Takadimi plugin?

• Jan 26, 2022 - 11:45


I was a dev in my young days but I'm quite rusty now. (And most of my coding experience was in PL/SQL... I have never touched QT).

I want to teach myself to read and write rhythm with the help of the takadimi approach (I feel I need to hear and understand the rhythm if I want to be able to write it). I've spent countless hours with the counting beats approach but my brain just doesn't work that way.

I discovered takadimi and it feels like someone's just switched the light on! Suddenly, rhythm makes sense, EVEN TO ME!!! WOAWW


The video was made using musescore, the takadimi syllables placed as lyrics and a simple screen recoder.

How difficult would it be to write a plugin that would automatically generate "takadimi lyrics"?
If there was such thing, anyone could turn one of the thousands of midi files online into a rhythm teaching/learning opportunity...

What do you think? I'm happy to help/contribute if I can, but I have no clue how much effort it would take to write such a plugin (or is there an existing "special notation plugin" that we could piggyback on? Or reconfigure?).



I have just read the PDF article on takadini.net and this looks really interesting. (Neat video too.)

I don't know whether the plugin API gives access to lyrics but it would certainly be a useful plugin if it does. It could be done using a plugout and the .mscx file but a plugin would be much better.

In reply to by yonah_ag

WOAW, this sounds just brilliant!

I also wrote an email to Richard Hoffman from the team who came up with the takadimi system, he was very to hear about my enthousiasm for the approach and said he'll help me find a teacher!

Gosh do I love the internet and the opportunity to discover amazing things and get help from unknown people around the world!

Thank you for existing guys, you're making my day <3

In reply to by cdarbaud

My version will be a plugOUT rather than a plugIN but maybe someone else will make a plugin. Plugins run fully integrated within Musescore but plugouts use MuseScore's .mscx format as an interface to an external program. It is a pretty streamlined process but, (for my plugouts), it does require users to have Microsoft Excel. Sorry!

If I find the time I will learn MuseScore's plugin language. I have dabbled already a little but am not yet fluent.

Thank you for bringing Takadimi to my attention. I have really struggled with rhythm patterns but the Takademi approach appeals to my way of thinking.

(More details here on Excel plugouts: https://musescore.org/en/node/323083 )

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Great! Thanks for that link, I'll check it out - although I have just about finished my Excel version so I'll complete that first as it has various text, rest and colour options. Then I'll Takadimify the plugin with my extra options.

Takadimi solves the problem with note-duration-word methods because the beats are always made clear and, as you say, it really helps with the basic rhythmic patterns.

I have got the basic plugin working for simple meter and am now looking at compound meter. These texts were all added by the plugin:


How do I identify compound meter mathematically?

In reply to by yonah_ag

Nice! Compound would normally be defined as numerator is a multiple of three (other than three itself). Some might quibble about the possible corner cases like 3/8 or 6/4, and add a constraint about denominator greater than 4. I don't think there is universal agreement on how those should be handled, but to me, 3/8 is best thought of as compound, 6/4 not. Others will disagree. I think older music is more likely to use 6/4 as compound (3+3), modern composers are as likely to notate intend 6/4 to be heard as 4+2.

Is this 6/8 pattern named correctly?


The plugin has named it this way but the author shows ta-di-da ta-va-ki-ma in his examples.
I think that his ki is probably a typo but I'd just like to check.

Compound time is looking like this:


I still need to:
• detect ties to put the syllable in (brackets) - red text above.
• try some more examples.
• process tuplets.

1) I think that tuplets are done.
2) I'm not sure what happens with syllables shorter than the defined set so I have assigned any of them to "la".




I'll tidy up the code and run it on all the measures shown in the Takadimi Short Guide mentioned earlier in this thread and then I'll share v1.0 for testing and feedback.

In reply to by cdarbaud

I'm somewhat confused by the author's example of asymmetric rhythms. The example in the Takadimi short guide shows:


but is 5/8 really a combination of simple and compound meters? Whilst this time signature may be uncommon it appears to me, (and therefore to my plugin), as a simple meter of 5 eighth notes per measure. The plugin produces this Takadimi rhythm:


What do you think?

