Switching 4/4 to 5/4

• Aug 2, 2022 - 23:10

Referring to the attached file: measure 1 and 2 are good, then when I get measure 3, there are 5 beats. I switch to 5/4. The playback is too slow and I want the bass note to sustain through the 2 notes following it.

What do you know?

Attachment Size
4-4--5-4.mscz 11.28 KB


In your example score, measures 3 and 4 are empty, so it's hard to comment.

But the tempo remains as 70 bpm throughout, so all the 5/4 measures will have a duration longer than the preceding 4/4 measures. A measure with 5 beats lasts longer than a measure with 4 beats. Is that what you mean by "playback is too slow"?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

What Jojo is suggesting is this, to fit 5 quarter notes into a 4/4 measure:
Nested tuplets.png

"... and I want the bass note to sustain through the 2 notes following it."
It's not quite clear: do you mean sustain through the duration of the three 1/8th triplet notes? Or the duration of two of the quintuplets? Either way, you can do that by notating the bass notes in Voice 2:
Voice 2 for notes in a different rhythm.png

See the Handbook section about Voices:

Just a suggestion, but seeing as Jojo's solution gives what is effectively a 15-let, which is very close to the length of the 16th notes in the previous bars, maybe what you want is actually a time signature of 15/16 (and no tuplets) so the speed doesn't change at all?

In reply to by bobjp

This whole tuplet debate is an attempt to solve the OP's original problem:
"when I get measure 3 [actually m.5], there are 5 beats. I switch to 5/4. The playback is too slow"

These are the two suggestions so far to fit five beats into a 4/4 time signature (so the measure duration remains constant during playback):
Tuplet suggestions.png

What would your preferred solution be?

In reply to by allelopath

Sorry. but the reason I have no solution is because it is totally unclear what you are doing. Is this your own composition? Are you transcribing something? What is the end goal of measure 5? Is it a change of feel? Obviously triplets are going to playback too slow. Do you want to keep 5/4? Based on the little information you have given us, I can only suggest a rather poor idea in my measure 4. A slight change of feel. but not tempo.

Attachment Size
4-4--5-4_2.mscz 11.19 KB

You could increase the tempo for the 5/4 sections by multiplying by 5/4. So 70 bpm would become 70 * 5/4 = 87.5 bpm. This keeps the notation easy to read.

In reply to by yonah_ag

The advantage of the tuplet notation is that the end goal is perfectly clear. You understand right from the beginning that the measure takes the same length as always, but you're going to cram five notes into it. So you just keep tapping your foot as always, play your five notes the best you can, and even if you're off by a little bit in some detail, you'll hit the downbeat of the next measure at exactly the eight time, guaranteed. With the tempo change version, you're likely to play all notes a little off, and you're virtually guaranteed to then be off in terms of when you play the next downbeat

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