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Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?

Related threads:
Playing in fives & sevens (23)
(origins) Origins: Christmas Carol meters in Folk. (9)


oggie 13 Sep 06 - 04:41 PM
Stewart 13 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,JenR 12 Sep 06 - 09:47 PM
Mr Red 07 Sep 06 - 01:09 PM
M.Ted 07 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM
Murray MacLeod 07 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM
leeneia 06 Sep 06 - 11:27 AM
oggie 06 Sep 06 - 06:46 AM
M.Ted 05 Sep 06 - 10:05 PM
Richard in Manchester 05 Sep 06 - 04:08 PM
M.Ted 05 Sep 06 - 12:42 PM
Wilfried Schaum 05 Sep 06 - 06:12 AM
Rockhen 05 Sep 06 - 04:53 AM
Genie 04 Sep 06 - 10:51 PM
M.Ted 04 Sep 06 - 10:18 PM
Rockhen 03 Sep 06 - 06:51 PM
Tootler 03 Sep 06 - 06:23 PM
Bagpuss 03 Sep 06 - 12:11 PM
M.Ted 03 Sep 06 - 11:05 AM
leeneia 03 Sep 06 - 10:08 AM
Don Firth 02 Sep 06 - 03:16 PM
harpmolly 02 Sep 06 - 02:20 PM
leeneia 02 Sep 06 - 02:14 PM
Genie 01 Sep 06 - 11:07 PM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 06 - 08:50 PM
Dave'sWife 01 Sep 06 - 05:42 PM
Kaleea 01 Sep 06 - 04:59 PM
Dave'sWife 01 Sep 06 - 04:12 PM
M.Ted 01 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM
M.Ted 01 Sep 06 - 03:43 PM
leeneia 01 Sep 06 - 03:34 PM
Stewart 01 Sep 06 - 03:09 PM
Richard in Manchester 01 Sep 06 - 02:56 PM
M.Ted 01 Sep 06 - 02:46 PM
Stewart 01 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM
Genie 01 Sep 06 - 10:44 AM
leeneia 01 Sep 06 - 10:15 AM
Scrump 01 Sep 06 - 09:00 AM
M.Ted 01 Sep 06 - 08:25 AM
Dave Wynn 01 Sep 06 - 07:59 AM
Genie 31 Aug 06 - 12:57 PM
Dave'sWife 31 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Tinker in Chicago 31 Aug 06 - 11:31 AM
Grab 31 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM
M.Ted 31 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM
GUEST 31 Aug 06 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 31 Aug 06 - 07:20 AM
Wilfried Schaum 31 Aug 06 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Fogie 31 Aug 06 - 05:46 AM
Tootler 31 Aug 06 - 05:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: oggie
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 04:41 PM

If you ever hear 'cam ye o'er fre France' sung 'Old Style' ie not as a jig, it's rhythm is -1/2/3/4/5 1/2/3/4/5/6

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Stewart
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 02:57 PM

Here's a video clip of the Dave Brubeck Quartet playing "Take Five" in 5/4 time.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: GUEST,JenR
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 09:47 PM

I'm thankful for all the music suggestions. I teach a preschool music class and introduce various tonalities - d minor hexatonic anyone as well as various meters including 5/4, 7/8 etc... as well a swing and the basic triple and duple meters. So, it's nice to have some "adult" music to offer the parents as an example of what they're listening to with their kids.

J


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 01:09 PM

There are not many rhythms that beat me as I beat the bodhran - mostly slow ones and a-rhytmical ones. Though too many irregular changes of TS I would loose interest. I never count, never use mnemonics and always listen to the music. I only ever play in sessions.

FWIW I have tried to collect-up the mnemonics above in thread here

any other useful "words/phrases" rather than numbers, would make the list more useful.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:24 AM

I think that that tune adds a half measure between phrases as a sort of pick-up--it was a fairly common device, and you find it in a lot of older songs--early blues players used it on occasion--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:04 AM

There must be fiddlers on here who play "Wild Rose of the Mountain".

I can remember that being a real bitch to accompany on guitar but I got the hang of it in the end.

I never did look at the notes or time signature but I have a feeling it's in 7/8.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 11:27 AM

Printers sometimes put a flowing, talky song into an unusual meter because they can't think of anything else to do. They think "let's just call for long phrases, and people can go by the words."

