles like that, you play: R l r L r l R l r L r l R l r L r l.

total, there are sort of two sets of 9 notes - hence the term 9-lets (certainly not a standard accepted term).  I don't know how else you would communicate them, other than saying "9-lets".  The proper terminology might be: "The quarter note triplet eigth note triplets" maybe?

I've resorted to what Mr. A said above: put a ratio over the grouping - like 9:4, etc.

This stuff is interesting, because it's half math, and half "look, this is how we do it, so just do it....".  I appreciate both sides of the fence on this one.


Funny thing - these problems really existed in units we use every day.  The meter, for example, has been "defined" as recently as, I believe, 1983.  Before 1983, there was still some ambiguity.

The standard unit of mass in the SI (international units standard) is the kilogram.  For this unit, they have not come up with a mathematical standard.  So instead, there sits in a box somewhere in this world, "one kilogram".  No joke.  The only way to truly define it is to refer to that box!

The second is defined as the half-life of some organism or something crazy like that.  The meter is so many wavelengths of some light through some medium.

In summary, for now, I'll stick with note values as defined in a bar of 4/4, because people will understand what I'm talking about!

Offline Joe

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2006, 12:00 PM »
The second is defined as the half-life of some organism or something crazy like that.  The meter is so many wavelengths of some light through some medium

From Wikipedia (I just had to look, I find this very interesting):

The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom.

[The meter] is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in absolute vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.

Prior to 1960 (when the standard was defined as equal to 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red emission line in the electromagnetic spectrum of the krypton-86 atom in a vacuum), a prototype metal bar in various incarnations was referred to after 1799, before when a few other ways of determining its length were used.

Regarding the topic:  Isn't this why 4/4 is "common time"?  Since it's the standard upon which notes are based?

I'm not a particularly slow player, yet I don't play fast.  I play half-fast.

Offline Gaetano Nicolosi

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2006, 12:04 PM »
Exactly. There is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note ... there is no such thing as a 12th-note.  8)

Anyone calling anything a "12th-note" ...
1. Doesn't know what they are really talking about.
2. Are making up terms to try to explain what they don't understand.
3. Don't realize that there are terms already in place to describe what this is.
4. Are foolish to try and defend their stance.

For everyone reading this thread ...
I'm not trying to be harsh, but truthful. Asking questions are great ... as long as you are willing to accept the truth and/or real answer. I'm not interested in debating music theory with anyone. There ARE absolutes in music ... and what we are discussing is one of those absolutes.

Trying to use the term "12th-note" is like trying to change the English alphabet. You can't just create some new letter and start arguing or justifying your point; its foolishness. There are only 26 letters in the English alphabet; period. The same is true with music notation. A note value is established, has a name, and has a particular look (symbol) for it; period.

Arguing the fundamentals of music, the basic building blocks, is just silly and a complete waste of time ... in my opinion.

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH BART!

There is nothing to argue about. If somebody tells me to play 12th notes, I will say: "are you talking about music?"

We learn the right music therms in music theory, because that's it!




JamesC

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Can Triplets in 4/4 be Regarded as 12th Notes?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2006, 12:25 PM »
With all due respect, part of progress is questioning stuff.

A friend of mine is a language buff.  He gets totally frustrated how new words make it into the dictionary every year that he doesn't consider (legitimate).  But he laughs at himself for getting frustrated because this is how language has always been.  It's how it evolves.

Maybe there's no such thing as a 12-let, but by this same reasoning, I should never be allowed to use the word "sextuplet", and should only say, "16th note triplets".

Everyone says sextuplet.  They also say, "7's, 9's", etc.  If that improves the communication, it just does.  The 12-let is stretching things further, because that number is so big that it's hard to digest.  Probably easier to say "two sixes" or something.

It's just like using the word "paradiddle".  It's a nonsensical word that describes a sticking.  It should probably have no place in music theory, right?  But we use it because it works.

Some people use 6's, 5's, etc. just like we say flam drags, swisses, etc.  It's "street language" for something we all understand.  Although in some cases the use of these words could make things more confusing, it could also aid in communication.

And use of these things doesn't necessarily mean you don't understand.

I know I should say, "Hello fine sir, how is your day going".  This doesn't mean I can't say, "Duuuuuude - what is up????"

They're both valid in my opinion.

If nobody questioned this stuff, an inch would still be 1 twelfth of some king's foot or something.


On a similar note - is a "Power Chord" a "real" thing?  I bet 40 years ago it was not, and you'd be called foolish/improper/unable to understand, etc.  for using such a word.  Now it's part of standard electric guitar playing.


In the long run, communicating with other musicians seems to be a mixture of all of the above - "just doing it", theory, math, etc..  Just like if I'm wearing a suit and tie at a function with my grandmother, I'll use different language than when I'm hanging out with friends my age.

 

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