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Time Signatures
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Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (37 votes) 
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ELCBK
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May 15, 2023 - 12:24 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Some people say an extra beat gets thrown in, randomly - or one dropped.  I saw one with a really long last measure - you might also find a lengthy intro (not just a pickup) and if a pickup, they usually aren't compensated for at the end.  Sometimes there's extra repeats.  I don't think there's any hard fast rules to them.  It's nice if you can look over the notation (if it's somewhat accurate), but from what I understand many have been smoothed out when transcribed - or the time signature isn't helpful if 4/4 or 2/4, because it doesn't give you any indication of being 'Crooked'. 

I noticed at least a couple versions of crooked tunes at thesession.org actually show multiple time signature changes like "Tamarack'er Down" (4/4 to 6/4), "The Tolka" (2/4 to 5/8 - Kevin Burke plays this), "Reel des Voyaguers" (4/4 to 3/2 or 6/4 at the end), and André Brunet has a tutorial for "La Belle Catherine" - he talks about it being crooked, but shows his in only 2/4, where as The Session has versions notated with changes (4/4 to 6/4).  

"Tamarack'er Down" makes much more sense when you hear people chime in - it's like yelling, "stomp on the floor!". 

 

LOVE these 'Crooked Tunes' played by Laura Risk, "Deux reels en sol d'Andrè Alain" & "Le Reel des Voyageurs"

 

I probably should pay more attention, but honestly, I usually don't really care about bar lines & measures when I'm thinking in terms of phrases - as long as I hear when they end, and I don't have much reason to learn something I haven't heard somewhere. 

Except... I can run into trouble determining phrases vs parts, like the valse, Le Retour des Hirondelles - Katy Adelson plays it.  Musical Form Thread   I found accordion sheet music for it, it's REALLY long - there's 3 big parts that repeat, but without the notation I couldn't tell, because I think I feel many more phrases than actually exist & makes it hard for me to memorize!  

I really do appreciate that there have been workshops at Fiddle Hell on 'Crooked Tunes', but right now I can't even remember if any were taught this last April... guess I better check. 😔

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3f/a1/fe/3fa1fe2e7fd66b9fe739066516037bfe.jpg

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ABitRusty
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May 15, 2023 - 6:02 pm
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elcbk said....."Some people say an extra beat gets thrown in, randomly - or one dropped."

not really.  they are written as tunes.  

as far as pickup measures..they dont make it crooked.

its as simple as ..theres an extra beat somewhere.  notate however it makes sense.

 

I think its probably better to study a tune instead of the subject.  other words.. instead of deciding to study the subject of crooked tunes...maybe analyze a crooked tune thats accepted as being crooked.  IF.. its something you want to play.   I was introduced to them in group thing a while back.   and it went something like...this one is crooked so on measure 8 ( example ) youll want to hold the C chord ( example )  a beat longer.. dont rush it.  That was that.  same thing applied on others with fiddle..."hold that note another beat.. youll naturally want play the next note but its crooked"   or something like that.  

think youve shared some good tunes to play with.  i think if youre learning the tune by playing with a recording itll work itself out juat by that.   Youll probably find the part that makes it "crooked" that way.

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ELCBK
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May 15, 2023 - 9:57 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Sorry, when I said randomly - meant there's not a specific place where additional notes are added, that's common to all crooked tunes, or a common number of additional notes among them.

Only mentioned pickups because each pickup note added is 'supposed' to be that many less in the last measure - so technically, if there's a 2 note pickup, but a full measure at the end, that's 2 additional notes right there.  Some don't have any pickup.

I'm glad we're talking about Crooked Tunes. 

Have you had a chance to watch/play any from this past Fiddle Hell?

Pascal Gemme taught "Reel à Martin", which is crooked - I didn't miss this workshop, but hadn't looked at the notation provided, until now.  Forgot how long this reel is - with 8 measures repeated, 8 more repeated, then 16 measures more & multiple meters in only the 'A' & 'C' parts (2/2 to 3/2)!  So no pickup, but many extra measures and 3 extra beats (total) from meter changes. 

I watched Anne Lederman's Metis workshop, "Grandy's D Reel #2" - during dinner tonight.  G string tuned up to 'A' & remarked how people played 'crooked' tunes together (all different), so everyone didn't end at the same time!  This is another great (long) tune with meter changes (2/4 to 3/4).  There's a 7 measure (repeated) 'A' part, 12 measure 'B' part, plus an 8 measure 2nd 'B' part & 11 measures in the 3rd 'B' part!  There is a pickup, it's compensated for at the end.  Many extra measures, only 2 extra beats (total) from meter changes.

Don't think medleys are common in places where the crooked tunes are, so guess it makes sense they'd be made with extra bars.

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ABitRusty
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The way I look at this.  Maybe important thing is just being able to play it and Id have to just practice as normal and be like yeah..some extra notes there.  Id probably have the metronome on to start or a slowed version playing along with.   what makes a tune crooked or not by definition wouldnt matter at that point. 

 

@elcbk just looked at music in whoova.

