Numeral 3 over Quarter Note (Example)

• Jul 28, 2018 - 04:21

Hi everyone,

I am transcribing part of a score. Attached is a musical example where a numeral is placed over a note. Two things:

(1) How is this counted, since there is another quarter note following it? Is it played as a triplet and, if so, how is it played in the time signature (which is indicated as 4/4)?

(2) How can this be formatted to place a numeral and the dynamic over the quarter note but also allow for the following quarter note as well?

Please forgive my ignorance. Thanks.


Attachment Size
musical example.JPG 34.86 KB


The three quarter notes are a triplet based upon a half note. The notation is not normal. It is lacking a bracket to show the duration of the triplet without beams. If you type

6 ctrl+3 e d d down-arrow

you will get what you see in the second half of the measure with the normal bracket above it. You will need to select the half note at the beginning of the measure then press + to connect the tie. MuseScore does not allow you to start a tie, create a tuplet then connect the tie as will become your preferred method once you are comfortable with transcriptions.

You might have figured out from my explanation, but to answer your final question, it is counted 1 - 3 - lah - lee (lah and lee are twice as slow as 8th note triplets).

P.S. there is nothing wrong with ignorance, especially if you are making an effort to overcome it.

In reply to by mike320

Okay, thanks. That was very helpful. What I did was select the half note in the note input and pressed control + 3 to get a triplet of quarter rests then substituted the notes. Then I added the other elements. I assume the bracket in the very old original was left out due to lack of space or perhaps just convention. Attached is the formatted example just in case I missed something.

Attachment Size
Scored Example.JPG 13.75 KB

In reply to by notescribe

Through history there have been publisher who have omitted brackets when it is not advisable as in this case. In my opinion it is not a good decision. Normally, when the bracket is missing there is also no number. I would only consider it ok if there are several consecutive measures of triplets or the same pattern, then it would be acceptable to stop using brackets after at least one or two with the brackets. Most of the orchestral scores I've seen are more than a hundred years old, so I'm not sure what's common for the last fifty or so years.

For future reference, if you see an unusual number of beats in a measure there are three common reasons I've seen for this.

  1. Missing tuplet brackets and numbers
  2. Dots missing from or added to notes in error
  3. Flags missing from notes of less than a 1/4 note.

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