Lutherans are great ones for unusual meters. I opened by old hymn book and the second song I looked at (Lob Sei Dem Allmaechtigen Gott) has the following number of quarter notes in each measure.

1 (pick-up note)
6
3 - 1
6
3-1
6
3-1
4
2-2
3

The tune is from the 17th Century. It has not time signature on it, and as a member of the congregation, I would never have missed it. Our view is that we have words to sing, and we'll sing them till we get to the end.

(There are MIDI's of this on the net, but the trouble is they are all theme-and-variations by J.S. Bach, and you can hardly find the tune in them.)


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: oggie
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:46 AM

A slide in 12/8 has a totally feel to a jig in 6/8 played faster. The accents are different and if you're stepping it it's a different rhythmm of steps. Also as a dance tune, if you play it too fast I defy anyone to dance to it!

All the best

Oggie

PS went to a drum workshop last year given by Virgil Donati where he explained building riffs in 11/8 and 13/8 - mind blowing. Even more so when he played half the kit in each time at once!


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 10:05 PM

The same as the Turkish Karsilama--now I'll have to dig that out and see what it sounds like!


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Richard in Manchester
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:08 PM

This thread has inspired me to confront a problem that has foxed me for years. I haven't yet looked at the thread 'Mudcat: a force for good?', but I reckon this counts.

Slip jigs are in 9/8; I can cope with that. 1-and-a-2-and-a-3-and-a, 1-and-a... etc. But Martin Carthy's version of 'The Famous Flower of Serving Men' is set in 9/8 (at least according to the book "Martin Carthy: A Guitar in Folk Music"). I could never work that out, but I'm sure as hell he's not playing a slip jig.

Nine-and-a-half minutes later, I now know why these old ballads are so long. It's to give crap musicians like me time to figure out how to count them.

I tried counting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4-5 and tripped up. Tried counting three lots of 3, straight, without the diddly slip jig rhythm; no good. I began to see the light when I split it into three irregular groups - 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3-4 - almost worked, and got closer still when I reversed it 1-2-3-4, 1-2, 1-2-3. Remembering Carthy's penchant for short bars of differing lengths (even down to single beats on some pieces), I then tried 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3; and suddenly it all made sense.

I'm sorry if that's all a bit tedious, but it's made my evening, and I think an agreeable Rioja might just be on the cards to celebrate.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 12:42 PM

If you are familiar with the music, Rocken, it is fairly easy--but if you aren't familiar with the music, the music it is difficult to self-teach--

One thing that you have to keep in mind is that the folk dance repertory is a really a collection of dances and music from many different traditions--as Genie points out, Ali Pasha, a Turkish ballad in a "straight" 5, is a very different thing from the Bulgarian Pajdushko, which has the "heartbeat" pulse--and a Zwiefacher would be different from either of them. The basics for each are very different--playing one doesn't mean that you will be able to play the others
(though there are folks who *can* play them all)--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:12 AM

Me.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Rockhen
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 04:53 AM

Is there anyone out there, able to work out where to place the strongest beats in these time sig....whilst sitting still?!
You've just gotta move...or should that be groove?!
Great thread.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Genie
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 10:51 PM

I think the preferred counting method may depend on other aspects of the musical piece (or dance). There's a Turkish folk dance called "Ali Pasa," which was one of the first folk line dances I ever learned. The way I figured out its time signature was simply to count it out, and, given the basically non-syncopated cadence and the linearity of the steps, it doesn't "feel" like 1-2, 1-2-3 or 1-2-3, 1-2. It feels like 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5. Maybe quick-quick-quick-slow or step-step-step-step-hold, but definitely not a 2-step/3-step sequence.

Which reminds me of the way I learned to "feel" the basic Tango step. The Tango rhythm is 4-4, but it feels very different from a Fox Trot, which is also 4-4.   The line we learned to get the Tango pattern is:
SNEAK, SNEAK, hide behind the BUSH
(More fun to say than slow, slow, quick, quick slow.) :-)


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 10:18 PM

You're way was better, Rocken--5. 12. and the others are compound times--that means that, 12 is really four counts, each of which is three counts--five consists of two counts, on of which is three, one of which is two--and so it goes.    Another way to make five easy is to think of it as a heartbeat--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Rockhen
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 06:51 PM

