odd time signatures

odd time signatures

I’m fascinated by tunes with odd time signatures. But (other than jigs or waltzes) ther doesnt seem to be any category for 5/4, 7/8 (like watermans) and eg Kopanitzas (13/8) can somewone tell me how I find them without just looking at each one?

Re: odd time signatures

You run into that some in old Church music too. Drives the new modern lounge lizard church piano players and screechy girl cantors wild.

"damn…there’s beats (your choice) a. missing, b. added, c. all over the place, or d. all of the above."

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Really "offbeat", Zippy? If it is "sweet" music, does that make them sugarbeets?

Re: odd time signatures

Searching Bulgarian tunes will also find some odd rhythms.
Here are some comments about 9/8 rhythms.
"Roumen Sirakov’s Daichevo"
Submitted on June 9th 2004 by NeilBarr
https://thesession.org/tunes/3138

Posted by .

Re: odd time signatures

We have a defibrilator on the rescue truck that can help with that.

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Didn’t Planxty have an absolute ripper back in 1979 on the "After the Break" album?

I think it was Hungarian in origin and had a really complex time signature. Maybe someone here can name it or even find it?

It was the one album Matt Molloy did with them before he joined the Chieftains.

Best,

Brian xx

Re: odd time signatures

These Eastern European rhythms can look complex and off-putting in sheet music form, but it’s quite a different matter when you learn them by ear, preferably with dancers doing their thing in front of you.
English folk music isn’t immune, either. Sometimes you’ll come across a tune with a few bars in a strange time-signature, but it’s intimately related to the particular dance the music is accompanying.

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Speaking of Planxty, there’s also a nice Eastern Euro type of tune at the end of "The Blacksmith" that really rips. I’ve always liked what Andy Irvine does with his blending of Irish and Eastern Euro music. Although he’s one of the few who can get away with that kind of thing.

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Check out Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane’s "Eastwind." One of my favorite albums and chock full of the Balkan rhythms.

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"can somewone tell me how I find them without just looking at each one?"

No sheet music, but plenty to listen to and pick up:

http://dunav.org.il/balkan_music.html

If they’re here, they’re on the wrong site. Tell Jeremy that you found them, maybe he’ll do the sensible thing and get rid of them.

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@John Errington:

If you want to find any tunes in funny signatures or references to such signatures here on The Session, all you have to do is go to Home, click on Search, and type in the box the signature you want to look up. Click again, and it’ll bring them up. I did so just now, typing 5/4 in the box. Good luck.

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Who was it said "This tune was written in 1928, which is a really difficult time signature to play in. " ?

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I found quite enough odd tempii to try and work out, listening to Coolfin to last me a lifetime

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‘Who was it said "This tune was written in 1928, which is a really difficult time signature to play in. " ?’

Guernsey Pete, if my memory serves me correctly.

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I remember reading a mention of "one of those Balkan tunes with their time signatures in prime numbers…"

I liked that!

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A couple of years ago I was teaching an Irish music class in Denmark at a Danish folk music and dance weekend.
Part of the deal was playing in a kind of folk orchestra for dancers and one of the dances was in 3/4 2/4 which I had never come across before.
This rhythm stuck in my head and ever since I have been thinking about maybe composing a tune using it…
Its like a cross between a waltz and a polka and simply goes 123 123 12 12 123 123 12 12 etc.

Re: odd time signatures

might as well write in 44 with 123 as triplets.

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If memory serves the pattern you mention is used for the "Zweifacher." I’ve always though the dance was Austrian or perhaps south east German, but I certainly could be wrong. The German Wikipedia merely says "southern area."

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I think the most complicated time signature I’ve ever heard humans play is the marimba duet section from Harry Partch’s "Castor and Pollux Plectra and Percussion Dances". If I remember right, one instrument is in 34/8 while other is in 19/8. There’s a version of it on YouTube, posted in two segments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ig0yQuvkrg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EQVrGOLMEg


That weird rhythm is the second video, starting at 4 minutes in.

There are some enormously long metric cycles in Turkish classical music - these are rarely played now except maybe once in a blue moon at Mevlevi dervish ceremonies.

Nim Zencir = (8 + 10 + 12 + 14) = 60.
Darb-i-Fetih = 88 (the book I have gives different analyses of this which don’t all add up).
Zencir type 1 = (16 + 20 + 24 + 28 + 32) = 120.
Cihar = (24 + 48 + 20 + 32) = 124.

Very much less folky, Brian Ferneyhough conducting, describing, singing and fingersnapping his percussion piece "Bone Alphabet":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XesrLIpMShI

and a score sample of what he’s doing:
http://www.bmic.co.uk/collection/pdfs/27246w.pdf

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Thanks to all of you who have given such useful replies. I guess I’ve got enough to be going on with for now!

Re: odd time signatures

"This rhythm stuck in my head and ever since I have been thinking about maybe composing a tune using it…
Its like a cross between a waltz and a polka and simply goes 123 123 12 12 123 123 12 12 etc."

"might as well write in 44 with 123 as triplets."

No, it’ not like that, all the beats have equal length. More precisely it’s alternating bars of 6/8 and 2/4. It’s a rhythm which the prog rock fraternity are quite fond of, e.g. Jethro Tull - Living In The Past.

Re: odd time signatures

gotcha, I don’t know why I was confused earlier

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I don’t have any links handy, but if you check some of the French trad "partition" sites, you’ll find numerous waltzes in 5/4 and 8/4. About six months ago, I was at a "waltz evening" where they added in 9/4, 11/4 (not rare here), 12/4 and 14/4! :-o