# Possible to match triplets to Swing Ratio %?

• Jul 6, 2021 - 06:25

Possible to match triplet timing to Swing %?.mscz <--- Note this file was removed.

Update 2022-02-06: Here's an updated example score and an attempt to refocus the discussion and restate the request.

Update 2022-02-07:

a) Request posted to the Issue Tracker
#329189: Needing an option to align triplet playback to Swing Ratio percentage

scorster

https://musescore.com/user/35880724/scores/7532414

We want to write two eighth notes that are exactly equal to each other and want them to be played in an unequal way (with swing) in a common accepted way. So we are talking about an almost simplified/short engraving style. And we want it to match (in its normal form) a different set of durations.

And yes, there is such a problem, but the solution is not easy. It looks like this: With a monospaced font and a variable-width font, it's like typing the same words under each other and asking them to match the letters of the two exactly.

I hope there is a solution.

Note:
Jazz-Swing is closer to quintuplet. The first eighth-note is played like the first-3 of the quintuplet, and the next eighth-note is played like the last-2. that's why 60/40 is used.
// Or it can be written in groups of five in 20/8 rhythm without using tuplets (which is more descriptive in appearance from an educational point of view but makes writing and reading more difficult).

The real swing should be somewhere around 62.5% / 37.5% (in average). The ratio is 1:1.6 = 0.625 // which is very close to quintuplet, although not exactly. And this rate can go up or down depending on the tempo (and/or the player's current feeling).

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Ziya Mete Demircan wrote > ... yes, there is such a problem ... It looks like this: With a monospaced font and a variable-width font, it's like typing the same words under each other and asking them to match the letters of the two exactly.

I hope there is a solution.

I don't think the problem is so intractable.

Musescore interprets a specified swing % onto notes written as straight eighths. Logically then Musescore should be able to interpret the swing % onto the notes of a triplet too:

• the first note needs no change

• the third note would get the same positioning as the the second note of a pair of swung eighths—by default that note starts 61% of the way into the parent quarter. So there's nothing new under the sun here.

• the only issue is the second note. I could image it sounding half way between the first and third note of the triplet. Far better, we'd have a triplet "mid-note positioning percent":

• 50% for half way
• 61% for a subswing
• I can see user dialing in a placement of their liking and saving it as a style.

Makes sense?

scorster

In the real world scores that use swing, triplets do happen also, and they are invariably meant to be played as written, no swing. I'm not aware of any published music that asks musicians to interpret triplets differently. But if it's some experimental notation you are devising, you should be able to achieve whatever effect you want via the piano roll or the articulation plugins etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc wrote > ... if it's some experimental notation you are devising ...

I'm not devising or looking for any kind of experimental notation. I'm simply requesting a playback realization/interpretation that aligns literal triplets to the score's swing percentage. If played without that alignment the third note of a triplet will be slightly out of sync with steadily swung rhythm and percussion (as demonstrated in the originally attached score.)

Marc wrote > In the real world scores that use swing, triplets do happen also, and they are invariably meant to be played as written, no swing.

I can see playing triplets sicut scriptum particularly when there's no swing in the accompaniment (i.e. when no swing grid exists to conform to, in other words, when the accompaniment is "swing neutral" and the swing is fully carried by the soloist.) Or when played for effect, like playing straight sixteenths over swung eighths.

I hold no opinion on what is "Invariably meant to be played." But I can definitely say, a noticeable rift will be audible in the rhythm when—for an extended period—literal triplets play along with 60% swung eighths. This rift is clearly evident in the submitted score, as is somewhat like the dis-synchronization heard when one person plays straight eighths while another plays swung eights.

scorster

When I say it seems you might be trying to devise an experimental notation, I mean, what you are describing is as far as I have ever seen, just not done. No human musician I know would interpret the triplet as anything but a triplet, and I'm not aware of any special notation you could add to the score to try to convince them to do make the attempt..

You're right that in real life, triplets played against swung eighths don't align perfectly. That's normal. Sometimes human musicians may subjective decide to skew the eighths to be more triplety so they do align. That's also pretty normal - pretty much standard when playing shuffles, which do indeed call for a more triplety ratio throughout. But I've never once in decades of extensive professional experience encountered anyone attempting to skew the playing of triplets to match swung eighths. That's why I say you seem to be maybe inventing your own notation here - it just isn't something that exists currently. But you can get that effect using the tools I mentioned - MuseScore is flexible enough to allow for this sort of thing,. as well as all sorts of other things that don't normally happen in real life but someone might decide to try.

cite: Makes sense?

I didn't say pointless, unreasonable, or illogical; “I hope there is a solution,” I said. (1)
I know a few things didn't work, including changing the x, y positions or adjusting the leading space.