Only just read this but I think this is an interesting thread. I like to hear music written in different time sig. I am ashamed to say I wrote one in 5/4 for the fun of it just cos I like the 'feel' of the rhythm, I don't think the piece sounds too contrived though and I enjoy playing it ...different time sigs have different 'feel' to them. Personally, I always want to move with the music when I play and I think it is easy to get into a rut about what is 'right' or 'wrong' in composition.
I love maths but don't write just to be mathematical, I think there are patterns in music that are just felt rather than counted.
One member of a band I am in, has had a very formal music background and wanted to count in 1 2 3 4 5 for the 5/4 piece....it was a source of amusement that I couldn't play it easily if she did that...it had to be ....1 2 3 1 2
Looking forward to looking up some of the links above and hearing some of the music.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Tootler
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 06:23 PM

I believe that 12/8 merely signifies a 6/8 tune which you play as fast as you can. It's arbitrariness, not mathematics, that says so.

Your right in the last part. In fact there is nothing that says that 12/8 tunes should be played any faster than 6/8 tunes. The difference is that 6/8 means two beats in a bar, 12/8 means four beats. The difference is in the emphasis not the tempo.

There is a good case for arguing that dotted hornpipes are in fact 12/8 tunes. Although they are written in 4/4 this is just convention. The way they are played is more like 12/8. To come back to the point, hornpipes generally should not be played too quickly.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 12:11 PM

There's a lovely tune on Flook's Flatfish album which is in 7/8. I think they just call it Macedonian Oro. I'm just leaning to play it, and the counting is driving me mad; it takes so much concentration, I suppose until it becomes second nature. Not being used to such time signatures I have this almost irresistible urge to tack on an extra beat to the third quaver which completely spoils the tune.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 11:05 AM

leeniea's comment is also an important insight into the peculiar titles peculiar titles of Frank Zappa's work--there is a reason why someone would name an instrumental piece something like"Latex Solar Beef"--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: leeneia
Date: 03 Sep 06 - 10:08 AM

Yes, Don, for many people the secret of coping with meters is to use speech, not math.

I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that if a piece is an an odd meter but it doesn't offer a pattern of some kind, then it's simply chant. Nothing wrong with that, of course.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 03:16 PM

A fairly common Latin and/or flamenco rhythm is an alternation between 6/8 and 3/4. A familiar example of this is the song "America" in West Side Story.

Sometimes you can use mnemonic devices to help get a handle on some of these odd-ball meters. For example, classical guitarist Christopher Parkening's name is 6/8. ("Christopher Parkening, Christopher Parkening;" 1-2-3 4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5-6).

There is a story told about a famous conductor (I think it was Toscanini, but I'm not sure) who was excellent at conducting most kinds of music, but had occasional problems with more modern compositions. The fellow who tells the story said that he dropped in on an orchestra rehearsal and noticed that it was not going well. The piece they were rehearsing was in 5/4 meter. The orchestra was having trouble getting it together and the conductor seemed a bit befuddled, the movements of his baton not showing his usually assurance. He stopped for a few moments, lost in comtemplation. Then suddenly he looked up, tapped his music stand with his baton, and resumed, and everything started coming together. The fellow who told the story said that he noticed the conductor seemed to be muttering something to himself over and over. He snuck up behind him to try to hear what he was saying.

It turned out to be "Rimsky-Karsakov, Rimsky-Korsakov. . . ."   Yup. "1-2-3-4-5,1-2-3-4-5. . . ."

Whatever works.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: harpmolly
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 02:20 PM

Stewart--Talk to John P. He's the reigning king of mind-bending time signatures. I had to listen to Crookshank play "Japati" about eight times before I could anticipate the rhythm. Now I'm addicted to it! :)

M


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Sep 06 - 02:14 PM

The 7/8 tunes I composed show two regular patterns. The first has 3 eighth notes followed by four eighth notes. Then it has a long note to signal the end. You can pretend it is a Taize-type chant with these words:

Wonderful king of glory, wonderful king of glory
    3          4            3         4

wonderful king of glory, hear us. (rest)
    3          4         3    3    1

The second tune has a patten of 2 and 5 is

Cuckoo! I hear you singing.
2             5
Cuckoo! The wood is ringing.
2             5
Cuckoo! The world is springing new.
   2             5               7

I think I can safely say that a song in 7/8 needs some kind of regular pattern such as these. If it doesn't, it not in 7/8, it is formless. I guess you could call it 1/8.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8, 5/4. 15/16, anyone?
From: Genie
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 11:07 PM

Actually Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance" is in 7/8 time, with a 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3 pattern. It's his "Take Five" that's in 5/4.

