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40

Anacrusis (pickup) is a bit more rhythmic than melodic. Hearing it seems easy to my musical brain, but I can understand how it would not be easy for others. Most music has a set rhythm, which we can understand in its simplest form by saying there is a fairly low number (most commonly 4), to which one can repeatedly count while listening to a piece of music, ...


34

Yes, one possible way is to clarify a "5+3" meter throughout. Depending on the music, this could be preferable to just writing 8/4 if the meter is clearly a 5+3 layout. As one example of how this could be done, consider something like: Notice that, in the second full measure, a dotted barline shows the distinction between the 5/4 and 3/4 portions of the ...


21

Hopefully these examples of 5/4:4/4 polymeter and 5:4 polyrhythm clears it up. Polymeter Here is a simple example of 5/4 over 4/4 polymeter notated in 4/4 time. Notice how voice A's meter is five beats (the accents illustrates the starts), while voice B's meter is four beats, and they are sort of modulating over each other. After 20 beats their accented ...


21

Technically speaking, you can't ever say for certain until you see the composer's original score (if there even is one); a piece could literally be written in an infinite number of time signatures. As such, we have to make these decisions based on a knowledge of prior practice and on what makes the most practical sense. So, let's look at this excerpt notated ...


19

It's not hopeless, but may take more time than others would. A couple of ideas. While listening to music, start tapping, singing, nodding, whatever, and turn down the sound, initially so it's still just audible, for several seconds. Turn back up, see if you're still in time. Gradually leave the silence longer until you can manage several bars. I used to do ...


18

Counting is an absolutely necessary step when learning a new piece.It is the rhythmic framework of any piece. Without it, you may well be playing a different tune. 'All the right notes, but not in the right timing'. You ask 'do they count all the time?' Well there's no need once a piece is well known to the player. We sound out words as kids, but eventually ...


17

As you say, "only" for emphasis - but emphasis is hugely important. People like music to have a pulse. A musician would play these two lines differently, and someone with a musical background would be able to tell the meter just by listening: There is a lot of subtlety to phrasing, but in blunt terms: They would play the first note of each bar slightly ...


15

One way which is possible is to show two time signatures, as here from Tchaikovsky's second String Quartet via Popflock: This warns the user that bars of each length are to be expected. You haven't tagged the question MuseScore, but MuseScore does allow bars of varying length without having to put a time signature in every time. Right-click the bar, select ...


14

A lot of good introductory questions here - I can tell this is really bugging you. Not near my computer at the moment so no pictures but maybe we won’t need them. First off, we need to be clear on some definitions. I’ve paraphrased a lot of your questions from above and hopefully all will be made clear. What is a “beat”? This is how I explain beats to 5yr-...


14

In fact, you can beam rests! I would go with: This is a clear modification of the "correct" beaming of your original example, which would be: Some of the comments below correctly state that beat 3 of my first example is not standard notation. Perhaps I went a bit crazy beaming all the rests, in which case you may prefer the following, more conservative ...


14

One of my mantras as a teacher is to tell my students to play things "painfully slow." In other words, so slow it hurts. I would say you are practicing too fast. When playing an instrument, there are many, many things to consider all at the same time. In your case, you have rhythm, notes, strumming direction, etc. It takes time for the brain to process all ...


13

As a possible alterative to Richard's answer, you can write the total in the time signature and the division above the staff like this: This may be easier, depending on the capabilities of your notation software. However, it does imply that the divisions are the fundamental beats. In this case that is four beats to the bar, with beats 1, 2, and 4 being ...


12

It's definitely a mess; there are a couple of notational aspects that suggest the person that did this is not well-versed in notational norms. Listening to the recording on the website you listed in the comments, it's clear that the triplet figure should encompass the first three eighth notes, not just the first two. (Indeed, there is a weird 3 above the ...


11

I used to have the same problem as you do, so here's what really solved it for me. I used a funk guitar method: Funk Guitar: The Essential Guide. Start with a very comfortable tempo (~70/80bpm max), block the string, and play sixteenth notes (hence, 4 notes per beat). Tap every beat with your foot, and count the time out loud (that's very important). Do ...


11

I'll try to give you a clearer example of a tune with an anacrusis or pick-up: The Star Spangled Banner. This melody has three beats to a measure. The first full measure contains "Say, can you". The two little notes in the very beginning of the tune, sung to the word "Oh" are the anacrusis. Now you need an example of a tune that doesn't have an ...


