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Triplets and Duplets - Dingle Music | Music Theory Course Guides

Triplets and Duplets

My husband, who is a non-musician, was looking at the “triplets and duplets” section in my Grade 5 theory book the other day.

He observed that to his mind the standard notation is backwards – that a group of three quavers to be played in the time of two – a triplet – should have an italic 2 over the group of notes and that a group of two quavers to be played in the time of three – a duplet – should have an italic 3 over the group of notes.

In other words, that the number should show the actual value of the group of notes in that time signature.

I have always taken the conventional notation for granted, but I think he’s got a point! We can see that there are three notes in the triplet – what we need to know is what they are worth – 2 of the same! Or, in the case of some Chopin or similar, 7 or more are worth 2 of the same…

Now I realise that the convention is not likely to change – but what do others out there think?

I’d be really interested to know.


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