FORUM

Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Please participate in our “Let it Snow” Xmas 2020 Group youtube project!”

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Mixed time signatures....
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (17 votes) 
Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 17, 2020 - 8:58 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3515
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Just throwing this one out for general interest and discussion.

I've written a few tunes and songs over the years.  They're generally pretty simple stuff, but will carry a nice melody and harmonized parts.

The fiddle is my newest instrument, so sure, I've composed 4 or so tunes to play on the fiddle ( I will NOT call them "fiddle-tunes" - to me they are just tunes.)

Anything I've ever written has always had a fixed time-signature. I may vary the tempo in places (like a rit. towards the end of the piece) but that's generally all I have done in the past.

My curent piece was developed "by ear" - picking out a nice little riff/theme/motif on the instrument and building around it.  It's only THEN that I say "I'm happy with that" and commit it to score.

So.... (yes it evolved from something that had an initial hornpipe feel to it) and has, strangely enough, ended up in 3/4 time.  That does NOT mean it is a waltz by the way....  LOLOL

Now, my "issue" with the scored-up version ( well I didn't really have an issue with it - it made perfect sense to me ) - was this.   

I had already HEARD the tune being played over and over as I developed it - so I had an a-priori knowledge of where stressed beats lay.   As it fell into place on the score I was aware that the meter was changing (not the tempo, just the rhythmic intent - and it IS intended...).  It then struck me that (to some folks, not all) a meter-change / time-signature change, particularly in what may be considered a fiddle-tune (remember - to me it is just a tune - it is instrument independent!) may look and feel strange....

I have seen some specifically-fiddle tunes that do this as scored, but not many.

I have seen various classical pieces which commonly do this (but I just investigate them for interest, not my playing genre)

So - contentious to some no doubt ( LOLOL ) here are three scored variations of an extract, which, when played are (and they are intended to be) precisely the same. 

What is "missing" in the 3/4-all-the-way-through-score is the "clarity" of where the stress beat falls - it is evident in bars 84, 85, 86 where the accented beats are marked with a red spot.  Re-notate these bars to 2/4 or 4/4 then, yes, we suddenly have the stressed beat falling at the start, or (for 4/4) at least in a regular visual position in the bar.

Do you care about having mixed-meter scores, does it concern you, does it matter ? LOL

I'm just curious about this because as I say, it really matters-not to me, but I do appreciate that it can sometimes cause confusion - especially if simply presented with a new score, having never heard it played....  And yes - of course the 3/4-all-the-way-through-score could be readily clarified by specific up and down bow indications, I accept that. 

Just wondering!

Here are the three notational representations - they will all sound exactly the same when played....

Capture-1-1.JPGImage EnlargerCapture-2-1.JPGImage EnlargerCapture-3.JPGImage Enlarger

***EDIT*** here's a synth version to listen to while you sight read - quite simply, it won't have the expression of a real player, but it's good enough to follow)

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 11:35 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

That Is Super Smiley@BillyG -

This is Super GREAT!  Pretty much what I was hinting at in your other thread.

I'm not sure I have a preference - maybe the 3rd.

Might the "cut time symbol", "allegretto", "allegretto vivace", "allegrissimo" or "allegro" be used where your time changes? 

I'm not great with understanding how to best use all the music notation terms, yet.

Really appreciate you sharing this process - 💖 LOVE the tune! 

https://supportjdhs.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/music-notes.jpg

 

- Emily 

 

SORRY!  edited my musical notation terms.  Can "cut time symbol" only be used if starting & returning to 4/4 time?

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 17, 2020 - 11:50 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3515
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

🙂 lumpy-2134 and smiles - yes to what you wrote in the other thread, and in some way, that indeed is what prompted me to even mention it separately here - just thought it might be of interest, especially to newcomers to music in general - who are often disconcerted by changes in meter (or tempo - which is of course a different thing) on a score.

