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Time Signature

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Gostevie
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Time Signature

#358623

Postby Gostevie » November 20th, 2020, 11:41 pm

Hello fellow Fools,

I have just been listening to Azure D'Or by Renaissance. A very good album. I have no musical talent but usually a pretty good ear for time. Without such sarcopenic arms I might have made a decent drummer. However, the time signature on the first track 'Jekyll and Hyde' completely baffles me. Does anybody have any idea what it is?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kjib_Z5wssM

Many thanks,

Gostevie

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Time Signature

#358632

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 21st, 2020, 1:52 am

It isn't. That is to say, it doesn't remain in a single time signature. I hear more of the ubiquitous 4/4 than any other single time signature, but a lot of bars that are truncated from that to something shorter: 7/8 around where the voice first comes in, for instance. I couldn't give you a detailed breakdown without listening (and concentrating) more than once! It's something that can convey special/unusual effects, or just add interest. More commonly seen in higher-brow music than in pop, and more in modern than older classical music - unless you go right back to the renaissance before time signatures as we know them became more-or-less universal.

I didn't figure out the words, but the title suggests something a little mad, and the playful rhythms kind-of support that. Could be that glass of wine speaking, but I thought they did it rather well. Except for the excessive repetition of that banal phrase that ends it.

mc2fool
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Re: Time Signature

#358633

Postby mc2fool » November 21st, 2020, 3:15 am


Mike4
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Re: Time Signature

#358634

Postby Mike4 » November 21st, 2020, 3:23 am

Ah, Renaissance. Always liked their stuff but never quite understood who they were. A quick look at their Wiki page explains why. The band has had 37 members slotting in and out of the band over the decades!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_R ... nd_members

Stompa
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Re: Time Signature

#358698

Postby Stompa » November 21st, 2020, 11:44 am

Mike4 wrote:Ah, Renaissance. Always liked their stuff but never quite understood who they were. A quick look at their Wiki page explains why. The band has had 37 members slotting in and out of the band over the decades!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_R ... nd_members

Blimey, that's a blast from the past. At least Annie Haslam has put in 31 years and counting. I'm not sure they'd be the same without her wonderful voice.

I recall seeing them at the Brighton Dome in '74 or '75. The whole concert was great, but the 'Ashes Are Burning' finale was simply awesome.

redsturgeon
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Re: Time Signature

#358707

Postby redsturgeon » November 21st, 2020, 12:28 pm

Moderator Message:
DAK question answered but to facilitate further discussion I will move this to the music board and leave a shadow here on DAK

Midsmartin
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Re: Time Signature

#358808

Postby Midsmartin » November 21st, 2020, 4:18 pm

Never heard of them ! But I will listen to some more. Thanks!

mc2fool
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Re: Time Signature

#358823

Postby mc2fool » November 21st, 2020, 4:43 pm

Midsmartin wrote:Never heard of them ! But I will listen to some more. Thanks!

Start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtu98S8teAk ;) (1st album)

stevensfo
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Re: Time Signature

#358828

Postby stevensfo » November 21st, 2020, 5:02 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:It isn't. That is to say, it doesn't remain in a single time signature. I hear more of the ubiquitous 4/4 than any other single time signature, but a lot of bars that are truncated from that to something shorter: 7/8 around where the voice first comes in, for instance. I couldn't give you a detailed breakdown without listening (and concentrating) more than once! It's something that can convey special/unusual effects, or just add interest. More commonly seen in higher-brow music than in pop, and more in modern than older classical music - unless you go right back to the renaissance before time signatures as we know them became more-or-less universal.

I didn't figure out the words, but the title suggests something a little mad, and the playful rhythms kind-of support that. Could be that glass of wine speaking, but I thought they did it rather well. Except for the excessive repetition of that banal phrase that ends it.


Agree 4/4 or even 2/4, then it's anybody's guess. I always thought of myself as rather a good amateur musician, but I hated sudden changes in time signature. 7/8 is very Greek and I had a guitar-playing friend from Samos who could cope with it, no problem. He came to the UK to study Electrical Engineering and also took guitar lessons. I never understood why, since he was miles better than the tutor! For 7/8 I always counted 1234123 but sometimes 1231234. There's also 5/8 time, but just like horrendous keys with flats and sharps that pop up all over the place, I think they're written just to show off! Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :oops:

Steve

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Re: Time Signature

#358863

Postby Bubblesofearth » November 21st, 2020, 6:24 pm

Nothing to do with the main thread but as good an excuse as any to post what I consider one of the best examples of Annie Haslam's singing. Great song too..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXfzu3UJTCw

