When counting beats in a song, in English we would say "1 and, 2 and, 3 and" etc. where 1, 2 and 3 are beats and "and"s are spaces between them. You can also split the rhythm into smaller pieces by adding short words or vowels, like "1 a and e, 2 a and e" etc.

What would be a typical way to split a beat like this in Mandarin? I'd imagine English numbers become Mandarin numbers and "and"s turn into "he"s. But what about the sounds that come between numbers and "and"s?

1 Answer 1


My wife is a violinist and I just asked her. So this is what she said:

一嗒 二嗒 三嗒


一嗒嗒 二嗒嗒 三嗒嗒 based on the tempo she wants( just add more "da").

嗒 is just a sound as "da" in English.

Since all Chinese numbers < 11 only have one syllable, it is quite easy to do.

I'm not sure if all musicians use this method but this is what she said :)

  • 1
    Thank you, I knew I will find someone with first-hand information on this site :) Commented May 29, 2023 at 22:14
  • @ReverentLapwing thanks to my wife :) . would you please accept the answer as the "accepted answer" so this thread will be marked as answered? Commented May 30, 2023 at 17:28

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