A tuplet is a group of notes with an irregular duration to what's permitted by the given time signature.
Figure 1: A crotchet triplet.
Every tuplet has a number written with it which indicates how many irregular units the tuplet contains, as well as how many units of the regular rhythm the duplet will span for:
Figure 2: Our crotchet triplet spans for the duration of two regular crotchets.
The following is a list of tuplets with how many regular units each spans for:
|Tuplet Name||Contains||Spans For||Diagram|
Sometimes a tuplet with an irregular ratio is required and can be written in place of the tuplet number.
Figure 3: A quaver quintuplet which spans for 8 regular quavers.
When interpreting a tuplet with a ratio, the left and right numbers indicate:
- Left number: how many units the tuplet will contain; also gives the tuplet its appropriate name (e.g. duplet, triple, quadruplet, etc.)
- Right number: how many units of the regular rhythm the tuplet will span for
Also see Time Signatures | Tremolos.