I have no personal preference on this one (but that's because I know it so well by now).  However, were the score to be new to me - well, I'd go for the 2nd or 3rd image - I would (without having down/up bow indications) "struggle with the intent of the composer" on the 3/4-all-the-way-through-version, especially if I had never heard or seen it played....  But that's just me! LOL

How might "accelerando" be used?  Along with, or possible in place of the time change? 

  If I modified the tempo (by accelerando-ing) the section - then the overall timing (in terms of how-long-it-lasts-for) of THAT 8 bars would be shorter than both the earlier, and the following, 8 bars which are 3/4 all the way - which are not shown here - and - for this tune - I know I would find THAT somewhat disconcerting - who mentioned Schönberg - i.e. Schönberg  = disconcerting ... ROFL )

  Hmmmm.... but I do know what you mean there - but it's not what I was trying to achieve - it is still (over the 8 bars of interest) a fixed tempo.  All of the 3 scored variations last precisely the same time at the same overall tempo and have 24 beats in that section - regardless of the difference in the number of bars making up that section. 

  Ahaaaa - light-bulb-moment - sure, I say that - but - I'm having to think more on it ( thanks, Emily! ) and yes OK - I have it - IF I speeded-up a section over 3 or 4 bars in an 8-bar 3/4 section, it wouldn't "last as long" ( which is important for this piece to match the earlier and following sections ) - so... yes - absolutely - speed it up, but also add some extra notes  (8ths or 16ths etc) to "fill in the now missing-time of the 8 bars"...   Aye.... I see that, and sure it would be more than a grace-note or two, - maybe a little "decoration with a flourish" LOLOL - yeah - I see where you're going now....  Yeah, possibly, and still end up with "the equivalent of" a 24-beat 8-bar section when the tempo (which is now changing across the 8 bars, is normalized/amortized over the section)...  Interesting!  Thanks!   My only "down-side" to this approach is that doing such would seem to "make the piece fit a score" and not "make the score fit the piece"..... and that seems somehow wrong to me....?????  Honestly, I really don't know ??? dunno But thought-provoking nonetheless !

  To my mind, regardless of the scored representation (and that's the point on this discussion - to me, the score is JUST a representation of what has to be played, no more, no less, it is in some way decoupled from what, when played correctly, a listener will hear). 

  In my piece, the tempo just does not change, the rhythm does, that's all.   

  Although NOT intended as a dance tune - I did want to keep a constant overall timing (yes, the rhythm is, by my command and design, allowed to change) - but I did want a tight-rein on the timing of the overall 8-bar structure - whatever the tempo changes (if used as per your thoughts) - in this piece, yes, it would have to last "the equivalent of" 24 beats at 135bpm over the 8 bars and could be achieved by slightly-modifying the tune-as-played.....  aye... that's it in a nutshell.

  Thanks for the feedback Emily - yeah - it's a simple thing, but I know it raises questions, and hopefully, makes folks think about these things.  Cool !

  Nice one, got me thinking !   Excuse my verbosity ( it was me, talking to myself really.  I need a cardboard cut-out proper musician to talk to ! )

E L E V E N !!!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 12:04 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

#11Laughing Smiley Electrocuted EmoticonsThanx @BillyG - you have me thinking a lot about all this, too! 

Sorry I didn't edit my post in time for you, but realized "accelerando" was only for gradual change.

Personally, I like the term "animato"! 

 

https://www.lanesboro.lib.mn.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/cat_fiddle.jpg- Emily

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 17, 2020 - 12:21 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3515
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

thumbs-up  Yeah, it is interesting the deeper we dig into these things.... it can all appear SO simple with a little single-page 4/4, 6/8 or whatever (and often poorly notated)  fiddle tune.....  aye, indeed!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 6:10 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

In the style of Kramer from Seinfield..lol..Ill drop this into the discussion of mixed time signatures...well I think its a mixed time signature tune...sounds like it.   and ask..is this the type of mixed ryhthm youre going for @billyg ?   talking about the first tune in this set called lockmarsch..  the b part seems like it changes to me around :52 then again 1:40ish.. around 2:30 it goes into Begone Dull Care.  some old timey crooked tunes that come to mind are Farewell to Trion which has a section that goes to 6/4 from 4/4 and back.. and Elk River Blues.. which has an extra beat added to a measure here and there..

probably nothing related to topic but love the tune talk... 🙂

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 7:47 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@GregW -

You are always full of surprises!

