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Thread: Need help with punctuated notes and triplets combined.

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    Question Need help with punctuated notes and triplets combined.

    Hi there. I am learning Chopin's fourth ballade. I have a question about the notation, as I don't have a piano teacher at the moment. I have come to a part where I have a dotted sixtheens note and a 32note in the left hand, and a triplet in the right. This pattern repeats itself many times, so it'd be nice to do it properly, and also learn more notation theory. Should the 32note in the left hand and last note of the right hand's triplet be played on top of each other, or should the 32note come slightly later? Like, right before the next bar? I uploaded a picture, it's the first notes of the bare 193.

    11008884_451328418351320_151803306_n.jpg

    This part is insanely fast, so I don't think it would sound that different. But as I said, theoretically and interpretively I want to do it as perfect as possible.

    I thank in advance for an answer to my first world problem.

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    Senior Member MoonlightSonata's Avatar
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    The last triplet comes first.
    ≥12

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    The dot adds another 50% of the sixteenth note (so a 32nd) in duration, a 32nd note is another half a 16th, therefore theoretically that is the duration of two 16th notes in the left hand. The dotted 16th and 32nd note should have a time value of 2/3's of the three 16th notes in the right hand - so I'm confused why you two seem to be suggesting the 32nd note comes after the 3 sixteenth notes -shouldn't it come right before? I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I find the example confusing myself. Playing it right after as you're suggesting would make more musical sense, and allow the next triplets to line up with each other. Its just that the note values don't seem to add up there.

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    Senior Member MoonlightSonata's Avatar
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    The beat is divided into three parts in the right hand and four in the left. Therefore, the third triplet comes two-thirds of the way through and the demisemiquaver three-quarters.
    ≥12

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlightSonata View Post
    The beat is divided into three parts in the right hand and four in the left. Therefore, the third triplet comes two-thirds of the way through and the demisemiquaver three-quarters.
    What you're saying makes some sense, mostly just in terms of how the music is notated - intuitively it feels correct. Usually when I've seen triplets meant to be played as 1 beat I see little "3's" over the triplet.

    It is just strange to me in this case that in the right hand - three 16th notes = 1 beat, and in the left hand - four 32nd notes = 1 beat. Maybe its a common thing in piano works, I've played more guitar.

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    Senior Member MoonlightSonata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    What you're saying makes some sense, mostly just in terms of how the music is notated - intuitively it feels correct. Usually when I've seen triplets meant to be played as 1 beat I see little "3's" over the triplet.

    It is just strange to me in this case that in the right hand - three 16th notes = 1 beat, and in the left hand - four 32nd notes = 1 beat. Maybe its a common thing in piano works, I've played more guitar.
    In works where there are a lot of consecutive triplets (such as the second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique sonata, the composer often stops writing the '3', the triplets being implied.
    ≥12

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    The 32nd is to be played immediately after the third note of the RH triplet. In slow motion it should be easy to execute both hands. I'd recommend practicing the RH triplet alone in slow motion and stopping on the first note of the second triplet. Then play the LH minus the 32nd for the same duration (in other words have the LH stop on the first note of its first triplet but skip playing the 32nd). Finally with both hands playing what was just described, add in the 32nd right after the RH plays the 3rd note of the triplet. But you're right; when played fast it will be hard to be precise.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    I agree with Vasks.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    I too agree with Vasks.

    But the more general issue is worth addressing: If Chopin wanted the 32nd right on top of the last note of the triplet, he could have written it as an eighth and a sixteenth under a triplet bracket. The fact that he did not suggests he definitely wanted something else.

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    What's the time signature? We can't even see a full measure. Poor example shown, not enough information. I guess I'll go look at the score somewhere.

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    What's the time signature? We can't even see a full measure. Poor example shown, not enough information. I guess I'll go look at the score somewhere.

    Later: Ok, it's in 6/8, and those are triplet figures, not regular 16th notes. normally, in 6/8, twelve 16th notes fit a measure. With 16th-note triplets, we are putting 3 sixteenths for every 2, and that adds up to 18. That's pretty weird, because the 'normal' 16ths are already in a triple (3-based) beat. So we have to look at every two 16th notes, instead of groups of three. I think I'd have to listen to a recording before I could truly "grok" this.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Feb-26-2015 at 19:12.

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