BoE

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Re: Time Signature

#358871

Postby johnhemming » November 21st, 2020, 6:44 pm

Dave Brubeck was one for unusual time signatures with Unsquare Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbdEzRfbeH4

and
Take Five
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA6eHZNnXY

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Time Signature

#358884

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 21st, 2020, 7:04 pm

stevensfo wrote:Agree 4/4 or even 2/4, then it's anybody's guess. I always thought of myself as rather a good amateur musician, but I hated sudden changes in time signature. 7/8 is very Greek and I had a guitar-playing friend from Samos who could cope with it, no problem. He came to the UK to study Electrical Engineering and also took guitar lessons. I never understood why, since he was miles better than the tutor! For 7/8 I always counted 1234123 but sometimes 1231234. There's also 5/8 time, but just like horrendous keys with flats and sharps that pop up all over the place, I think they're written just to show off! Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :oops:

Steve


As a singer I find there's a spectrum of complex time signatures, ranging from those done really well that achieve something special, through others where it's just the most natural thing to do, to those that feel like gratuitous complexity. The latter may of course also be a composer exploring a new idiom.

As a composer I quite often use them. Most usually they should be unobtrusive and not hard to perform, just adding a little spice or interest. Occasionally they serve a different purpose: thus in setting a poem about the sea, there are passages where you should be forever a little off-balance as if surfing the wave.

Oh, and I'm thinking you might not care for some of my choices of key. :roll:

Arborbridge
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Re: Time Signature

#358892

Postby Arborbridge » November 21st, 2020, 7:34 pm

Never heard of this band, but then I'm more into classical. However, I must say it was very enjoyable, and in the usual way of youtube, led me to other things.

So, though I can't answer your question, I enjoyed expansion of experience you gave me.

Arb.

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Re: Time Signature

#358941

Postby redsturgeon » November 22nd, 2020, 8:02 am

johnhemming wrote:Dave Brubeck was one for unusual time signatures with Unsquare Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbdEzRfbeH4

and
Take Five
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA6eHZNnXY



This is the best youtube to watch for "Unsquare dance" IMHO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yExwkQYcp0

How difficult to dance in 7/4 time?

John

Dod101
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Re: Time Signature

#358942

Postby Dod101 » November 22nd, 2020, 8:16 am

johnhemming wrote:Dave Brubeck was one for unusual time signatures with Unsquare Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbdEzRfbeH4

and
Take Five
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA6eHZNnXY


Wow that takes me back about what more than 50 years? I used to love that stuff but have not heard it for a log while.

I am not sure about Brubeck but sometimes the actual signature can be the common 4/4 time but the musician himself begins at a half beat later which throws the ear somewhat.

Dod

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Re: Time Signature

#358946

Postby johnhemming » November 22nd, 2020, 8:34 am

Dod101 wrote:
johnhemming wrote:Dave Brubeck was one for unusual time signatures with Unsquare Dance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbdEzRfbeH4

and
Take Five
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA6eHZNnXY


Wow that takes me back about what more than 50 years? I used to love that stuff but have not heard it for a log while.

I am not sure about Brubeck but sometimes the actual signature can be the common 4/4 time but the musician himself begins at a half beat later which throws the ear somewhat.

Sometimes the idea in 4/4 is to play chords on the final half beat of the bar before the bar proper commences. I am not sure what this is called, but they were doing it at some of the jazz summer schools I was going to about a decade or two ago.

There are, however, quite a few ways of syncopating the beat of which that is only one.

The clapping rhythm on Unsquare Dance is quite interesting.

Myself I tend to play in 4/4 or 3/4, however. There isn't a lot of jazz written for other time signatures. In my teens and early twenties I was a drummer in various bands initially playing heavy metal and punk, but moving into prog rock. That never moved out of 4/4 (although prog rock often likes unusual time signatures).

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Time Signature

#359029

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 22nd, 2020, 3:26 pm

redsturgeon wrote:How difficult to dance in 7/4 time?

John

I'd say impossible, but then I can't dance even in simple 3/4 or 4/4.

On the other hand, those who can dance enjoy a bit of variety. A few years back I was in the chorus when the Rambert dance company toured Howard Goodall's Eternal Light, which has them dancing to some seriously unlikely beats.

Sometimes an irregular beat can feel like absolutely natural dance music. Think for instance Uf dem Anger from Carmina Burana.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Time Signature

#359048

Postby AleisterCrowley » November 22nd, 2020, 5:16 pm

I'm a semi-reasonable guitarist, but I've always had a problem recognising time signatures.
Tubular Bells is a tricky one - I think it alternates 7/8, 8/8. Or something...

servodude
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Re: Time Signature

#359101

Postby servodude » November 22nd, 2020, 10:28 pm

AleisterCrowley wrote:I'm a semi-reasonable guitarist, but I've always had a problem recognising time signatures.
Tubular Bells is a tricky one - I think it alternates 7/8, 8/8. Or something...


If it's any consolation some exceptional guitar players have problems with it too!
- there's a reason why Money shifts to 4/4 for the guitar solo ;)

- sd


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