Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

  1. #1
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)



    What time signature would you write this in?

  2. #2
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    369
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I'd be tempted write it in 6/8 -- downbeat on 1, backbeat on 4. It's essentially a waltz. But it's been a while since I was at my peak of music notation.

  3. #3
    Registered User MB-Octo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    No theorist here, but I *think* I'm counting 6/8 through the whole song. The syncopated sections in between seem to be two measures of 6/8. Full refund if I'm wrong ...
    Monte

    Northfield F2S
    Weber Custom Yellowstone Octave F

  4. #4
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I'd write it in 12/8 (the backbeat's always on "2" and "4", which, in 12/8, actually means 4 and 10, kinda),
    except,
    12/8 implies straight 16th notes (meaning, twenty-four 16th notes per bar) – this has a triplet feel per each of the twelve 8th notes (totalling thirty-six 16th notes per bar).

    So I'm not sure what I'd do...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    It could be slow 12/8 (or 6/8) with triplet sixteenth notes.

  6. #6
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,305

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    9/8 gives you three beats each subdivided in three.

    So the beat is the dotted quarter note and the tempo is about 116 beats per minute.

    It's a waltz.

  7. #7
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,867

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I hear it in 6/8, aside from the transitional off-beat measures. Don't over-complicate it.

  8. #8
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    To me, the need to have the backbeat on 2 and 4 dictates the time signature – writing the tune in 6/8 would only have the backbeat on 2 (the fourth eighth note of the bar).

    I experimented with 36/16, on the theory that, in the same way that 12/8 is the triplet version of 4/4, 36/16 could be the triplet version of 12/8 – not pretty
    No way to write "quarter" notes (notes equal to one quarter of the bar) or half notes without using ties.

    I'd go with David L's answer, I suppose, and just live with the plethora of triplets.
    Maybe write something above the time signature, like this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	36-16.png 
Views:	8 
Size:	66.5 KB 
ID:	177327  

  9. #9
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,590
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Listen to the hi-hat and the snare for the framework, they seem rock steady. The rest is melody & decoration.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  10. #10

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I don't know why you cats are going on about 2s and 4s. It's clearly ONE-2-and-a-3-and-a-FOUR-5-and-a-6-and-a. 6/8 with triplets.

  11. #11
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    A chart written in 6/8 doesn't tell a drummer where 2 and 4, the backbeats, are.
    A chart written in 12/8, even one with no drum notation, does.

  12. #12
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,867

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    A chart written in 6/8 doesn't tell a drummer where 2 and 4, the backbeats, are.
    A chart written in 12/8, even one with no drum notation, does.
    I'm not trying to start an argument really, but I was a drummer in Rock bands in my teenage years. Good enough to be hired for a few sessions at a local pro studio before I shifted over to fretted instruments. I don't think any drummer worth their salt would have trouble finding the backbeat in that video clip. It's an ear thing, and my ear tells me it's 6/8.

    Drummers don't read charts anyway.

    Okay, actually I did at one time learn to sight-read percussion staves, but this one just isn't that complicated!

  13. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:


  14. #13
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,009

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    The primary pulse is 3, and when the primary pulse is subdivided, it is also divided into 3.

    The technical term for this meter is "triple compound meter."

    The "technically correct" notation for triple compound meter is 9/8: The dotted quarter note getting the "beat", three 1/8th notes to the beat, counted 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a, etc.

    However, in the modern era, this notation is rarely used; and may be considered to be unfamiliar and somewhat confusing to most modern readers. Instead, we most commonly prefer to write in 3/4, with 1/8th note triplets.

    Time signatures [or meter markings] are somewhat editorial, and through the centuries have been used more and more loosely. The original symbol for triple compound meter was a circle with a dot in the middle. This symbol had faded out of common use by the mid baroque period.

    Bach would have written this meter simply as "3", with three 1/8th notes to the beat. An example of this is "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." In modern editions, Bach's "3" in "Jesu" has universally been changed to "3/4".

    I would be hesitant to notate this in 6/8, since that generally implies duple compound meter, or "1 & a 2 & a 1 & a 2 & a"; which is the meter we associate with a double jig such as "Irish Washerwoman."

    Miles Davis' "All Blues" can also be considered to be in triple compound meter [listen to the bass and drums], but although he chose to notate it in 6/8, many of us would have considered 3/4 to be a better choice.

    I would also be reluctant to use 12/8, since it also tends to imply duple compound meter.

    Again, time signatures are somewhat editorial. I would personally prefer to use 3/4 with 1/8th note triplets for the OP's example. But I will not say that other choices are wrong.

    This subject could be argued for an hour and a half in a graduate level theory course with no satisfactory resolution except for hurt feelings. If the professor was to proclaim that one answer was right and all other answers wrong, half of the students would leave the class convinced that he was wrong.

    The bottom line is that printed notation is an imperfect way of communicating sound. The best answer to the original question is "what is the best way to write this so that the majority of the readers will understand what this is supposed to sound like?"
    Last edited by rcc56; Jun-07-2019 at 12:30am.

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rcc56 For This Useful Post:


  16. #14
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I agree, finding the backbeat by listening to the video is no challenge, but I'm going the other direction – inductive vs. deductive etc.