(This has been mentioned earlier in the thread.)


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 08:50 PM

Here's leeneia's MIDI:


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 05:42 PM

Well Ave Maria counts because it is accepted as a Hymn. However, I submit that again, it is not an easy song to teach people to sing who are not familair with that time. I was only refering to Hymns in my posts, not general songs.

Ave Maria actually represents that "swing" issue Richard in manchester was referring to. Unpractised singers invevitably get the phrasing wrong. there is a swing to 12/8 that once you feel it, is lovely and natural. A singer can use that momentum effectively.

I like 12/8, I just think it's an odd TS for a Hymn in a book of hymns all written relatively recently and designed to be sung by a group that has only a recording of a piano to lead them. Most Kingdom hHalls do not have live accompaniment. There's no one to look to for a clue - just everyone else either singing well or stumbling as you are.

At least now if someone ever complains in my presence about that 12/8 Hymn, I have good comeback ;-) Ave Maria!


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Kaleea
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:59 PM

songs in 12/8? Off the top of my head:

Make a Move on Me------Olivia Newfundland John (sorry, I just had to!)

Little Rock
Have I got A Deal For You--------Reba

All Night Long--------Charlie Daniels & Montgomery Gentry

Pain Is So Close To Pleasure
Don't Try Suicide
Sleeping On The Sidewalk-----------Queen

One of the 2 most well known (in America, anyhoo) Ave Maria's is in 12/8 (the one by Schubert) & recorded on most of the Christmas album since the beginning of records. It is also heard on the the Disney Movie, Fantasia.


in 7/8:

I Was Brought To My Senses----------Sting

Solsbury Hill-------------Peter Gabriel

Dreaming in Metaphors--------Seal




in 5/4, also Unsquare Dance, which I mentioned in my above first posting.


       I could go on . . . . .


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 04:12 PM

Richard in Manchester - thanks for the citations. I suppose for some people Everybody Hurts is a hymn! It's wonderful song which was greatly enhanced by the production (by LZ's John Paul Jones no less). However, if you have ever tried to play it and perform it with people who aren't familiar with 12/8, they usually don't catch it the first time around. You're right about that swing too. it's not a bad TS.

I guess what struck me as odd about the JW hymns is that there all composed within the past 100 years and composed quite deliberately to highlight certain sections of Scripture. They do not contain personal experience or personal revelations as popular hymns do. These were composed specifically to be used along side certain scriptural texts and themes. Knowing this, you'd think, wouldn't you, that the composers would have tried for less awkward Time Signatures?

While the regulars of course have learned these and know them, every newcomer I have ever met has had to work a bit to get in the "swing" of these hymns. And no, they aren't awful. Some are incredibly beautiful.

There's one I had sung to me that I don't have the music or words to and it's simply sublime. I believe it's called 'Take Sides With Jehovah" and predates the current hymnal by a good 50 years. If anyone has the words, I'd be grateful. The woman who sung it was recounting to me the first place she'd heard it at a national convention in Yankee Stadium in the 1960s. I so wish I had field recorded her rendition. Her happy memory of the event embued her performance with a beauty I can't begin to describe.

I know people look down of JW Hymns and I understand their criticisms. I am not criticising so much as observing. I find their hymns lovely and uplifting. I enjoy that their lyrics are all either direct Scripture or paraphrases of Scripture. Some of my favorite Protestant Hymns are like that.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:55 PM

I noticed that Sandra plays with Alex Eppler, who in addition to being a whizbang cimbalom player, is the hottest of the hotshot balalaika players, and can play all the Bulgarian/Macedonian stuff as well--have you seen them?


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:43 PM

I thought I'd posted this Beranche/Chocheck performed by Pangeo with a comment about how Beranche was the hardest rhythm I had ever tried to play--here it is again--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:34 PM

I believe that 12/8 merely signifies a 6/8 tune which you play as fast as you can. It's arbitrariness, not mathematics, that says so.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Stewart
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 03:09 PM

M. Ted, yes, I've heard Balkanarama (they play regularly at Georgia's) and Pangeo. I particularly like Pangeo. Thanks

I've also taken some lessons from Sandra Layman who is a terrific klezmer, Romanian, and Greek violinist in Seattle (check out her CD Little Blackbird).

