# Notation of Triple Metre with 6 Beats

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Kenzy, Jan 20, 2013.

1. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
I'm unsure of what the proper time for a triple metre with six beats would be...

1 2 3 4 5 6

Rather, how would you theoretically properly represent this?

edit: It didn't occur to me I can actually spell it out and it'll be clearer... A triple metre with 6 beats, as in: ONE two THREE four FIVE six

Thanks.

2. ### Groove Master

Apr 22, 2011
Montreal
Disclosures:
Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
It could be 2 things imo:
1) a 4/4 or 2/4 writing in triplets or;
2) a 6/8

It depends of the context and the overall phrase.

4. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
1) The triplets couldn't produce 1 2 3 4 5 6, that would just be like 6/8.
2) It can't be a 6/8? 6/8 is a duple metre. It would be 1 2 3 4 5 6

5. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
I thought about it some more and one way to represent it is 3 bars of 2/4:

ONE two ONE two ONE two

This is correct, right?

6. ### Bainbridge

Oct 28, 2012
Sounds like there is some confusion over terminology. Meters are classified by two parameters: how many beats they have, and how those beats are divided. First, let's look at the beat part.

Duple: 1 2
Triple: 1 2 3
Pentuple: 1 2 3 4 5
Sextuple: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Heptuple: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Octuple: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Nontuple: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

And so on.

Now, the division part. There are two kinds of divisions - simple and compound. Simple divides a beat into two equal parts. I will represent the second division with "&". So, here are the meters we've established with syllables to represent the simple divisions.

Duple: 1 & 2 &
Triple: 1 & 2 & 3 &
Quadruple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
Pentuple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 &
Sextuple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 &
Heptuple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 &
Octuple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &
Nontuple: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 9 &

Compound divisions divide the beat into three equal parts. Here are the same meters with compound divisions:

Duple: 1 & a 2 & a
Triple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a
Quadruple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a
Pentuple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a
Sextuple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a 6 & a
Heptuple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a 6 & a 7 & a
Octuple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a 6 & a 7 & a 8 & a
Nontuple: 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a 5 & a 6 & a 7 & a 8 & a 9 & a

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Simple meters are always called by the number of beats that they contain.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Compound meters, on the other hand, are called by the number of their divisions. In other words, the number of beats multiplied by three. These are the compound versions of the simple meter examples above:

6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27

Some big numbers there. Notice that there is a 6 as well as a 9 in both the simple and compound pool. Remember that simple 6 is 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 &. There are actually six beats there. 6, from our compound meters, is 1 & a 2 & a. Only two beats!

In practice, "6" is understood to indicate a compound meter. So, compound 2. If you repeatedly say "Apples and Oranges", you can get a feel for how this beat pattern grooves.

-----------

So, are you asking about a triple meter (3) with simple beats (1 & 2 & 3 &), or a duple meter (2) with compound beats (1 & a 2 & a)?

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There is another kind of meter, commonly called "odd meter", or more descriptively, "asymmetric meter". Odd meter has nothing to do with the number of beats, and everything to do with the number of divisions. For example, 5 isn't necessarily an odd meter, especially if you count it "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 &". That's simple meter, remember? Watch what happens, though, when we mix simple and compound divisions.

1 & 2 & a

Alternatively,

1 & a 2 &

The two beats are now unequally spaced. Just make sure that the divisions in both beats have the same rhythmic value. Odd meters are named by the number of divisions that they contain, similar to compound meters. So, both of the above examples are "5", but they really have two beats. To distinguish which is which, analysis of asymmetric meters will account for which beat has which division: 2+3 and 3+2 represent the two combinations that make an odd 5.

Here are three permutations of an asymmetric 7:

1 & 2 & 3 & a = 2+2+3
1 & 2 & a 3 & = 2+3+2
1 & a 2 & 3 & = 3+2+2

Three beats, one of them bigger than the other. Let's try a four beat pattern:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & a = 2+2+2+3
1 & 2 & 3 & a 4 & = 2+2+3+2
1 & 2 & a 3 & 4 & = 2+3+2+2
1 & a 2 & 3 & 4 & = 3+2+2+2

We write this one as 9. Notice something? We now have a 9 in our simple meters (9 beats), a 9 in our compound meters (3 beats), and a 9 in our asymmetric meters (4 beats), and there are four permutations of odd 9's. What does this mean to us? First, you can't always trust the numbers. Secondly, it's not a perfect system of notation. Thirdly, if you know what all of those notations imply, the two former items aren't much of a problem. Learn to analyze and prosper.

7. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
Wow, that is a monster of an answer, and I thank you for it.
I broke it into two parts, I stopped reading here to address this and I'll go back for the rest after I finish.

I'm talking about a triple metre (3) with simple beats (ONE two THREE four FIVE six ; or 1 & 2 & 3 &, if you prefer that notation)

8. ### Groove Master

Apr 22, 2011
Montreal
Disclosures:
Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
Sure !

It is a typical 2 against 3 or 3 against 2.

This is the reason I offers 2 ways of writing it!

9. ### Bainbridge

Oct 28, 2012
Yep. You're looking at a simple 3. If you want a time signature, go with 3/32, 3/16, 3/8, 3/4, 3/2, 3/1, whatever you want to use as a beat value.

10. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
Wow. Hmm. Why that didn't occur to me, I'm unsure. It's so obvious now that you say it. I was so fixated on it being something else that I couldn't find the answer right under my nose...

Thanks, mate!

11. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Disclosures:
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

This. One and Two and Three and.

Don't overthink it.

12. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
Yeah, I feel stupid now for not noticing that.

Definitely overthought it.

13. ### oniman7Supporting Member

It could be 2/8 or 2/4 or 3/4. Do you have a recording on hand?

14. ### Kenzy

Dec 12, 2012
San Diego, California
Unfortunately I don't have a recording with me. However, it's okay because my issue's been resolved. I was just stupid

15. ### Groove Master

Apr 22, 2011
Montreal
Disclosures:
Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
Your accents produce the sound of a quarter-notes triplet with 8th notes subdivision. Typical 3 against 2 polyrhythm that is often played in a 4/4 meter or 6/8.

I would suggest as an upper number in your metric 6 instead of 3 because your rhythmic phrase is over 6 notes, not 3.

Hope this will clarify my explanation

16. ### Russell L

Mar 5, 2011
Cayce, SC
No. 2/4 ain't triple. Meter is desribed within one measure. Now, 6/8 is LIKE 2/4 in that it has two beats per measure. But each beat in 6/8 is broken into three parts as opposed to two parts as in 2/4.