"Keeping the divisions equal", would mean 2½ eighth notes per beat and this would certainly mean unequal beat lengths.

The first measure could equally be written as 5 individual eighth notes which would have the pattern ta-ta-ta-ta-ta, exactly the same as seen in the plugin results for this measure.

In reply to by yonah_ag

There isn't a ton of history behind assymetric meters in Western music, so anything goes to some extent, but I'd normally expect 5/8 to be subdivided as 3+2, meaning something like ta-ki-da for the 3, ta-di for the 2. I said this without looking at the examples. Now that I doi look, it matches what the guide says, so all seems well, just follow that if possible. But if it's more convenient to consider it as five equal eighths, I doubt there are many occasions when anyone would have reason to complain.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That's what I thought at first glance but aren't there 5 equal beats of ⅛ notes in ⅝ time?

For any selected time signature the ta is on thie beat. A di is present at the half-beat, which would be on the 1/16th in this example and we see this in measure 2.

If both the first and fourth notes of measure 1 are ta then the first division should be a triplet – which it can't be or it would be 4/4. If it's not a triplet then we can't keep a metronomic count through the measures.

How would 5 individual, non-beamed ⅛ notes be assigned syllables? Surely they would all be ta as they are each exactly equal to each other in length and match the time signature.

In reply to by yonah_ag

I mean, the "big beats" (aka "foreground" beats) are unequal - the first group of three and the second group of two. I make that distinction in case someone thought it was just 2/4 but with a triplet on the first beat.

In 5/8, I consider there to beat two big/foreground beats, just as there are in 6/8. So two ta's only. The rest of the notes are divisions of that beat and should be notated accordingly - again, just as in 6/8.

If you want to notate 5 equal beats each as a "ta", use 5/4, not 5/8.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

In Takadimi any note duration can be the beat, and this beat always takes ta. Wouldn't 5/4 time need 5 crotchets in a measure rather than 5 quavers?

This is the first rule of Takadimi that the authors introduce us to.


So, in 5/8 time the beat is a quaver and there are 5 in a measure all taking ta ???

I'm sure that you are right as you came to the same result as the authors but this seems to make 5/8 uncountable if a metronome is set to the quaver beat length, (i.e. there will be quaver beats which are not ta but which, according to the rules, should be.)

In reply to by yonah_ag

Any note value can be the beat, yes - so you need to choose the most appropriate based on the time signature and subdivisions present. That chart is for simple meter and shows different choices of the beat for 2/4 versus 2/2 etc. In compound meter, the choices are different still, but normally you'll see the dotted note values as the beat. So while you could see 6/8 as six beats(ta ta ta ta ta ta), usually we don't; we see it as just two, each divided into third (ta-ki-da t-ki-da). There seems to be pretty universal agreement on that. The only question is for asymmetric meters like 5/8. Here, I believe Hoffman and I are in agreement - it's best to see 5/8 as one (longer) compound beat followed by a (shorter) simple beat.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Well, they are all the same pattern musically, but only the first beaming represents the conventional grouping discussed here - 3+2. So, of the relatively small amount of music in 5/8, most naturally breaks up that way, and that's the music for which the "ta-ki-da ta-di" syllabization makes sense, and it should be beamed accordingly: 3+2. No doubt that somewhere in the world, there exits music that naturally breaks up as 2+3, and for that music the second beaming makes sense (and for that music, it makes more sense to say "ta-di ta-ki-da").

Probably there exists few if any examples of 5/8 music that really doesn't naturally fall into either 3+2 or 2+3, so there would be no musical reason to write any other beaming pattern. So for example, in your last example, probably that solo eighth note belongs with the first or second group musically. The composer would have to decide and beam accordingly.

In reply to by yonah_ag

That's a very good question... I have no answer to. I've read the discussion that follows and I believe it would be nice to get Richard Hoffman's take on this. I emailed him about the same time I posted on this forum, asking him where I could find a teacher to help me learn rythm using the takadimi approach, he answered promptly and very kindly. I've forwarded you're question to see what he says.

In reply to by cdarbaud

I can see the logic for ta-ki-da + ta-di patterns in 5/4 but in 5/8 it is seems inconsistent with the basic Takadimi principle that the ta is always on the beat. For both simple and compound meters the ta always falls on the "little" beat, (whether that beat is a minim, crotchet, quaver or a dotted version), and a metronome could be set at a constant speed to tick on every ta.

Then in asymmetric meter the ta falls on the big beat. This means that setting a metronome at a constant speed would be confusing as the tick would not always be on the ta. I can certainly program the plugin to do this but, for me at least, it leads to confused counting if a metronome is used to keep overall time.

It will be very interesting to hear from Richard Hoffman on this.

In reply to by yonah_ag

No, you have this exactly backwards regarding 6/8. Compound meter does not have the "ta" on the little beat - it's on the big beat. 6/8 is ta-ki-da ta-ki-da, not ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta. This is made very clear right from the beginning, on the second page of the PDF from the site:

Screenshot 2022-02-09 8.42.56 PM.png

and then the example:

Screenshot 2022-02-09 8.44.03 PM.png

Very clearly, 6/8 has only two "big" beats, and they get the "ta". The other beats get ki and da, exactly as shown here, exactly as I have been saying.

And just as 6/8 has only two beats, so does 5/8. The difference is that in 5/8, the second beat is a little shorter. The PDF shows this quite clearly too, just a couple of pages later:

Screenshot 2022-02-09 8.45.37 PM.png

So, you don't need to wait to hear from Hoffman - you've got his words right here in front of you already.

Yes, it means that the big beat is irregular - that's exactly why these meters are called assymetric. Most good metronomes these days can be set to click both big and little beats, with distinctive sounds for each. So, for 5/8, you'd set your metronome to go CLICK-click-click-CLICK-click. The little beat is steady, the big beat is not. This might seem odd if you're not accustomed to it, but these meters are extremely common in Eastern musics (including European countries like Hungary, also India, etc). And thus they have found there way into Western music over the past century or so.

It should be noted that this isn't the only way people ever conceptualize in 5/8, but it's by far the most common, whether one uses takadimi or more conventional ways of syllabizing, counting, or tapping.

In reply to by yonah_ag

For simple meter, we don't really make that distinction. It's relevant only in compound meter. 6/8, the "little" beat is the eighth (little because you can fit six of them in a measure), whereas the "big" beat is the dotted quarter (big because you it's longer than an eighth and you can only fit two in a measure).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I get it now; in fact it now seems obvious, so my apologies for all the confusion. At least I got things right with simple and compound meter in the plugin.

I now need to check the link posted by sammik to see if I can detect the beaming. Are there any further asymmetric meters that are common enough to cater for in the plugin?

The plugin now detects asymmetric rhythm and temporarily assigns wa to all the beats.


Is there a property that I can check to see whether the current note is beamed to a previous and/or next note?

Plugin v1.0.2 deals with irregular rhythms and asymmetric rhythms.
If these are correct I will upload the new version.


I have also added an option for text-casing the style of the syllables, (lower, upper, title or custom), and an option for specifying the Y-offset of the text. However, these are coded into the plugin so I really need to make a user interface for setting them.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for checking. I'll upload 1.0.3 to the related thread.

The quintuplets and septuplets add a syllable to a common pattern.

Version 1.0.3 allows for numerators up to 19 and after than assigns all syllables as la.

Numerators of 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 and 19 are set as asymmetric but there is no attempt to follow beaming.

In reply to by yonah_ag

I recall a former post of yours where you explained how you sight read rhythms by assigning your own "homemade" words (or syllables) to make sense of notated rhythm. Because of that, I can understand your interest (in addition to the OP's aha moment) in takadimi. I did not know of its existence until reading about it here.

Anyway, regarding meter, the guitarist Mason Williams (of Classical Gas fame) composed a song which employs asymmetric meter towards its end - as a 'musical' punch line to the lyrics.
Have a listen:

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