triplet notes once and for all

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Is this fellow correct in his explaination on going from 16th notes up to triplets? I think he's playing 16th note triplets and calling them 32nd note triplets.

https://youtu.be/h_7ORn5YhK0?t=1m19s
You are correct. He is playing 16th note triplets and calling them 32 note triplets.

There are 6 sixteenth note triplets per beat in 4/4. The title is correct but in the vid he refers to them as 32nd note triplets which would actually be 12 notes per beat.

It's also weird where he says that the triplets are only a little bit faster than the 16th. The triplets are exactly 50% faster.
 

double_G

Silver Member
yeah at the best example at the end, he is playing a 8th note hi-hat beat w/ a mix of 8ths, 16ths and 16th-note triplets in the feet.

the video label is right "Double Kick Using 16nd Note Triplets!" but i think he mixed things up explaining something else in the video going from 16th to 32nds. definitely 16th-note triplets here.

here is the groove transcription again:
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
A triplet (or hemeola in Greek!) is where 3 notes are superimposed where two normally go (that's why a bracket is required when written).

2 half notes per bar = 3 half note triplets per bar
2 quarter notes = 3 quarter note triplets (6 per bar/3 per half note)
2 eighth notes = 3 eighth note triplets (12 notes per bar/3 per quarter note)
2 16th notes = 3 sixteenth note triplets (24 notes per bar/6 per quarter note)
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
2 half notes per bar = 3 half note triplets per bar
2 quarter notes = 3 quarter note triplets (6 per bar/3 per half note)
2 eighth notes = 3 eighth note triplets (12 notes per bar/3 per quarter note)
2 16th notes = 3 sixteenth note triplets (24 notes per bar/6 per quarter note)
I understand what you mean, but a triplet is three notes, so I would say :

2 half notes per bar = 1 half note triplet per bar
2 quarter notes = 1 quarter note triplet (2 per bar/1 per half note)
2 eighth notes = 1 eighth note triplet (12 notes per bar/3 per quarter note)
2 16th notes = 1 sixteenth note triplet (24 notes per bar/6 per quarter note)
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
I understand what you mean, but a triplet is three notes, so I would say :

2 half notes per bar = 1 half note triplet per bar
2 quarter notes = 1 quarter note triplet (2 per bar/1 per half note)
2 eighth notes = 1 eighth note triplet (12 notes per bar/3 per quarter note)
2 16th notes = 1 sixteenth note triplet (24 notes per bar/6 per quarter note)
I'm, referring to the number of actual notes, not the number of sets of three per bar. Those notes are defined by their value. As in: 2 8th notes = 3 8th note triplets. That's 2 notes = 3 notes, not 2 notes = 3 sets of three notes.
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
That's 2 notes = 3 notes, not 2 notes = 3 sets of three notes.
Yes I know what you mean Bill, but I think it's probably confusing for people who don't understand what a triplet is.

It's not confusing for me because I perfectly know what it is.

A triplet is a set of three notes, so 3 quarter note triplets are nine notes and not three.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
A triplet is three notes, so there are two sixteenth note triplets per beat in 4/4.

These two triplets can be joined, and then the six notes are called a sextuplet.
I don't know that what you are saying is correct.

How would you describe just one "note" of an eighth-note triplet, then?

I guess I understand where you're coming from, but I've always used and been taught that there are three eighth-note triplets per beat, six 16th-note triplets per beat, etc.

So the question to me is - is "triplet" just modifying a note value, or is it an actual grouping? As I was taught, it is simply a modifier, like a dot.

And to the OP - yes, as everyone already said, they are 16th-note triplets. lol
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
I've always used and been taught that there are three eighth-note triplets per beat, six 16th-note triplets per beat, etc.

So the question to me is - is "triplet" just modifying a note value, or is it an actual grouping? As I was taught, it is simply a modifier, like a dot.
Like they say in plain English on the first line of this Wikipedia page:
"A triplet is a set of three items".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triplet
Then in music a triplet is a set of three notes in the space of two.

So if a triplet is a set of three notes, each one of these notes cannot be called a triplet. Right?

How would you describe just one "note" of an eighth-note triplet, then?
English is not my first language, but I would call this maybe "an eighth note from a triplet", or "a triplet(ed) eighth note".
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Like they say in plain English on the first line of this Wikipedia page:
"A triplet is a set of three items".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triplet
Then in music a triplet is a set of three notes in the space of two.

