Why has jive a measure of ⁴/₄ and not one of ⁶/₄? If you dance a jive to a ⁴/₄ song, you don't always begin with the main beat. However, if you dance it to a ⁶/₄ song, you always begin with the main beat. (1 2 3&4 5&6)

EDIT: 3&4 and 5&6 are meant to be in a swing rhythm, so 3& and 5& are a quarter and a eighth as triads and the 4 and 6 are just quarters.

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    Taking the 'standard' of any & describing two half beats, then (1 2 3&4 5&6) is 4/4 – Tetsujin Dec 2 '18 at 17:18
  • @Tetsujin: I oppose. In standard counting & means the second half of a beat. So 3& is one beat and 5& is on beat. So in deed, if this counting were right it would mean it can´t be 4/4. Thats why I find this a very good question. There is something going on with Jive which of course is commonly danced to 4/4 AND is counted as given in the question. So this is imho not a basic analysis question but refers to a concrete theoretical misconception or problem somewhere. – DrSvanHay Dec 2 '18 at 20:35
  • I can´t dance and don´t so. But my impression is that maybe they just count 3&4 but they don´t mean it to be binary but ternary? Is it maybe 1 2 3-o-let 4-o-let or 1 2 3&ah 4&ah or however you count triplets? – DrSvanHay Dec 2 '18 at 20:39
  • @Dom - it may be a basic analysis question, as quite a few here could be construed as being, However, a simple explanation of where the OP's counting has gone awry gives an answer, and clears up a counting problem that some future readers may also have encountered. – Tim Dec 3 '18 at 5:33

The basic time signature for jive has always been 4/4. Dancing to it generally starts on beat 1, just like pretty well every other dance around. If it was 6/4, every other bar would put the dancers out, apart from which 6/4 is usually felt as two lots of 3 - 123456, which certainly wouldn't be easy to jive to.

EDIT: I think your timing of 1, 2, 3&4, 5&6, is actually crotchets on 1 and 2, triplet quavers on 3&4, 5&6. Put another way: counting 12 in a bar - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12.Which fits 4/4 perfectly.

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