Reel à Martin is a 3 part A,A B,B C tune.  16 measures of A, 16 of B, and 16 of C.  

in the A part measure 16 has an extra beat ( the dotted quarter + eighth)  or i guess you could say the extra beat is when the dotted quarter C is.

in C part measure 4 and 12 do

I dont think the fact that you have 3 parts makes it crooked, its the extra beats in the above measures.  

the medley thing idk.. thats a different subject i think.

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ELCBK
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@ABitRusty -

I just figured it's like everything else - we listen to enough & get used to them. 

I was looking at every place Martin's Reel changed from 2/2 to 3/2 (3 times) - so added a total of 3 notes to the tune if it had been written in just 2/2 throughout.

Only mentioned the extra measures because aren't 'most' fiddle tunes more like 32 measures? 

Anne did a whole interesting project based on the repertoire of Grandy Fagnan! 

"The Grandy Project"

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ABitRusty
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"Only mentioned the extra measures because aren't 'most' fiddle tunes more like 32 measures? "

So far it seems that way.   I will say weve had several 3 part jigs.  Seem like 3 parters more common as a jig.   as soon as i post this ill probably think of some reels.

i think what would be more interesting to find out is how a 3 parter is handled at a contra type dance.  And especially how a crooked is handled.  something for the bass and guitar(S) player to worry about 🙂  at least in old timey.  I guess if a 3 parter  2 times through whole tune vs 3 then into something else.  I dont know that...a guess.  

I cant recall any irish so far thats crooked.  Its late though.  glad we got stuff squared away. 😉😁

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Fiddlerman
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May 18, 2023 - 9:51 am
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Reading these posts remind me of all the challenging modern music that we were forced to play over the years in my orchestras. Obviously, sometimes it's well worth the effort but often it was a huge pain in the butt.

I feel very differently about the mainstream popular music with odd time signatures vs the 12 tone contemporary music. It's the latter that often tends to be the pain. That being said, you learn a lot when you're forced to focus and study the beats. 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ELCBK
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Fiddlerman said
Reading these posts remind me of all the challenging modern music that we were forced to play over the years in my orchestras. Obviously, sometimes it's well worth the effort but often it was a huge pain in the butt.

I feel very differently about the mainstream popular music with odd time signatures vs the 12 tone contemporary music. It's the latter that often tends to be the pain. That being said, you learn a lot when you're forced to focus and study the beats.

roflol

At least 'Crooked' Tunes have a melody!!!

Yuck, there isn't any 'Key' in 12 Tone Contemporary Music... are there even any motifs that are repeated? dunnodazed 

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Fiddlerman
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May 19, 2023 - 8:42 am
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It's like a box of chocolates..... Ya never knowwwww what-cha gonna get.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ELCBK
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Fiddlerman said
It's like a box of chocolates..... Ya never knowwwww what-cha gonna get.

 

🤔... some modern music sounds like it got picked from the cat litter box to me, but I shouldn't say 'yuck' to it all!  I've heard music from Schoenberg, Bartók, Webern, Alban Berg, even Phillip Glass, that I liked - also some 'musique concrète'.

I just haven't kept up with all the different Contemporary Music 'movements' in history - and I really should, not because I want to play them, but because I'm sure they are all based on interesting concepts that help foster creativity! 

 

'Art Music' - should it be called something else?

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Fiddlerman
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May 25, 2023 - 12:30 pm
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ELCBK said

Fiddlerman said

It's like a box of chocolates..... Ya never knowwwww what-cha gonna get.

🤔... some modern music sounds like it got picked from the cat litter box to me..........

ROFL, True

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Gordon Shumway
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Radio 3's composer of the week is Ligeti. I like his piano études - influenced by Debussy, some of them. Wiki says gamelan, African polyrhythms, Béla Bartók, Conlon Nancarrow, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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Odd time Signature?

Listening, this piece is either really obviously in 5/4 (correction, 5/8!) - or else I haven't learned a thing & need to quit posting... 🙄😳

The Hangin' Tree, performed by Simon Streuff.

 

The last half of the video contains some enlightening info and also ends with a positive message! 🥰 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b5/0f/86/b50f86520af53893325a0bb2d8ec8e41.jpg

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Gordon Shumway
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I misread you. It could be written in 5/4, but the triplets make that a little awkward.

It might be better to write it in 10/8. They are playing 6 beats as triplets then four beats as doublets. You could alternate bars of 6/8 with bars of 2/4 or 4/8, which would probably be bad due to the speed. A composer such as Leo Brouwer might have had bars of 10 with internal divisions between the 6 and the 4.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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You can verify the above by tapping the 10 beats on your legs or knees.

LR

1 2

3 1

2 3

1 2 

1 2

and repeat. Start as slow as you like and get faster.

The tapping is 100% rhythmical and alternating (lrlrlrlrlr), but you emphasise the number 1s.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

Thank you for looking at this for me! 

I didn't listen too closely & didn't search for any notation - was just proud of myself that I noticed something like the 'Mission Impossible' theme, and remembered it was an odd time of 5/4. 

