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Triplets sub-divide rhythmic pulses or sub-pulses into three equal parts where the expectation is two equal parts.
One beat, normally sub-divided into four equal parts (sixteenth-notes), is sub-divided into six.
One measure of 4/4 time has three parts per beat instead of the exected two eighth-notes.
"one-trip-let two-trip-let three-trip-let four-trip-let"
Eighth-note triplets are the primary beat-pulse of shuffles and swing rhythms. The beat (one, two, three or four) and the let are accentuated to produce the feel.
Quarter-note triplets and half-note triplets span more than one beat-pulse. Sub-dividing them into smaller triplet units allows the triplet count to be used to accurately place these triplets within the measure.
The count for half-note triplets covers includes the full measure of eighth-note triplets. Accented counts would be the one, the trip of two, and the let of three.
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