Eighth notes are the main denomination of jazz time, much like the penny is to the American dollar. Although one may not play only eighth notes, they still serve as the underpinning of jazz time, similar to what the clave beat is in Afro Cuban music, meaning if not necessarily stated it is implied. A note here on terminology: what are called eighth notes in jazz may also be conceptualized as triplets with a space between the first and third part of the three part division, or it can be seen as a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth note. For the purposes here the distinctions are not important. In short, when a jazz musician sees eighth notes written on a page, (s)he immediately plays the rhythm either like a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth or the above described triplet.