Is this common tuplet notation

Hi all, I just came across tuplets of dotted notes, and I’m not sure if I ever saw that before. Is this common notation or simply wrong?
The lower 5:6 is what I would use.


I added ratio+note to make it more clear.

Or 5:3e?

Neither, I would say.

EDIT: with the added ratio and note, that is, which you said you added. So the original had the bracket and numeral? Yeah, that would be bordering on the incorrect; but, as with everything in music notation, context is more important than any isolated notation.

Yes, thanks @PjotrB . I thought about that as an option, maybe slightly better.


Thanks Alexander, the example I saw just showed a 5 above, no ratio or note so looked strange to me, although technically correct perhaps.
The notation was from an application that uses SeeScore to convert music-xml.


The example you saw isn’t incorrect, but without the ratio supplied, it’s asking a great deal of the musician who reads it. The value to be filled with a quintuplet is a dotted quarter, which does in fact equal 4 dotted sixteenths, so it works out correctly.

Your alternative, 5 sixteenths in the time of 6 regular sixteenths, isn’t wrong either. But it violates the customary rule that tuplets overfill the given time span (the only exception being duplets, which underfill it), so it might be seen as “wrong” from that perspective even though it’s not mathematically wrong (especially with the ratio visible).

Dotted values for tuplet notes are common in the work of some composers (Elliott Carter comes to mind) who write tuplets for partial beats, sometimes two different patterns at once in different hands or instruments. In such music I would think that it’s always courteous to provide the ratio – no point making the performer puzzle out what the composer has already calculated.

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Thanks @Rinaldo, then I’ve probably seen it since I played Eight Pieces for Four Timpani some 4o years ago. So this I guess would be the best option.



I suggest Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars

Yes, thanks, I have both the printed and digital versions.
Just never seen the first example before.


Here are some options I came up with:

I think the last one preserves the spirit of your idea the best without overcomplicating it.

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If I were transcribing by ear I might have come up with the last one, the septuplet. But the original rhythm is fascinating, and I think quintuplets come much more naturally to humans. I will keep this idea in mind – tuplet starting on the half-beat.

For ease of reading, I like the 5:6 version best. I find a tuplet with ratio close to (but less than) 1 much more sensible than a (standard) tuplet with ratio of nearly 2.