Conducting/2+3 and 3+2


I noticed a question that had already been asked about this but I have additional questions I'd like to ask about it  I am currently at a summer camp for aspiring drum majors and my instructor briefly brought this up.
How do you know when a rythm is 2+3 or 3+2?
Also, what do they mean? What is the plus sign for?
Thank you

Hi, Heather, thanks for writing.  2+3 and 3+2 is when you have 5 beats in a measure.  When you have 5 in a measure, you would normally conduct it as 2 and then 3 in each measure or 3 and then 2 in each measure (and 7 is usually 3+4 or 4+3).  To conduct it, look at the rhythm of the measure.  If it is 5/4 time, it might have a half note followed by a dotted half-that would be 2+3.  Or it might have a dotted half followed by 2 quarters-that would be 3+2.  Look at the rhythm and see which way it seems to subdivide, and conduct it accordingly.  Write anytime.


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Kenneth Renshaw


Answer questions about conducting patterns, performance practice, expression marks and conducting, and basic instrument/vocal practice


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Adjunct Instructor-Three Rivers Community College, taught over 200 private music students, frequent performer.

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