    I'm trying to figure out how I'd write, for example, a simple lead sheet, one with just a time signature, a key signature, the vocal melody, the chords, and some indication of structure (like "verse", "chorus", "bridge" etc). And the challenge is: what time signature will tell a drummer to play what this guy's playing? Without ever having heard the song, with only seeing a lead sheet with no drum parts written out? If I wanted a wedding band to play this song (not inconceivable it was my younger sister's "first dance") and handed them copies of a lead sheet, what simple indication of groove would suffice?

  17. #15
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I agree with everything rcc56 has to say (and thanks! This was the direction I was hoping this thread would take).

    The only thing I'm strongly holding onto, alone it seems, is this: Drummers can read lead sheets, and drummers will play two backbeats per bar, so you have to write a lead sheet with that in mind. Even a boogie groove like Folsom Prison Blues: 2/4's going to get you the best results – a lead-sheet-reading drummer would play back beats on the "and"s, 1+2+1+2+. So, however you write out the song being discussed here, you have to write it so that the two backbeats fit into one bar.

  18. #16
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,009

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    This is an example of why scores are sometimes preferable to lead sheets.

    Your best choices are either a moderate 3/4 with a drummer's note calling for a triplet feel with a strong accent on the downbeat of every second measure, or a slow 6/8 with sixteenth note triplets. 12/8 can be hard to read because of the length of the measures.

    I think I'd go for the drummer's note.

    It's a judgement call. And I don't know what I'd do with the section between 0:48 and 0:55. I'd have to listen to that a couple of dozen times to figure out what they're doing there.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jun-07-2019 at 1:54am.

  19. #17
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    I don't think that there's anything extremely tricky going on at 0:48 – it's just a bar with a syncopated bass drum placement, dividing the nine 1/16 notes of the beat into 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-5.

    Having, through this discussion, more-or-less kinda committed to how I'd write the time signature I'd notate the fancy bar like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	36-16 b.png 
Views:	16 
Size:	71.2 KB 
ID:	177348

  20. #18
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    ...with a drummer's note calling for a...
    If I'm going to include a drummer's note, I could simply say "12/8 version of the Purdie Shuffle".

  21. #19
    Harley Marty
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Mullingar Co Westmeath Ireland
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    The underlying feel to me is slip jig

  22. #20
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,579
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Indeed you could write this out as a slip jig, 9/8 time. As with jigs there is a larger symmetry, so you could wrote it as longer bars, with two or four large beats. The triplet subdivision might not be necessary to notate, just take the swing approach and use duplets that are going to be “swung”.

    I bet the lead sheet is just in 3/4.
    Blog--Miniature Orchestra
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    Videos--YouTube
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  23. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    I bet the lead sheet is just in 3/4.
    Bingo. If I were to actually write it out in standard notation I'd be doing it in 3/4. K.I.S.S.

  24. #22
    Registered User Carl23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    New Hampshire USA
    Posts
    170
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    The "technically correct" notation for triple compound meter is 9/8: The dotted quarter note getting the "beat", three 1/8th notes to the beat, counted 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a, etc.

    However, in the modern era, this notation is rarely used; and may be considered to be unfamiliar and somewhat confusing to most modern readers. Instead, we most commonly prefer to write in 3/4, with 1/8th note triplets.
    The music theorist in me just died a little bit.

    :-(

    ;-)

    Carl
    "The Loar" LM-520
    Ludwig & Ludwig 8-370X Marimba
    Slingerland Modified Drumset
    Hand made profesional djembes from Guinea and Maili West Africa
    and toys... lots and lots of toys.

    Hey... I have a blog here!
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/blogs/53556
    Feel free to stop on by and let me know what you think!

  25. #23
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,579
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl23 View Post
    The music theorist in me just died a little bit.
    Carl
    If a piece of music is more on the beat and has plenty of actual triplets it makes sense to write in triplet time, like jigs, and classical music.

    But it is both unnecessary clutter and may be too complex for some jazzy syncopated melodies. I faced this issue with a blues in easy swing feel, but it had some syncopations that crossed the bar line. Writing in 12/8 was accurate but messy. It was better to just notate in 4/4, with the triplet understood to be global.

    Jitterbug Waltz, Fats Waller’s tune, has a triplet feel under the 3/4, but it is not written out, merely assumed.
    Blog--Miniature Orchestra
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    Videos--YouTube
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  26. The following members say thank you to Tom Wright for this post:


  27. #24
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,305

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post

    Jitterbug Waltz, Fats Waller’s tune, has a triplet feel under the 3/4, but it is not written out, merely assumed.
    Good example. You could write it in 9/8, but no one would bother. Simpler to just think of it as swing feel.

  28. #25

    Default Re: Another Question for the Theory Geeks (no mandolin content)

    Just to throw in yet another option: Personally I’d go with 6/4 and a note that it is in triplet/swing/shuffle feel. The strong back beat argues against 3/4, since that implies downbeats every 3. This has a six count loop. And since the triplet here is a ‘feel’ rather than the fundamental rhythm of the tune, it doesn’t need to be strictly included in the time signature.

    Cheers
    MRT
    Altman F5
    - Website
    - YouTube videos

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •