MusicArrangers.com



Divisives 2 up

We know a simple beat is divisible by 2, a compound beat is divisible by 3. We can write a compound beat in simple time using divisives (3, 6, 9, 12, 15). We can write a simple beat in compound time using divisives (2, 4, 8).

More exotic divisives are 5 in the time of 4 and 7 in the time of 4 with their multiples 10 in the time of 8 and 14 in the time of 8.

Divisives 2, 4, 8. Duplets

Divisive 2: 2 in the time of 3 (Compound time)
Divisive 4: 4 in the time of 6 (Compound time)
Divisive 8: 8 in the time of 12 (Compound time)

If you want to slice a compound time beat in half write two dotted quavers or a duplet - two quavers with a 2 written on top. The 2 says, play 2 in the time of 3.

If you want to slice a compound time beat in four write four dotted semiquavers (messy) or two duplets or put the two duplets under the number 4. The number 4 says, play 4 in the time of 6.

Similarly the number 8 says play 8 in the time of 12.

Divisives 2, 4 and 8 are simple time beats in compound time.

Divisives 3, 6, 9, 12, 15. Triplets & Hemiola

Divisive 3: 3 in the time of 2 (Simple time)
Divisive 6: 6 in the time of 4 (Simple time)
Divisive 9: 9 in the time of 6 (Simple time)
Divisive 12: 12 in the time of 8 (Simple time)
Divisive 15: 15 in the time of 10 (Simple time)

Slice a simple time beat in three with a triplet. A triplet says 3 in the time of 2. Three quavers in a triplet play for the time of two quavers.

When there are two triplets under the same beam you can write the numeral 3 above each triplet or the numeral 6 above both triplets. The numeral 6 says play 6 in the time of 4 (two triplets 3 in the time of 2).

Divisives 5 & 10, 7 & 14

Divisive 5: 5 in the time of 4
Divisive 10: 10 in the time of 8
Divisive 7: 7 in the time of 4
Divisive 14: 14 in the time of 8

To divide a crotchet beat by five, beam five semiquavers and write 5 above. Five play in the time of 4. Similarly you can write 7 in the time of 4.


Music Theory


"Become an arranger first, then an orchestrator, and then a composer." - Joe Paparone

Joe Paparone is an Australian music arranger of the highest international calibre. Allow him to share 35 years of real world experiences with you.