Notation Opinion - Short notes in 12/8

Hi folks!

Notation, though Dorico-agnostic, question…

In 12/8, when I want a short note on any big beat, is it better to put:

  1. a dotted quarter with a staccato
  2. an 8th with a quarter rest
  3. a staccato quarter with an 8th rest (see below on big beat 2)
  4. something I’m not thinking of…

They all look terrible to me. Maybe relevant also: the rhythm in the section of the tune is very tricky, so adding clutter just makes it harder to feel the pulse and “see” the rhythms accurately. Also, it’s for an afro-cuban section in a jazz piece.

Here’s what I have right now, but I don’t like this any better than the others…


It all depends…!
a) what instrument?
b) how fast is the piece?
c) how long do really want it to sound?
d) how do you want the player to physically play it (especially what attack)?

1 Like

A) all horns
B) dotted-q = 90
C) about an 8th long
D) maybe a light accent…but nothing dramatic (this is for note length, not emphasis)

I’d use an 8th (no dot)


And in 12/8 I 'd follow the eighth with two eighth rests rather than a quarter rest, which I think Dorico will do automatically.