So if a triplet is a set of three notes, each one of these notes cannot be called a triplet. Right?


English is not my first language, but I would call this maybe "an eighth note from a triplet", or "a triplet(ed) eighth note".
Another quirk of English, perhaps, but if a child is born as a "set of three," (in other words, the mother gave birth to triplets) each child can be called a triplet, and the three children together are a set of triplets. :)

I'm not sure we can assume that the folks who came up with the musical terminology consulted either a dictionary or wikipedia when they decided what to call these notes, so I wouldn't impose a strict definition based on that.

I suppose, as long as we understand one another, it's all good.
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Another quirk of English, perhaps, but if a child is born as a "set of three," (in other words, the mother gave birth to triplets) each child is a triplet. :)
You're right, on the same wikipedia page they say: "Each of the children born in a three-child multiple birth".
But they also say "In music, a triplet is a Tuplet of three successive notes of equal duration"

In French it is two different terms: a mother can give birth to "triplés", and a musical triplet is a "triolet".

Anyway... I will keep saying that a triplet is a set of three notes, which seems to be the most correct to me, and according to Wikipedia too ;-)
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Like they say in plain English on the first line of this Wikipedia page:
"A triplet is a set of three items".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triplet
Then in music a triplet is a set of three notes in the space of two.

So if a triplet is a set of three notes, each one of these notes cannot be called a triplet. Right?


English is not my first language, but I would call this maybe "an eighth note from a triplet", or "a triplet(ed) eighth note".
I agree, as a single note it's just an 8th note.

"Triplet" gives the notes context.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
A triplet is three notes, so there are two sixteenth note triplets per beat in 4/4.
Sorry, but that is incorrect. It's a common mistake actually. You do not assign a note value to a triplet based on the count each triplet (group of three notes) would/does start on, but instead relative to where the 3 notes replace the 2.

For example, if you have 12 notes evenly spaced in a bar of 4/4 you have 4 triplets. But, those are 8th note triplets (3:2-->6:4-->12:8), not quarter note triplets just because each triplet begins on a quarter note.

And you can have a single "triplet" note--the label refers to the note value (length/duration) and placement rhythmically. Otherwise we would have no way to describe the note's value & placement and would be stuck writing in literal triplets (or groups of three notes).
 

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
Sorry, but that is incorrect. It's a common mistake actually. You do not assign a note value to a triplet based on the count each triplet (group of three notes) would/does start on, but instead relative to where the 3 notes replace the 2
Sorry Bill, but there was nothing incorrect in what I described. Then I admit that I don't truly get what you just meant.


For example, if you have 12 notes evenly spaced in a bar of 4/4 you have 4 triplets. But, those are 8th note triplets (3:2-->6:4-->12:8), not quarter note triplets just because each triplet begins on a quarter note
Yes you're right, that's four eighth note triplets in a bar of 4/4, and nobody said that they would be quarter note triplets.


And you can have a single "triplet" note--the label refers to the note value (length/duration) and placement rhythmically. Otherwise we would have no way to describe the note's value & placement and would be stuck writing in literal triplets (or groups of three notes).
OK, I admit I've never seen a single triplet note, and I would tend to say it's impossible. Can you show us one in context?
If you imply a triplet made from one note and two rests, there's still three elements.
 

MattRitter

Senior Member
I have watched this thread from a distance for a few days now, and it actually seems that everyone more or less agrees on the basic concept.

From what I can tell, everyone agrees that the word "triplet" is used when referring to 3 evenly spaced notes in the time frame where there would normally be only 2 evenly spaced notes. I also think everyone agrees that triplet naming is based on the value of the 2 notes being replaced. So, for example...the phrase "sixteenth note triplet" would be used in regard to 3 notes replacing 2 sixteenths.

So...if everyone agrees on this...then what is the source of the confusion and the arguing? It seems to me that one single MISSING word is the root of all the confusion and arguing. That single word is "partial"...and I believe that its absence has caused the trouble in this thread.

During all my years of studying music, I have always heard the 3 notes together as a set called a "triplet." I have always heard each of the 3 individual notes making up the triplet called a "triplet partial."

For example, if we fill a measure of 4/4 with 12 evenly spaced notes and nothing else, we could say this measure contains 4 "triplets" (sets of 3 notes) and 12 "triplet partials" (the individual notes). To be even more specific, we could say the measure contains 4 "eighth note triplets" and 12 "eighth note triplet partials." This is the terminology that I have always heard, and I find it very clear and easy to understand.

