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Thread: Hi! Rhythm notation question

  1. #1
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    Hi! Rhythm notation question

    Hi all. I'm SlowToby, and this is my first post. I found this site because I have a problem that's been driving me crazy. I hope someone here can help...

    I want to transition smoothly from a 3/4 song to a 4/4 song, and I know it's possible, I just don't know how to notate it...

    The 3/4 song is at the same pace as the 4/4 song, IF two 3/4 measures are combined, then the triplet feel of the resulting measure is modified to a duplet feel. Another way to put it is that two measures of the 3/4 song equal the same time duration as one measure of the 4/4 song. Essentially, the 4/4 song could be rewritten as 6/4, with each beat as a dotted quarter, and it would be all good... except that I don't want to rewrite the whole song! (edited to add that this wouldn't be "right" from a traditional notation standpoint anyway...)

    thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

    ST
    Last edited by SlowToby; 12-16-2005 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    It sounds like your 3/4 is actually a 6/8.

    3/4 is still a duple meter, but with 3 beats in a measure. Going from 3/4 to 4/4 just involves adding one additional beat to the bar.

    6/8 is a triple meter, and is more accurately what you're doing. I understand the sort of transition you're going for; it's a common and effective switch. To notate that change, over the barline between the 6/8 and 4/4 bars, place a note that says "dotted quarter = quarter," except using the visual symbols for dotted quarter and quarter, rather than the words. This will indicate that the pulse of the 6/8 bar (the dotted quarter) will remain at the same tempo, but will now constitute a quarter note in 4/4 time.

  3. #3
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    OK, I think I get it...

    But wouldn't the notation be "dotted quarter = half", because I actually want two quarter notes for each of the two 6/8 beats. For example I want to go from saying "one-and-uh, two-and-uh" (6/8) to "one, two" (2/2) to "one, two, three, four" (4/4)... with each of the quoted segments taking the same amount of time...

    And do I have to say "quarter = eighth" in the transition between the 3/4 and the 6/8? Or should I go to 6/4 instead?

    Whew!

  4. #4
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Well, I still don't see anything that would use 3/4.

    It's either going to be 6/4 -> 4/4 (dotted quarter = quarter) or 6/8 -> 4/4 (dotted eighth = quarter -- i misspoke earlier, this is what i should've said for the transition in my first post).

    For the sort of 'in between' part where the 6/4 or 6/8 begins to be felt as duple, you don't really need to change the meter for that. In 6/4 you can just start notating dotted quarters and the pulse will be clear just by playing the music. In fact, it will probably be easier to read/play with fewer meter changes when possible.

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    Thanks!

    I appreciate your help, Poparad. That should do it...

  6. #6
    Registered User dmsstudios's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it's 4/4 all the way.


    1-tri-plet 2-tri-plet 3 4
    1 2 3 4

    1-tri-plet 2-tri-plet 3 4
    1 2 3 4

    Yay? Nay?

    (Those triplets can be eight note triplets in which 1-tri-plet=1 beat or quarter note in which 1-tri-plet=2 beats [all in 4/4] - or 16th, 32nd, 9tuplets, 5tuplets, 11tuplets, 13tuplets, etc.)

    The difference between meter & timing can be really confusing sometimes, but I think that every song can be written in a singular time signature. One could dismantle 4 beats beyond the limits of ones imagination. Every musician should learn how to play the drums - at least a little bit.

  7. #7
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    The problem is...

    I'm not writing one song... I'm taking two songs and transitioning from one to the next. The original (copyrighted) song is written in 3/4, while the 2nd song is written in 4/4... and my goal is to notate the transition without rewriting either song from scratch.

    Thanks for the suggestion, though.

    D.

  8. #8
    Registered User dmsstudios's Avatar
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    Ok - I'm with you. So what did you end up doing? Add a beat to the last meas of the 3/4 song making it 4/4? Or make the last meas of the 3/4 song a 7/8 and the first meas of the 4/4 song a 9/8? No, wait...that wouldn't be very smooth.

  9. #9
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    I did what Poparad suggested above...

    I took a chord vamp in 3/4 and changed it to 6/4 with a duple feel (ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six).

    Then, over the course of a few measures, changed the duple feel to a "quadruple" feel... essentially, splitting each set of three beats in half... and I end up with beats that are each a dotted quarter long. (As an aside, this is a chance to really get jazzy, or even to give your drummer a solo.)

    That gives me four beats to the measure, and then I just change the dotted quarter to a quarter note, by notating "dotted quarter = quarter" (except that I use the symbols rather than the words).

    Presto-change-o... from 3/4 to 4/4, with the 4/4 length equal to exactly two measures of the 3/4.

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