# Music theory book

 3 - Rhythm 4 - Syncopation 7 - Intervals 8 - Scales 10 - Chords

## Irregular note groups (tuplets)

### 6.1 Irregular note groups

Irregular note groups are those in which more or fewer of a particular note type are fitted in to the music than would normally be the case.
They can be recognised by the number written above them as well as a curved line or bracket.

 Lesser group (5 quavers in the time of 6) Greater group (7 quavers in the time of 6)

Braille example

Irregular note groups may contain rests, rhythmic dots and their constituent notes can be further subdivided.
In simple time notes divide into 2, 4, 8 etc. In compound time these beat divisions would be irregular.
In compound time notes divide into 3, 6, 12 etc. In simple time these beat divisions would be irregular.
Beat divisions into 5, 7, 9, 11 etc. are irregular in either case.

In order to understand irregular note groups correctly we give below a number of examples of the most commonly found groupings:

### 6.2 The duplet

This is a characteristic group in triple time and compound time. The duplet is a lesser group being 2 notes in the time of 3.

 Simple time Compound time

Braille example

It may help to understand the duplet rhythm if we write it in this way

### 6.3 The triplet

This is a characteristic group in simple time. Usually the three notes of the triplet take the place of two but they can, although less commonly, take the place of four.

Here are some examples of triplets:

Braille example

In order to grasp the rhythm, the triplet may be rewritten as follows:

This is usually 4 notes in the time of 3 but it may be 4 notes in the time of 6:

braille example

In order to grasp the rhythm, the quadruplet may be rewritten as follows:

### 6.5 The quintuplet

In simple time the quintuplet usually occurs as 5 notes in the time of 4 or, more rarely, in the time of 8. In triple or compound time it usually occurs as 5 notes in the time of 3 or 6.

Braille example

### 6.6 The sextuplet

The sextuplet usually occurs as 6 notes in the time of 4 or, more rarely, as 6 notes in the time of 8.
The sextuplet may be accented as three groups of two or two groups of three.

Here are some examples:

Braille example

### 6.7 Irregular note groupings of greater than six notes

We show here examples of irregular note groupings of 7, 8 (in triple or compound time), 9, 10, 11 and 13 notes. Obviously the list could go on but, in practice, groupings of greater than 13 notes are rarely encountered.

Braille example

### 6.8 Nested tuplets

Irregular note groupings may contain further irregular note groupings.

These tuplets within tuplets are described as "nested":

Braille example

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