Convention for printing "3" with triplets

• Jan 31, 2019 - 17:24

I am editing a piece of Baroque keyboard music that consists of variations, each eight bars long. Four of the variations are entirely in triplets. In such situations I think one doesn't keep printing the "3" since, after playing a measure or two, the performer will be in no doubt that triplet motion is continuing. Is there a convention about how many "3"s to print -- maybe the first bar in each hand? First two bars? I don't think I need to put any "3"s over the next three variations, since the triplets just keep going, but let me know if that's not right.


The convention I've seen is that if there is no break in the triplets, the first bar (or the frst two beats in 4/4) is sufficient to show that triplets are to continue. There is no need to repeat the 3 as long as the triplets continue. If there is a break, sometimes I see courtesy 3's sometimes I don't. If it's a long break (define this as you like), then you need to put in courtesy 3's again.

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