Hannah James & Sam Sweeney made a FABULOUS duo for a while! 

Loved their music - and this one of Sam's, but where's the sheet music so Billy can see how he wrote the changes? 

I believe the hardest part of creating music is getting it down on paper in such a way other people can play it the way you envision. 

Or do I misunderstand? 

giphy.gif

- Emily

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 8:10 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Emily @ELCB I chatted with Sam ( very approachable) about the sheet music and what the tune was at the beginning...he couldnt provide sheet music ( i have no shame..even offered to purchase 🙂 ) due to copyright things but pointed me over to a youtube for lockmarsch which is how I found out what the tune was..Ive been too lazy to try and notate myself..  

here is a link to a page with farewell to trion on it.  Its notated out slightly different and instead of a long 6/4 measure they do 2/4 for the extra beats youll discover when playing along with it.   Id share my copy but its from an instructor and dont feel comfortable posting her work like that.  she probably wouldnt care but I havent asked.  she did a 6/4 measure though.  Elk river blues is out there as well...and as has been pointed out you will see it notated differently depending on the person.  Its probably easier to hear that one than try and read it from sheet.  I havent checked but Im thinking sycamore tea is another crooked tune to check out.  or maybe green willis (raw recruit)  seems like one of those is mixed time.  probably wrong there though...just some examples of fiddley tunes that do it.

https://www.mne.psu.edu/lamanc.....tunes.html

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 8:58 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Lol Laughing Emoticons@GregW - 

I have no shame, either!   

I may prefer to learn from someone playing, but someday I just might have something worth saving for the Grandkids (lol)!  Learning my best options is important to me. 

I had that link bookmarked, didn't even think of going there (sigh).

Thank you - VERY helpful! 

giphy.gif

- Emily 

 

Btw, this can be frustrating! 

I listened while viewing the sheet music for "Elk River Blues" at "String Lessons" on YouTube.  Could have used the "cut time symbol", but seems silly for only 1 of each 4 or 5 bars.  Seems there should be a better way to notate this - easier to read.

Said at the beginning of the video, "The tune plays nine times at gradually increasing speeds."  If it was truly meant to be played that way there was no indication of this on the sheet music! 

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 10:48 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

the extra beat or odd measures really comes into play with guitar players ( talking jam).  i also suspect banjo since they rely on finger roll patterns and such..but guessing there..but playing fiddle...I bet if you listened to it a few times you wouldnt even think about what measure or beat your on while playing melody..but for someone backing you and only knowing what the chords are and expecting a square 8 measures repeated..  they would cut that measure short..think uts 5/4 or something weird..sorry cant explain well. 

 

here is something possibly helpful

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 17, 2020 - 10:54 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

also..this is the version i like...there are faster versions out there..sorry @billyg..ive derailed your topic sir.

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 4:24 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HiPrdukewcU/UGI7bKPAk4I/AAAAAAAAA9U/W5kZHP6Lylw/s640/swampsmall.jpg

Well, BillyG -

So, your tune is a "crooked" one and I'm definitely a "crooked" tune-loving-person!

 

GregW - 

Thanks for shedding light on issues with jamming to "crooked tunes". 

Scary Halloween Monster Emoticons- Emily 

 

Btw, I'm still pondering the possibility of a different way to annotate these.

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 18, 2020 - 6:36 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3515
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

GregW said
.......sorry @billyg..ive derailed your topic sir.

LOL @GregW - nah, not at all, no way !!!

It's constructive and educational ( great link by the way, thanks for sharing that )

My own exposure to "fiddle tunes" is largely Scottish traditional dance music, and to a limited extent, what might be classed as UK-wide folk music.