Because we are trying to equate a normally written group of notes (triplets) with a shortcut playing style (seemingly two eighths, but needs to be played with swing). I think this is difficult to do. <= I guess I didn't make this point clear.

The current logical solution is to write them both as triplets where they overlap. // But that's not what you're asking. For this reason, I didn't suggest this solution in my previous post. Instead, I tried to explain the ratio of swing (~ quintuplet) to triplet .

(1) And I'm sorry if the word "hope" here means something else as idiomatic and usage.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Ziya wrote > I didn't say pointless, unreasonable, or illogical; “I hope there is a solution,” I said. (1)
I know a few things didn't work, including changing the x, y positions or adjusting the leading space.

You've commented on x, y and spacing, so it seems perhaps you thought I was asking to affect the notation. But my inquiry (request, suggestion, comment) was only about affecting playback.

We're not in mainstream territory here so it's entirely understandable if you thought I was requesting an alteration to the notation. That said—in my reply to jm6stringer—I indeed illustrated a notational concept that's a secondary, more distant goal. And it's something that I'd prefer to discuss in a separate thread.

scorster

Hey jm,

Thanks for the interest and effort. I see what you did. Unfortunately, for playback purposes, that compounds the schism by sounding some of the swung eighths on the true triplet grid. I'm looking for the opposite playback effect, to align the third triplet note to the second swung eighth. The question, as mentioned previously, is: Where to align the start time of the triplet's middle note?

That said, your result looks pleasing notationally, as it expresses an appropriate vertical alignment between the third note of the triplet and the second note of a swung pair of eighths. Though I'd prefer a discussion of this type of notational style in a separate thread, I'll mention that it could better communicate its rhythm if notes were aligned visually like this:

We see that for the final beat of the triplet to align with the second eighth of the swing, the final beat of the triplet would have to be played in 40% part of 60/40. In this, it will give 30, 30 to the first two notes of the triplet and 40 to the last note. So in this case it is not a true triplet but a quintuplet. I have shown in the picture, I hope it helps:

While working on a score with 60% swing today I thought back on this thread. The playback of triplets today's score fail to conform to the score's swing percentage ... and MuseScore offers no easy way to invoke such an result.

I'm again requesting a remedy for those of us who want triplet playback aligned to a score's swing percentage.

I'd prefer that this discussion not veer into opinions about notational norms, as that would be off topic. My request is about attaining a preferred playback that accurately demonstrates the nuance of the intended performance timing. I'm not concerned that there may be some misinterpretation by anyone reading the score, rather I want MuseScore to communicate my intent by producing playback that conforms to my intent.

## Here's a succinct audible illustration of the triplet issue—it's an update of the score originally attached (and now removed.)

After that I'll show the score I worked on today, the one with the annoying triplet timing.

https://musescore.com/user/35880724/scores/7532414

## Here's the score I worked on today. The triplets start right before Part B (which begins on page 2)

https://musescore.com/user/35880724/scores/7519511

scorster

Usually when people encounter scores marked swing but that also include many triplets - enough to want them to align - they simply play with a more exaggerated swing - 67%. That’s a more properly called a shuffle, but it achieves the alignment simply, and is almost certainly what the composer / arranger intended in the first place.

In the cases where this doesn’t make sense, musicians just live with the fact that they won’t align perfectly, and that’s normally fine.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

I’m glad you’ve said that triplet alignment is “almost certainly what the composer / arranger intended.”

Regarding the examples offered:

• I’m the composer.
• Indeed I want normally notated triplet playback aligned to the underlying level of swing.
• So when the score’s swing setting is 60% (MuseScore’s default Swing setting) I want third triplet note playback aligned to that.

Regarding the playback onset of the three "eighth" notes in quarter note triplets:

• There's no playback issue with the onset of note 1. It’s on the beat.
• Note 2’s playback onset is negotiable, and not as critical … but at 60% swing I’d venture that I want it starting at 30% of the beat.
Note 3’s playback onset is critical because I want it aligned with the the swung eighths and the “ands”. This means it's onset is at 60% instead of 63.33%.

scorster

If instead you want to force the “triplets” to align with 60%, that is of course mathematically impossible, which is why no one does that. But since 60 is 6/10, you can certainly one create a 10-tuplet and place notes one the 1 and 7 which will align perfectly, the place the remaining note on 4 The “triplet” will of course necessarily be uneven - that’s just math - but they will align.

Since you asked us not to, I won’t belabor the factor that this will be all but unreadable. I will however point out it will be almost impossible to play, and will sound pretty ridiculous too.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc wrote > > ... since 60% is 6/10, you can certainly one create a 10-tuplet and place notes one the 1 and 7 which will align perfectly, the place the remaining note on 4 The “triplet” will of course necessarily be uneven - that’s just math - but they will align.

> Since you asked us not to, I won’t belabor the factor that this will be all but unreadable. I will however point out it will be almost impossible to play, and will sound pretty ridiculous too.

You're off topic Marc.

Nobody here wants to change the notation. It's about playback, playback, playback.

And if you read carefully I think you can see I haven't asked for anything "ridiculous."

Actually I did make one small comment about note spacing, toward the end of the first score:

"(and it would also be great if the note spacing also aligned.)"

But let's set that aside so we can focus on the core issue: playback timing.

scorster

Sorry, somehow I got the impression that you wanted these to appear as if they were triplets rather than the 10-triplets they actually would need to be in order to achieve the sound you’ve described. Now that you are clarifying you are not at all concerned with making them look like triplets when they clearly are not, just enter the 10-tuplet, and you’re done - you have exactly the playback you want. QED.

Since you’ve also now clarified that you are the composer - this isn’t music actually meant to be played as as triplets as I initially but erroneously assumed, the. I concur if won’t be ridiculous if that’s what you have in mind. Only if it’s actually meant to be triplets would it sound ridiculous.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc wrote > >Sorry, somehow I got the impression that you wanted these to appear as if they were triplets rather than the 10-triplets they actually would need to be in order to achieve the sound you’ve described.

Your earlier impression was correct. I DON'T want to change the notation from the existing triplets to anything else. The inquiry was centered around timing—playback timing, not notation, or any attempt to construct alternate notation. And under my urging I hoped the discussion would follow that path.

Marc wrote > >Now that you are clarifying you are not at all concerned with making them look like triplets when they clearly are not, just enter the 10-tuplet, and you’re done - you have exactly the playback you want.

I have attempted many times to clarify that I'm NOT looking to change the triplet notation in my scores. This inquiry/request is ONLY about an option to alter note onset timing, which is a concept familiar and central to MuseScore's excellent Swing Percentage option.

Marc wrote > >QED.
QED? Perhaps ... to alternate premises and goals, which seem to be inextricably in your head. I don't know what those may be, but I doubt they pertain to the discussion I'm trying to foster. If they are about notation, please don't try to explain them here. Start a new thread if you want.

Marc wrote > ... [your score] isn't actually meant to be played as as triplets as I initially but erroneously assumed. I concur if won’t be ridiculous if that’s what you have in mind.

That's the point. With MuseScore I appear to be stuck with textbook triplet playback at 66.66...% which is perfect of course when the Swing Percentage = 66.66%

But when the Swing Percentage is soft (say at MuseScore's default 60% swing) I'm looking to have an option to have the onset of the 3rd "eighth" occur at 60% of the beat—so it's aligns with the offbeat of 60% swing.

You can hear the issue in the score, right?

Similarly, but of significantly less importance, I want the 2nd "eighth" to sound at 30% of the beat, though I suspect on hearing it I may want that onset variable by +/- a few percent.

scorster

You say you don't want to speak of notation, and yet, you are talking about having a score that is notated with one rhythm but you wish it to hear it play back as a completely different rhythm. You can't have it both ways - either you are talking about notation or you are not.

if you are not talking about notation, use a 10-tuplet to get the sound you want done. Since we aren't talking about notation, it's perfect. Absolutely completely100% perfect.

If on the other hand you are talking about notation - you wish to hear one rhythm but have a completely unrelated separate rhythm notated - then use the feature MuseScore provides to allow for this and other similar experimental notations. Invisible notes in another voice, or notes on an invisible staff are the general way MuseScore allows you to write one thing but hear another. Another way that works for the particular case of having the same number of notes but changing their timing would be to use the "on time" setting available via plugins like BSG's articulation plugins.

An option to have notation that normally means one thing instead get played back as something completely unrelated - something probably no musician has ever even attempted - isn't very likely to be added. MuseScore just doesn't usually support experimental notation that directly. But, you of course you never know. Maybe your experimental notation will catch on and there will be more requests for it. Meanwhile, the provided facilities for this sort of experimental notation work perfectly.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc wrote > You say you don't want to speak of notation, and yet, you are talking about having a score that is notated with one rhythm but you wish it to hear it play back as a completely different rhythm. You can't have it both ways - either you are talking about notation or you are not.

Marc,

By the existence of its Swing Percentage property MuseScore itself allows us to notate in one rhythm and yet hear a different one, just as musicians have done with the written page for decades, perhaps hundreds of years.

Said differently, MuseScore elegantly allows us to "have it both ways ..." which is apparently in conflict your own logic and declaration here. Because of that, and due to your further insistent in pointlessly dragging this discussion in the direction of nitpicking notational concerns, I haven't bothered to read the remainder of what you wrote.

scorster