Tuplet oddity

I was trying out a cross-rhythm involving duplets in simple time, and I’m attaching an image and a Dorico file to show schematically what happened when I input using the popover. The result didn’t look right to me (particularly the gap at the start of b. 2), though I was able to get around it by manually using subdivisions and ties. I have a suspicion that I’d been misusing the popover, given that duplets usually appear in compound time. How should I have approached this?
Tuplet oddity.dorico (388.1 KB)

If each of your duplets equals three regular eighth notes, the last duplet of measure one hangs over into the beginning of measure two; so your offset first duplet of measure two is correctly positioned. I’m not sure I do not prefer it to having the cross-measure duplet split into goodness-knows-what smaller values.

I agree with you; I was just wondering if it was ‘correct’ notation, if that’s the right adjective.

You can make the gap more easily understood with a bracket there:

Or maybe quadruplets:

Or don’t use tuplets at all:

It’s also odd because we almost always in 4/4 see a contracting tuplet, meaning a larger value in the space of a smaller. (Plenty of exceptions to this as 7:8 is certainly common too.) Your duplet is an expanding tuplet, meaning smaller in place of larger, so it definitely is a bit odd looking to begin with. A 2:3 tuplet is certainly common in a triple meter like 6/8, but even then there is a bit of variance. In the Ken Ross book on pg 164, he uses both 2:3 eighth note duplets and 4:3 eighth note quadruplets on the same page, so there’s clearly some variance on how these are used. In any case an expanding duplet like yours in 4/4 is sort of uncommon to begin with so that likely adds to the unfamiliar look of the notation.

I dare say some composer has used exactly this notation, but I myself would not regard it as good notation. For me, there’s an understanding that anything notated between barlines is fully contained within those barlines, and that’s not the case with your duplets here. If one were using tick-style barlines that don’t divide the staff, then they might be workable (though still not ideally readable to most musicians).

In this particular case (because they’re duplets), I would probably opt to represent them as dotted eighth notes, which have the merit of breaking intelligibly across barlines:

EDITED: I overlapped with @FredGUnn! But I’ll let mine stand, for whatever it may be worth.


That’s the one for me! Thanks to all for the suggestions.

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