What are triplets in music?

What are triplets in music?

A triplet is a type of tuplet. It’s a combination of three notes played within another note length. A triplet is a musical time segment divided rhythmically into three equal parts. A small ” 3″ above or below the note beam, bracket or slur is used to identify a triplet.

When writing or playing music, sometimes we’ll want to subdivide a beat in a way that isn’t as simple as halving the note’s value. In these situations, we use something called a tuplet to divide the beat up in a weird way.

The total length of a triplet group is equal to the duration of two original note-values. An eighth-note triplet comprises two eighth-note beats (one-quarter-note); a quarter-note triplet lasts the same length as a half-note.

  • Hear eighth-note triplets in four-time Triplets occur each quarter-note beat.
  • Hear quarter-note triplets
  • Two triplet groups can fit into one measure / 4 times.

The first example shows that three notes can fit between two eighth notes. Triplets can be divided into threes to create a rhythm that is otherwise difficult or too complicated to note in many meters. You can also write triplets with different lengths:

  • Sixteenth Note Triplet: Equals three sixteenth-notes (or one eight-note).
  • Quarter-Note Triplet: Equals two quarter-notes (one half-note).
  • Half-Note Trolley: Equals one full-note.

The contents of a triplet may not always look equal. They can be modified in their value as long as the total note-grouping length remains unchanged

Each note or rest within a triplet has been reduced by two-thirds of its original length.

Music Triplets that are more complex

A triplet divides time into three equal parts. These parts can be modified with music rests or rhythmic dots, provided that the total note-grouping length is not altered.

Some examples are:

  • Blues Shuffle (#1 ):Only the third note of the triplet is heard. The first note is twice the length of the second. You can either use two different notes or tie the first two notes together.
  • Swing Triplets#2 : A rest is a replacement for the middle eighth-note (one of many variations of swing rhythm).

Also known as

You may hear triplets in music referred to under several other names.

  • Terzian (It)
  • Triolet (Fr.)
  • Triole (Ger)

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