I don't have any problem evenly counting out 5 beats against the violin rhythm on the right.  But, I can't count 10 beats fast enough for one bar & doesn't make me feel the groove any better.  I hear the syncopation & don't see a problem.

 

Just took a moment to see if this was discussed in any videos about the 'original' music: 

This percussion-based video shows the original is in 5/8.  Now, THIS does make sense to me & shows the syncopation - especially at about a minute into the video, when notation is laid over the performance. (Otto Percussion Studio)

 

This guitar-based video shows the original is in 5/4BUT, this notation doesn't really show what I hear.

 

...do you still feel there is 10 beats to a bar?

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Gordon Shumway
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I don't count 10, I tap out 10. It's not quit the same.

Yes, it is Mission Impossible, which I haven't seen since about 1970. From memory, that had brass emphasising beats 1, 4, 7, 9.

Or if you want to keep it to 5/4, the second brass note is off the beat.

It is also possible that it had bongos beating out the 10.

No, it's a cymbal - the bongos do other things: -

5/4 is easy enough for the orchestra with only the drummer playing half beats and only the tuba or trombone playing one note off the beat (with the clave assisting), everyone else is on the beat, but to score it for violins playing triplets doesn't seem such a clear decision. You can do it either way, but it's probably tricker in 5/4. More likely that violin part was unscored. Or if scored, it was analysed and then practised from memory without the distraction of the score.

Although I'm dissolving into waffle, it is worth noting a difference between those violin triplets and Shifrin's music. The triplets only emphasise beats 1 and 4 (of 10), losing the emphasis on beat 5 of 10 that is there in Shifrin's 5/4 (beat 3). This isn't important, but it should make you realise that there's not a complete equivalence between the two approaches. Shifrin's cymbal is emphasising (half-)beats 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, not playing triplets.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@AndrewH -

I listened to the Desert Session version of the Hanging Tree - slightly different than the Queens of the Stone Age version, so finally broke down & asked Simon what time signature he was playing - even tried to get him to tell me a bit more about the rhythm (thinking composite), but at least he responded promptly! 

"Yes, it is a 5/8 rhythm. Took me some time to get used to it, but it is so refreshing! I love this song!" 

 

...'I' understand time signature & rhythm are not the same, so I'll leave it at that. 

 

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ELCBK
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I found a great article that goes into depth about different ways to notate 5/8, 5/4 & 15/8!  Complex Meters - article at Chromatone

 

AndrewH said
Ah, yes -- Dave Brubeck is a favorite of mine.

Looking earlier, though, it might be fun to listen to some Bulgarian folk dances. Bulgaria is especially known for having a lot of folk dances in unusual meters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....n_dances 

 

I've definitely been interested in Folk Music of Bulgaria and it's surrounding Countries!  Fiddle Music From Central and SE Europe Thread

 

Traditional music of the Balkans uses such meters extensively [Complex, Irregular, Odd].  Bulgarian dances, for example, include forms with 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 22, 25 and other numbers of beats per measure.  These rhythms are notated as additive rhythms based on simple units, usually 2, 3 and 4 beats, though the notation fails to describe the metric "time bending" taking place, or compound meters. (Chromatone)

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ELCBK
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I'm still on a Time Signature kick... 🤗 or 😒? (lol) 

Was looking closer at "Olympus Mons", by Fourth Moon - posted by ABitRusty in the French Celtic Presence Thread - it's a VERY cool tune! 

Olympus Mons is notated as a 'slip jig' in 9/8 time at thesession.org.  It helps to see how they tap once in a while in the video... guess it pays to see them perform in person! 😊 

But I hear more than what is notated.

It starts out at 9/8, grouped 3,3,3, but at 2:30 the video sounds like the meter switches to 5/4 time for approx 16 bars - then at approx 3:00 I hear 4/4 that changes into an 8 beat syncopated rhythm (3,3,2 then 3,2,3), then to a faster 4/4 (maybe more like 4/8?).  Seems like a 3 part tune to me & isn't notated that way at The Session.

...sure, I'm probably hearing 3 DIFFERENT TUNES! 😳🥴

OH GREAT! 😣 Just looked back at the other thread, where I mentioned THERE IS A SECOND TUNE, but then it seems like there's still one extra tune before it (where I notice time changes?)!  L'heure avant l'aube (The hour before dawn) - it's written in 4/4!

Anyone else care to take a stab at these? 

I don't have any trouble changing rhythms, but I do think it becomes extremely important if you only have written notation for a reference.  Guess I'll show the World my ignorance & ask the guys of Fourth Moon. 🙄 ...man, I REALLY, REALLY, LOVE the syncopation in their "Zenith" - but not opening that bucket of worms here.

I am having a time crisis, though...

Reels seem like they are played in 4/8 (to me), not 4/4.  So, when does a FAST 4/4 become a 4/8, or 4/16 - where's the BPM cutoff???  I watched one video that said there wasn't really any difference between 3/4 & 3/8... really?  Why isn't it twice as fast?

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