10

Basically, I'd say this isn't a rule. Or maybe it's a misphrasing of a rule. You generally see the last bar shortened to match the pickup bar when there's a repeat that goes right back to the start of the pickup bar, in order to preserve overall bar lengths as consistent within the section. This then implies that the subsequent section also has a pickup (...


10

As you beginner, I strongly suggest you keep doing that. What I did when I first begun, was to count everything with my foot. After a while, I didn't really need to count every single thing with the foot, because I could hear/feel it in me. So, no, I don't think pro musicians count every little thing, but they can if you ask them to. Is counting the ...


10

The difference between a simple meter and compound meter greatly affects the feel of the piece and the differences are bigger than you think. There are other types out there, but let's correct some definitions first. A simple meter is not defined by being divisible 2s and a compound meter is not defined by being divisible by 3s. It's much more about the ...


9

Let's forget about bar lines and look at some stuff where we're just marking stressed notes with accent marks. In everything that follows, the quarter note has the beat. "Amazing Grace" goes like this: Notice that a stressed note comes every third beat; the only exceptions are when there's a long note at the end of a phrase, and even then they're separated ...


9

Mark Butler has written a scholarly book on Electronic Dance Music called Unlocking the Groove. In it, he proposes calling these moments "turning the beat around", and abbreviated it TBA. As in, "After an introduction that implies a straight 4/4 pattern, a TBA reveals that it has been syncopated all along." Personally, I think it's an unfortunate term, but ...


9

Let's take a simple music sheet: As you can see, the time signature is given, and it's 4/4. That means every measure has 4 beats of quarters. I assume you know about the duration of the notes. Every measure/bar in the music sheet is defined by the vertical lines you can see in the image above. Between every two vertical lines, you must have notes whose ...


9

I'd put it in 6/8, due to the triplets feel, but the phrasing kind of repeats every two bars, thus two lots of 3/8, making 6/8. Why /8? Well, it's fairly quick, so I'd write it as quavers instead of crotchets. There is a recent question on that subject - quavers to play give the feeling that they are quicker - I know it depends on the tempo mark, but ...


8

Apart from the great answers talking about phrasing and emphasis, another purely technical consideration is synchronization. If you don't have bars, it's very difficult to get everyone in an ensemble to rehearse a specific passage or phrase together. You could add rehearsal letters to a free-time score, sure, but it's very easy to say "ok, let's try it ...


8

This is much like: when you drive a car, do you think about the steering all the time? When you learn to drive, you will be consciously thinking about your steering. Similarly, an experienced driver on an unfamiliar road will be consciously thinking about it. An experienced driver on a familiar road will probably not be consciously considering their ...


8

One way of expressing meter in traditional Chinese music is in terms of ban and yan - 'beats' and 'eyes'. The 'ban' represents the main beat, or the pulse of the bar, while the 'yan' (eye) represents a weak beat. Some common meters were One ban followed by three yans : ban - yan - yan - yan - ban - yan - yan - yan Alternating : ban - yan - ban - yan ...


8

Yep, you're exactly right. 6/8 is to 12/8 as 2/4 is to 4/4. Now, technically it's not four triplets per bar. The notion of a triplet is that there are three rhythmic units in the space normally given to two of those units; thus a set of eighth-note triplets take up the space normally given to two eighth notes ( = a quarter note). But in 12/8, these three ...


8

First, let's remember what time signatures like 3/2 and 3/4 indicate: that each measure comprises three of the denominator's note values. In other words, a measure of 3/2 comprises three half notes, since the denominator "2" signifies half notes. As such, any time signature with a 3 in the numerator already "divide[s] the measure [by] 3," since that's ...


8

There's one word that clearly distinguishes these two concepts, and I'm a little stunned it doesn't appear in any of your sources: hierarchy. (Edit: Although I see Dom's answer at Music Fans uses this term!) Meter is a hierarchy of beats. Such a hierarchy determines which beats are emphasized (though authors vary on how they define "emphasis" here), the ...


7

The problem with 6/4 is that it implies a metric grouping in the bass and drums of 3+3 or 6 on its own. I notice that you are defining your tempo as q.=160 when you do this, however. That part is actually correct, and you should make your metric decision based on how you hear the tempo. The 160 bpm that you are hearing are occurring four to the bar. You can ...


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