Through this forum, I've been introduced to tunes I simply had never heard before - it started off with stuff @Barry played for us - like Old Joe Clarke, 8th of January and a good number more (and thanks for that Barry!)....  That general "style" is indeed foreign to me, but I make a reasonable stab-at-it.

I'm not sure my tune is a "crooked tune" in the precise sense I currently understand it - but - I'm maybe splitting-hairs here....   In my piece, by intent, I have kept the 8-bar (when scored in 3/4 time) sequence to exactly 24 beats at the overall unchanging tempo (whatever it was).  I'm getting the impression that a "crooked tune" really DOES (and there is nothing wrong with that at all) sort of break-the-overall rhythm - it's like a "pause, or when dancing, take a different couple of steps, because - something's about to change" - and - sure - I can see that as entirely danceable as well.

Interesting!  

Thanks for all your feedback @ELCB and @GregW - PRECISELY what I wanted !  TY!

( and I'm now away to download a number of these midi files, Greg ! ^5s )

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 8:31 am
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

In my piece, by intent, I have kept the 8-bar (when scored in 3/4 time) sequence to exactly 24 beats at the overall unchanging tempo (whatever it was).

I understand now..i missed that I think.

well..could you forget about the measures at first.  jot down the notes..they dont have to represent their true tone..just basically like how you see drum sheet music notated.. write out the notes (quarter/eighth..whatever they are) in sequence that represent the melody...then group to give you your 8 bars.  sounds like youll end up with a measure or 2 that is/are different.   then plug that into musescore.

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 11:26 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@BillyG -

Okay, I actually got a couple hours of sleep, so rarin' to go! 

Thinking about what GregW said, something is still not sitting right with me - can you help clarify this for me? 

  • Do you actually play this exactly as you wrote this? 
  • No fractional rests anywhere
  • When is enough, enough?

I ran across this, thinking "there's too many sweets-related fun holidays here, lately!" (lol) - not exactly a short folk tune, but you might see/hear where I'm coming from.    

 

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1190/2342/products/GC377.jpg?v=1527177220

- Emily 

Happy Chocolate Cupcake Day! 

 

You probably even started to elude to a possibility of some fractional notes/rests and a compound time signature - I can be pretty slow at times (lol). 

Nothing is ever as simple as it first appears...

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 1:01 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

ELCB said
Lol Laughing Emoticons@GregW - 

I have no shame, either!   

I may prefer to learn from someone playing, but someday I just might have something worth saving for the Grandkids (lol)!  Learning my best options is important to me. 

I had that link bookmarked, didn't even think of going there (sigh).

Thank you - VERY helpful! 

giphy.gif

- Emily 

 

Btw, this can be frustrating! 

I listened while viewing the sheet music for "Elk River Blues" at "String Lessons" on YouTube.  Could have used the "cut time symbol", but seems silly for only 1 of each 4 or 5 bars.  Seems there should be a better way to notate this - easier to read.

Said at the beginning of the video, "The tune plays nine times at gradually increasing speeds."  If it was truly meant to be played that way there was no indication of this on the sheet music! 

  

Emily @ELCB  I watched the youtube on Elk Ruver your talking about..He is just playing faster each time as a practice thing for people watching the video.  Its not part of the tune just an instructional aid.  Youll hear it faster and slower depending on whatever youtube you watch.  

Avatar
BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 18, 2020 - 1:47 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3515
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

@GregW - yes - in fact that's close to what I did.   And, indeed, if you check back to the first post, and look at the first image - that's exactly how it ended up - bars 84, 85, 86 were indeed "different"

Now - it didn't worry me at all - but  I know some folks prefer to see the stressed beat in a regular place in a bar.  In this case, yes, the first beat in the bar happens to be (in the rest of the 3/4 bars) the stressed beat.