I guess using the word "note" could probably work as well. In our above example, we could say there are 4 "triplets" and 12 individual triplet "notes." I don't think anyone would get confused about that, so in my opinion, that terminology would be alright as well. However, like I said, the word I've always heard used is "partial." Using it in this thread would probably clear up a lot of the misunderstandings.
 
Last edited:

Alain Rieder

Silver Member
The word I've always heard used is "partial
I can agree with this.
I've heard it before, but I didn't think of it, maybe because it doesn't work in my first language.
In French I would still say "une croche de triolet", which means "an eighth-note from a triplet", and sounds fine in that language.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I have watched this thread from a distance for a few days now, and it actually seems that everyone more or less agrees on the basic concept.

From what I can tell, everyone agrees that the word "triplet" is used when referring to 3 evenly spaced notes in the time frame where there would normally be only 2 evenly spaced notes. I also think everyone agrees that triplet naming is based on the value of the 2 notes being replaced. So, for example...the phrase "sixteenth note triplet" would be used in regard to 3 notes replacing 2 sixteenths.

So...if everyone agrees on this...then what is the source of the confusion and the arguing? It seems to me that one single MISSING word is the root of all the confusion and arguing. That single word is "partial"...and I believe that its absence has caused the trouble in this thread.

During all my years of studying music, I have always heard the 3 notes together as a set called a "triplet." I have always heard each of the 3 individual notes making up the triplet called a "triplet partial."

For example, if we fill a measure of 4/4 with 12 evenly spaced notes and nothing else, we could say this measure contains 4 "triplets" (sets of 3 notes) and 12 "triplet partials" (the individual notes). To be even more specific, we could say the measure contains 4 "eighth note triplets" and 12 "eighth note triplet partials." This is the terminology that I have always heard, and I find it very clear and easy to understand.

I guess using the word "note" could probably work as well. In our above example, we could say there are 4 "triplets" and 12 individual triplet "notes." I don't think anyone would get confused about that, so in my opinion, that terminology would be alright as well. However, like I said, the word I've always heard used is "partial." Using it in this thread would probably clear up a lot of the misunderstandings.
That's good information. I was taught, as in your last paragraph, that each one is a triplet "note." I hadn't heard "partial," before, but it does make sense and I would understand someone expressing themselves either way.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I have watched this thread from a distance for a few days now, and it actually seems that everyone more or less agrees on the basic concept.

From what I can tell, everyone agrees that the word "triplet" is used when referring to 3 evenly spaced notes in the time frame where there would normally be only 2 evenly spaced notes. I also think everyone agrees that triplet naming is based on the value of the 2 notes being replaced. So, for example...the phrase "sixteenth note triplet" would be used in regard to 3 notes replacing 2 sixteenths.

So...if everyone agrees on this...then what is the source of the confusion and the arguing? It seems to me that one single MISSING word is the root of all the confusion and arguing. That single word is "partial"...and I believe that its absence has caused the trouble in this thread.

During all my years of studying music, I have always heard the 3 notes together as a set called a "triplet." I have always heard each of the 3 individual notes making up the triplet called a "triplet partial."

For example, if we fill a measure of 4/4 with 12 evenly spaced notes and nothing else, we could say this measure contains 4 "triplets" (sets of 3 notes) and 12 "triplet partials" (the individual notes). To be even more specific, we could say the measure contains 4 "eighth note triplets" and 12 "eighth note triplet partials." This is the terminology that I have always heard, and I find it very clear and easy to understand.

I guess using the word "note" could probably work as well. In our above example, we could say there are 4 "triplets" and 12 individual triplet "notes." I don't think anyone would get confused about that, so in my opinion, that terminology would be alright as well. However, like I said, the word I've always heard used is "partial." Using it in this thread would probably clear up a lot of the misunderstandings.

I've never heard the term "partial" but it makes sense. The term that I am familiar with is "subdivision".

Earlier in the thread, I could have more semantically correct if I had stated that one beat of 16th note triplets in 4/4 has 6 subdivisions or it is subdivided into 6 partials.

But really? Most people just say there are 6 triplet notes in a sixteenth note triplet and everyone understands that they are talking about the subdivisions.

Just like most musicians say "loud" or "soft" instead of "forte" and "piano"...
 
Top