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Can anyone explain me the time signature of Low Light by the Pearl Jam?

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closed as off-topic by Shevliaskovic, American Luke, Dom, jjmusicnotes, awe Jan 2 '14 at 12:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

  • "Questions about analysis of specific works are off-topic because they are probably not useful to anyone but the asker. Instead, ask about the theory or method of analysis itself if needed." – Shevliaskovic, awe
  • "Questions on identifying (or finding) a particular song, genre, instrument, etc. are off-topic since they are rarely useful to future readers." – American Luke, Dom, jjmusicnotes
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Oh sorry, I didn't know that one cannot ask question about specific works. Unfortunate. I am a hobbyist percussionist and my problem is that I've been asked to play with a guitarist this song and I was not familiar with multiple-time signature pieces. Now I am more interested in understanding how a drummer/percussionist should handle these signatures in general . Should I just delete this question and possibly think about a better one or edit this one? –  Niccolò Jan 2 '14 at 14:43
I think you could probably make an edit. If, say, the problem you were having was being unable to find a regular time signature that lasted throughout a song in general, with the Pearl Jam track being given as just a specific example, I think it would be okay--and the answer of "time signature changes exist" would still be valid. –  NReilingh Jan 2 '14 at 18:07
I felt the answer already provided by Wheat Williams would not fit with the new (edited) question so I decided to make a new one link. –  Niccolò Jan 4 '14 at 0:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The piece is primarily in 6/8 time, but some measures appear to be in 4/4 or 9/8. In other words, this is not a piece that uses the same time signature for every measure. If you wish to transcribe the piece, you will need to take this into account.

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I indeed got the main 6/8 time signature, but I struggle to understand how the band adds those 'heights' to get to 9/8 or even worse 4/4 (that after all means to have 8/8). It's a peaty that the question has been down-voted meanwhile, I find this song's time signature kind of both complex and interesting.. :( –  Niccolò Jan 2 '14 at 1:09
There are many songs in rock that have multiple, changing time signatures. Pearl Jam is not known for this, but have you listened to the music of other bands, like Rush or Yes or Genesis, for instance? –  Wheat Williams Jan 2 '14 at 3:45
Thanks, I was not familiar with these signature changes. I'll look more into it. Unfortunately I was unaware that questions on specific works were off-topic and I might need to delete the question, thus without providing you any reward for the answer :( But thanks again: I would have kept trying to find a common signature for all the song otherwise! –  Niccolò Jan 2 '14 at 14:49

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