It was quite clear that in fact, for these 3 bars, the timing had moved from 3/4 to 4/4 - so - the devil in me posed the general question - I can re-arrange these bars and show them as 2/4 or 4/4 without changing in any way the overall duration for the original 8 bars in question - but - (for those to whom it does make a difference) - it MIGHT be more readable (again, particularly if they have never heard it played).  Equally, I know some fiddlers don't like to see time-sig changes where, strictly I suppose, they are not necessary.   Also, some prefer to actually see a section like that as exactly 8 bars - suddenly making it 10 bars when the "offending bars" are re-notated as 2/4, or 7 bars when the offending bars were notated as 4/4 can "throw" some folks. As I say, just the devil in me....

And @ELCB -

Do you actually play this exactly as you wrote this? 

No fractional rests anywhere

When is enough, enough?

Errr... yes, pretty much exactly.  It IS a tune being played on (in this instance) a fiddle - and - sure - there can be little embellishments at the instant of playing, but yes, that's how I generally expect it to be played.

Nope - no little or fractional rests anywhere (unless, when playing, I may feel like fore-shortening a note here or there to bring attention to the NEXT little bit to be played - again - that's individual, it's just in the moment, I might do that sometimes, other times, no). 

So, I'm not sure what prompted your question about that though - the piece will sound exactly the same, has exactly the same number of notes, and lasts exactly the same overall time regardless of whether the section in question (between the repeats) is scored entirely 3/4 (first image - where the section is 8 bars), a mix of 3/4 and 2/4 ( second image - where the section is now 10 bars long), or a mix of 3/4 and 4/4 (final image - where that section in question is now only 7 bars) - they are identical in all respects when played..... so - I don't "get" the query about the rests.  If I misunderstand you, or haven't managed to answer - ask again !!! ( LOL, no problem!  We'll nail it! )

As to when is enough, enough - trust me - I don't know !!!!  It's all good !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
ELCB
USA
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 2:22 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 684
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

GregW -

Thanks for clarifying that - still seems awkward to me to annotate 1 bar of 3 notes with a time change (Elk River Blues).

 

BillyG -

Guess I was thinking I'd heard you play enough, but I must be projecting my own preferences here - sorry!

Thought you might be able to use a combination of fractional quavers & rests, possibly a compound time signature (all the way through) to help express the fun/light heartfelt way I've seen you play. 

Sure takes me a long time to narrow down what I really want to say!

So, did you decide to stick with your 3rd version, or 2nd? 

 

- Emily Eye Alien Walking Caterpillar Monster Emoticons

Avatar
GregW
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 941
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

@ELCB  I think its just as common to see it alternating between 4/4 and 5/4 throughout instead of 1  2/4 measure. at end of phrase.  

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
October 18, 2020 - 4:46 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 937
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

The rhythmic device used in the original post (three two-beat groupings in two three-beat measures) is common enough that there is a term for it: it's called a hemiola. Typically in the classical world it's written without any time signature change because it's fairly obvious to musicians that they are seeing a hemiola.

Example: third movement of Dvorak's 6th Symphony, written entirely in 3/4 time.

 

 

If it gets more complicated than a temporary shift to duple meter, or if it doesn't fit nearly within measures in the original time signature, then a meter change may be warranted.

 

(Of course, there are also composers who seemed to be extremely resistant to changing meters... when playing Brahms, it's often best to simply disregard the bar lines.)

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online: AndrewH, Mouse
Guest(s) 32
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming oceanwiser, Georganne, brewyet, Krootie, PaganinisGhost, Viking Violinist, ptrckmcconn, Octopus.Violinus, xTIDx, cashierjim, FiddleDog, Bella86, 1 Whiz Kid, Mouse
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2679
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
damfino: 1971
Kevin M.: 1971
cdennyb: 1815
TerryT: 1728
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27333
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 58
Topics: 8654
Posts: 107503
Newest Members:
harcherjr, abcd, georgefernandis, camilahenry, Craig, sue
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 15208, KindaScratchy: 1756, coolpinkone: 4176, BillyG: 3515, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 2234