"Charge!" What's the rhythm?

Hello all!

In full disclosure, this is part of work on my master’s thesis. It has been 6 years since I’ve had to do a rhythmic dictation course. Clearly, I could use a refresher. But I’m trying to avoid telling my supervisor I can’t figure out the rhythm of the “charge” anthem from the hockey organ.


Frankly, I’m not convinced that it’s always the same rhythm. But I know that what I put into finale (see above) is not right. Any suggestions from people with better ears as to where I’m missing?


Try 3 eighth note triplets, followed by a quarter and eighth, also triplets. Sorry, I don’t have a notation program handy.

Or you could notate it in 6/8 time…3 eighths, quarter, eighth, eighth. Then the last, held note for whatever length you want, perhaps with a fermata?

Was it really that simple? :confused:

Yes. Yes it was. My musician creds seem damaged at the moment. Thanks just the same!!! :smiley:

No problem. You were probably trying to shoehorn the notes into 4/4 time when the first 3 (Da-da-da) suggest a triplet feel.

If you really need to be accurate, it should be noted that “Charge” is a bugle call, not an organ anthem.

And here’s the notation:


There is indeed the Charge bugle call, shown here, but your link is to the fanfare used for cheers, which is not a bugle call. They’re two different animals.

Well, this is getting more and more embarassing. I really should have googled this first. :smack:


I agree with Musicat; the eighth note triplets should be followed by a quarter/eighth triplet, not a dotted eighth/sixteenth. Less stiff…more swing. I guess it depends on what feel the organist is going for.

I see that as kind of a short cut notation sometimes, instead of a note that says “swing eighths” and then notating it in straight eight notes, or as a quarter-eighth triplet. As you allude, though, swing is kind of a personal thing, and the ratio of the first (elongated) eighth note to the second (shortened) eighth note varies based on the performer. I’ve heard the charge played with 2:1 swing (quarter:eighth triplet) to a bouncier 3:1 (dotted eighth to sixteenth) feel. And in between, of course (as well as something closer to, but not quite, straight eighths.)

Thanks for agreeing with me, but in defense of the referenced notation, triplet feel is often notated as dotted eighth+sixteenth (a 3:1 ratio instead of 2:1). Jazz musicians will routinely play that as triplets, with a swing feel.

However, triplet notation and dotted-eighth/sixteenth isn’t usually mixed in the same tune; it’s all one or the other.

Notating as 6/8 time is even better, where the main beats are already subdivided in threes, and you avoid a forest of "–3--"s.