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Thread: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

  1. #26
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I am befuddled by these last two comments.
    I'm befuddled that you don't understand that if you divide up the first beat of a two beat bar it is the whole beat that gets the emphasis, and the second beat that gets the lighter role. You could divide up that beat as many times as you need in order to show the proper feel to the musicians in the score. So you could in this case have a triplet, or in other cases go to as many subdivisions as necessary. It's not just counting the little black dots in each bar. You need 2/4 to get a 2/4 feel and if you want a first heavy note followed by two light notes then one not too heavy note followed by two even lighter notes then 6/8 would be your time signature to choose. You may want to reduce it to some simple mish-mash, but if the composer wants that feel then they'll use the score to show it, starting with the time signature.
    Eoin



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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by k0k0peli View Post
    But have you ever heard that album? Time sigs include 9/8, 5/4, and 6/4 but that smooth sax always seems to be treading common time.
    Doesn't sound that way to me. "Take Five" is a famous example of 5/4. It scrupulously holds to the time signature throughout, even the drum solo, with Brubeck playing the rhythm. Years later, Blind Faith's "Do What You Like" and Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past" served as rock's forays into the same area, though previously, Cream's "White Room" featured a 5/4 instrumental segment as an intro and intermezzo.



    Now, "Blue Rondo Ala Turk" does switch from 5/4 to 4/4 (or is it 6/8 or 12/8?) in the middle - that fast 5/4 is pretty frantic, and the relaxed 4/4 tempo provides a pleasant release. Interesting way it is introduced, with the 5/4 intruding a couple times before it steps back, almost reluctantly.



    Some rock bands have essayed other unusual time signatures. Pink Floyd's "Money" is a good example of 7/4. Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers both tried out 11/4 ("The Eleven" and "Whipping Post," respectively). Of these, both PF and AB cheated a bit, switching to 6/8 for the instrumental sections - easier to rock that way, I suppose - though GD struck to the time signature throughout, I guess because they want to explore that zone thoroughly. This clip starts in 4/4, as they are coming out of "St. Stephen," and the shift to "The Eleven" comes in around 3:00-3:30, when the bass reinforces it.



    In case anyone is interested in why I've paid so much attention to this I credit a couple of influences. One is an attraction to alternatives, in many forms, and this has made my ears perk up when something different enters them. Also, my first year at college I joined the folk dance club, attracted by the odd time signatures used in a lot of the Balkan and Middle Eastern music in their repertoire (as well as a certain pretty girl ). This reinforced my already burgeoning interest in such matters. I've written a few tunes in 5/4 and 7/4, which is my way of embracing the concept. I even wrote something in 13/4, a nod to my birth date, combining three ways of dividing that: 9-4. 5-8, 6-7. Why? Because I wanted to, and could. And it was fun. I have no idea how easy it is to jam on these; I've never been able to get anyone to play them.
    Last edited by journeybear; Aug-09-2015 at 10:11am. Reason: sorting out that 11 ...
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  4. #28
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    While 3/4 is a common time signature, and 7/8 is a possible but unlikely one
    Unlikely in most western music, but common in Greek, Balkan, Turkish and Afghan music! These guys dance in 7.

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Doesn't sound that way to me. "Take Five" is a famous example of 5/4. It scrupulously holds to the time signature throughout, even the drum solo, with Brubeck playing the rhythm. Years later, Blind Faith's "Do What You Like" and Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past" served as rock's forays into the same area, though previously, Cream's "White Room" featured a 5/4 instrumental segment as an intro and intermezzo.
    Thanks for reminding me of those great tunes.

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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by skygazer View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Well, the best-know traditional march from the Isle of Man is Mylecharaine's March and that's in 3/4 time. No doubt related to the Isle of Man national flag....Martin

    .................................
    Wow, the Isle of Man's flag isn't very different from the Sicilian symbol, the trinacria:


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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    La valse a mille temps......

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    La valse a mille temps......
    Thanks for that, Mick -- funnily enough I've also thought of that song when I read the original post. I don't think Brel actually changes time signature, though (despite the lyrics), he just speeds up in his inimitable way.

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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Doesn't sound that way to me. "Take Five" is a famous example of 5/4. It scrupulously holds to the time signature throughout, even the drum solo, with Brubeck playing the rhythm.
    I cited Paul Desmond, not the rhythm section. And I'm echoing comments from when it was released, to wit: no matter the time signature, Desmond *sounds* like he's playing in 4/4. I think Nat Hentoff said that. But my memory is admittedly hazy on the exact source.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    I don't care who said what when - it sounds like he's playing in 5/4 to these ears. Indeed, it's virtually a textbook example. Besides, Desmond wrote it. I think he knows how it goes!
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  12. #34
    totally amateur k0k0peli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I don't care who said what when - it sounds like he's playing in 5/4 to these ears. Indeed, it's virtually a textbook example. Besides, Desmond wrote it. I think he knows how it goes!
    Look, I *know* Desmond wrote it -- I studied the album's sheet music closely 'way back when, and transcribed much of it for guitar and flute -- and I *know* he plays in appropriate signatures. My point was that, to me and to others much more knowledgeable, his fluid, airy, lyrical playing gives the *impression* of being in common time -- as some said, he made those signatures as comfortable as 4/4.

    Sometimes impressions trump the details.
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    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Now, "Blue Rondo Ala Turk" does switch from 5/4 to 4/4 (or is it 6/8 or 12/8?) in the middle - that fast 5/4 is pretty frantic, and the relaxed 4/4 tempo provides a pleasant release. Interesting way it is introduced, with the 5/4 intruding a couple times before it steps back, almost reluctantly.

    The head for "Blue Rondo à la Turk" is in 9/8, with 3 bars with pulses of 2+2+2+3 followed by one bar with 3+3+3. The solos are in a swinging 4/4.

    And if it ain't in 3/4, it ain't a waltz unless it's specifically called out as irregular, as some French country dance tunes are.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Yes, 9/8, of course. I had 5/4 on the brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    if the composer wants that feel then they'll use the score to show it, starting with the time signature.
    Right. So a waltz time signature would have a multiple of three in the top number. I don't think a waltz with a 2/4 feel would be written as 2/4, but rather 6/8.

    Then again, I am not a classically trained composer with years of formal training in music theory and composition technique in my background. I'm a self-taught mandolinist. So what the hell do I know?
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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    No the whole idea is to get the three the same then three lighter. If you do 6/8 you'll end up with (let's grade them A-D in relative weights) ACC BDD . The 2/4 will be AAA BBB (though all those can be shaped even further within their group. The normal 3/4 will only give ACB or ABB.
    Eoin



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  16. #38
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Are those all eighth notes? Six eighth notes in a measure? Isn't that 6/8 time?

    I guess one could write this as 2/4 with triplets ... but 6/8 presents a neater looking page.
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    No they're definitely triplets in 2/4 time. It's about how a composer quickly shows the feel of the tune in a score. As soon as you write it 6/8 you're writing a different emphasis for the individual notes that would be in the 2/4 triplet.
    Eoin



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  18. #40
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    These are apples.

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    These are oranges.

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    This is what can happen.

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    Or fruit salad.

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  19. #41
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?



    Time signatures are meaningless when dancing "The Mushroom Waltz"


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  21. #42
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Yeah, man, because the mushroom dance is in, like, 19/69. Or 42.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Waltzes in 2/4 time ?

    Hi Tom, do you have any tab for Maiden’s Prayer?

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