• Jun 9, 2021 - 20:39

This post has nothing to do with Musescore so please moderators remove it if you wish - I won't be offended.

I am currently writing a score for a Grade 4 - 6 level ensemble which is syncopated throughout along the lines shown.

Would you notate it as in the the first example or the second?

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In reply to by Peter B

Not anyone who has any experience at all reading music. Rhythms are mostly understood by pattern recognition. There are only eight possible ways to fill two beats with eighth note and longer values, and each of those eighth ways has a single common accepted of rotating it. We know how recognize patterns like eighth quarter eighth or dotted quarter eighth because we see them over and over and over - these are two of the eight possible patterns. Writing any of these in non-standard ways means people have to think/count instead of simply recognize on sight. Perhaps worse, the use of the ties creates the illusion that the pattern is something other than it is, since ties mid-measure normally only go into beat 3 for these types of rhythms and hence fall on the "big beat" if you're tapping on 1 & 3 as is pretty common and recommended by many. Writing the rhythm with random ties confuses this otherwise very effective method of counting.

In reply to by Peter B

FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily trust their responses to be accurate in terms of which actually leads to fewer errors. People might think one is easier but then actually turn out to mess it up more consistently. This happens all the time, in fact, as people writing music often imagine that breaking the rule about showing beat 3 is going to be easier to read in some particular case and swear it is for them, but then you give them two versions of a rhythm to actually read, and they get the correctly-written one right the first time and stumble over the other. Happens with 100% certainly any time I've put this to test, which I do regularly, because I teach this stuff for a living :-)

In short, the rules of notation exist for good reasons, breaking them causes music to look unfamiliar and be misread.

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