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Richard in Manchester
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 02:56 PM

From Dave's Wife:
"Jimminy Cricket - 12/8!!! Can anyone name another hymn in that signature?"

I'm not sure 12/8 is as unusual as all that. It's essentially a variation on 4/4, which you count 1-and-a-2-and-a-3-and-a-4-and-a... etc. Irish slides are in 12/8, played quite fast - which may account for that slightly disrespectful short-hand description of Irish music, "diddly diddly".

I can't name any hymns, but played slowly, 12/8 gives the music a sort of gentle swing. I'm trying to think of that anthemic REM ballad, which I'm sure is in 12/8 ('Everybody Hurts' - is that the one?) Failing that, Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Tuesday's Gone' is a good example.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 02:46 PM

Stewart--If you have a hunger for odd tempoed music, you are in luck--Seattle is one of the hotbeds of Balkan music--Balkanarama and Balkan Cabaret are two excellent groups based there, as well as the group Pangeo, who play the tune linked above--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Stewart
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 12:06 PM

"We only know that we can walk, and therefore we can dance.
We only know that we can talk, so singing we advance." from Music in the Glen by joHn Kennedy.
It all comes from dance (and song).

This turned into a great thread, thanks everyone.

That NPR piece on Brubeck was good, as were the links to Greek music.

"But, het--be daring! Give a listen to odd meters. Better yet, play some tunes with odd meters. You never know, you might even enjoy it." thanks Kaleea.

And leenea, looking forward to hearing your pieces in 7/8 time.

And thanks for the other examples cited.

Now I just need to turn some Irish jigs into 7/8 time.

Great fun.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Genie
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 10:44 AM

Despite what the Southern Baptists may think, it's not sex that leads to dancing, it all stems from walking.

Not only do we have 2 feet, but walking is basically a 1-2, 1-2, etc. sequence. So it's 2/4 time (or at least some kind of 2-beat measure) that's the biggest no-brainer.
Everything else is 'fancy footwork'. ;-D


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 10:15 AM

"What makes a base of 8 the most common?"

I suspect it all started out with 2, the number of feet we have.
-----------------
Somebody asked to hear some music in 7/8 time. I have composed a couple of pieces, and I hope they will be posted here soon.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Scrump
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 09:00 AM

Spot the Dog wrote:
What makes a base of 8 the most common. Is this some fundamental biological thing. I mean why not 7/11 or 5/9. Is this purely "Western" or do some of the the "Eastern" societies use a different base ever?

Good question, Spot. For that matter, why do we say something's in 3/4 time instead of 3/3? I know that's the convention, but if it's 3 crochets to a bar, the bar length is 3, right? So what's the "4" got to do with it?


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 08:25 AM

7/8 is the time signature for the written music-- 7 is the number of beats to the measure--the 8 just tells you which kind of note gets one count--you could use any kind of note you wanted, 16th or 4, but 8 looks better and is easier to read--as far as it goes, you can use any kind of notation you want, it's just that no one will be able to read it--


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 01 Sep 06 - 07:59 AM

What makes a base of 8 the most common. Is this some fundamental biological thing. I mean why not 7/11 or 5/9. Is this purely "Western" or do some of the the "Eastern" societies use a different base ever?

Spot the Dog


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 12:57 PM

Of course the regulars have no trouble singing those hymns, Dave's Wife. Just like dancers usually have no trouble doing a Kalamatianos or Les Noto or hornpipe once they've learned it initially.   Mathematicians may make good musicians, but sometimes being analytical and doing stuff like reading sheet music is a less efficient way of "mastering" a new rhythm than just learning it auditorially and kinetically.   I've learned many a folk dance in 5/4, 9/8, 7/8, or 15/16 time just by hearing the music and watching someone else do it (sometimes breaking it down into smaller sequences first, sometimes not) , and not bothered to count out the meter till much later.

And, Grab, I completely concur about the beginning guitarists. LOL
In some song circles where half the people have little background in music (formally or otherwise), we often encounter the opposite. Too many people have no concept of the "rest" in music, and don't subliminally "feel" the measures of a song, so they proceed to the first word of the next line before its place in the "count" comes up. This can make for really strange and irregular "meters."


