Counting Musical Sextuplets

A sextuplet is a note-grouping of six, which is played inside the length of four of its note-type. For example, a sextuplet is written with eighth-notes spans four normal (or “straight”) eighth-notes.
The rhythmic rules of the sextuplet remain disputed among theorists; variations include the following:

  • True Sextolet: Played as if each note in a triplet were divided into two; the downbeat only occurs on the first note of the sextuplet.
  • Double Triplets: or “False Sextuplets”: The downbeat occurs on the first and fourth notes, mimicking two sets of triplets; the fourth note may be given a weaker accent to provide a distinction between the two group-types.
  • Impartial Sextolet: Resembles a true sextolet, but has a weak accent on the fourth note, and an even weaker accent on the fifth note. This splits the sextuplet into threes but does not mimic the rhythm of the double triplet.
  • Waltzing Sextuplet: also “Real” or “True” Sextuplet: Accents fall on the first, third, and fifth notes, creating the same rhythmic feel as groups of two eighth-notes in 3/4 or 6/8 time; or as triplets in which each note has been divided into two.

Synonyms of Sextuplet

  • sestolet
  • sestina (It)
  • sextolet (Fr)
  • Sextole (Ger)

Learn About Enharmony

  • The 6 Enharmonic Key Signatures
    If you’re familiar with the circle of fifths (or you just know your way around the key signatures) you may have noticed a few anomalies. Some keys – like B-sharp and F-flat major – are seemingly absent, while others go by two names
  • The Inefficient Keys
    The circle of fifths shows only the working scales. But, if we expand on its pattern, we can see that it’s actually more of an infinite spiral, so there’s no end to the possibilities of musical scales.
  • Table of Working & Non-Working Keys
    See a clear visual of which keynotes are workable and which would be redundant.

Musical Keys & Key Signatures

  • All About Key Signatures
    Everything you need to know about the accidentals & key signatures.
  • Use the interactive key signature locator to identify or double-check your key.
  • There are always two keys that relate to one another more than any other key. Find out what this means.
  • Comparing Major & Minor
    Major and minor are often described in terms of feelings or mood. The ear tends to perceive major and minor as having contrasting personalities; a contrast that is most obvious when the two are played back to back. Learn more about major and minor scales and keys.
  • Take the Key Signature Quiz
    Once you get to know more about this part of notation, test yourself on the accidentals and key signatures.


  • A dictionary of music and musicians Vol. 3 [pg. 478]: Sir George Grove, 1820-1900. Published by Macmillan, London, 1879.
  • A dictionary of musical terms [pg. 177]: Theodore Baker, 1851-1934. Published by G. Schirmer, New York, 1895.