Tool #47: Writing Tuplets Idiomatically (“Correctly”)


Modern music seems to have engineered an explosion in rhythmic notation, in particular the use of tuplets.  Performers are increasingly used to things such as 11 notes in the space of 8, dotted rhythms in tuplets, and nested tuplets (tuplets-within-tuplets), for a few examples.  Yet, is there a way to notate tuplets accurately and idiomatically, …

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Tool #46: Textual Instructions


Sometimes normal notation simply cannot seal the deal.  Sometimes even graphic notation cannot convey what you want.  Luckily, we as composers always have a multitude of languages we can use besides notation.  One of those is text.  When a certain idea or gesture becomes too cumbersome to notate, or when there simply is no other …

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Tool #45: Relish the Acceptance of Our Age


We live in a time that is quite accepting of other musics.  Whether it is uncovering the past works of early music and its predecessors, to new scholarship on the common practice period, to the ubiquity of 20th century music in today's conservatories, to the inclusion of popular and non-Western musics--not to mention technology's influence …

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