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 12:06 PM

I may be opening up a can of worms here but....

I have one side of my mother's family who are Jehovah's Witnesses. Nice people - very generous. Out here I have met a large number of JWs. In fact, I enjoy going to their Kingdom Hall with these friends often. They are a far more open Christian Community than most people would have you believe. (Please let's not debate the validity of their beliefs here. I'm only relating an experience.)

My only complaint EVER has been the hymns in their songbook had unusual time signatures for hymns. Mild complaint really but... I'm looking at one right now that is 9/8. It's called Hail Jehovah's Kingdom and is Hymn #21 in the Sing Praises To Jehovah Hymnal. There are a bunch like that in 9/8. I could list them if anyone wants me to (I doubt it.) There are about a dozen or more. I swear I even saw one in 5/8. And even more unusual is #105 Hail Jehovah's Firstborn which is in 12/8.

I asked a young Elder I like very well once "What's up with the wacky time signatures in the hymns" and I'm sorry to say I hurt his feelings! He thought I was suggesting the songs were awful which they are not. They're just very married to direct scripture which is why they sometimes have to cram the lyric into these odd time signatures. I'd say a good half of them are 6/8 with the rest being divided equally amonst 4/4, 2/4, 2/2 and 3/4. And then there are those 9/8 anad that one 12/8.

Jimminy Cricket - 12/8!!! Can anyone name another hymn in that signature?

incidentally, everyone seems to sing them very well no matter what the time-signature, it's just those of us who are guests who stumble a bit.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: GUEST,Tinker in Chicago
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 11:31 AM

My wile and I perform Drowzy Maggie in 5/4, and then watch people try to clap along. She called it Drunken Maggie.

More to the point, the Canadian comedy trio The Arrogant Worms play their parody of vegetarianism, Carrot Juice Is Murder, in 9/8, which is a cool sound. It gets played a lot on the national (USA) radio program Dr. Demento.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Grab
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 09:20 AM

Oh, nearly forgot. There's the old saying of beginner guitarists always playing in 5/4 until they get the chord changes right.

strum strum strum strum *scrabble* strum strum strum strum *scrabble*...

:-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 08:51 AM

When you are listening to Andy Irvine and other Irish musicians, it is best to consider that they are playing from the perspective of Irish music, and that their interpretation of tunes reflects that, and will be considerable different than that of musicians whose playing comes from Balkan traditions.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 07:36 AM

Quite a lot of English folk songs are effectively sung in 5/4 time, even if they aren't written out like that.

The Copper Family sing Bold Fisherman in 5/4, but they always have a hell of a problem with audiences joining in in 6/8.

People can be so crass.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 07:20 AM

How about the 5/4? english traditional song that starts
"I'm a handloom weaver to my trade, and I fell in love with a factory maid."
Can't remember if it's got a non-obvious name, recorded by Steeleye span among many others.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 06:34 AM

Fogie - no problem. Don't count the quavers, count the chrotchets. Instead of the 2nd crotchet you count a quaver, so it is:
1-tap-3-4-5-6 (see my post above about the handling of the 3 quavers).

[This art of step-tap is learned in the infantry when marching in step with the wrong foot and changing step.]


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: GUEST,Fogie
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 05:46 AM

Anyone got East Wind -Andy Irvine and co. The dance of Sulieman is in 11/8 - managed to get it written but I cannot play it in anything other than approximation -I keep wandering into 10/8 time The thing is it seemingly randomly mixes beats of 3+4+4 -if it kept to the same count things might be easier but the tune changes to stick the 3 beat in here and there. It is a great tune from Macedonia, and I take my hat off to those who manage to play and dance in these exotic rhythms.


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Subject: RE: Odd meters, 7/8 anyone?
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Aug 06 - 05:29 AM

Old English Hornpipes often show interesting rhythmic variation.

Although commonly notated in 3/2 time, in fact bars often alternate between 3/2 and 6/4 giving an alternating quicker 3 and slower 2. Good examples are Rusty Gulley, Lancashire Hornpipe (goes by several names) and Cheshire Rounds.

Apparently a 19th. Cent. Northumbrian manuscript (by William Vickers) has Rusty Gulley written out in alternating bars of 3/4 and 6/8 to reflect how it was played.


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