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The Official Music Theory Thread

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by guitarguru777, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Josh M.

    Josh M. Member

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    Abt and Pickachu are right, the way that the beats are divided in the two time signatures are completely different. 3/4 is also used in waltz so beats 2 and 3 can be accented in this case.

    The Mission Impossible Theme is actually in 5/4 with syncopated accents.

    1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and...
     
  2. abt

    abt BT

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    You're right. I was going through this with a student recently. I've got a bunch of songs that I use to teach time amongst other things, mission impossible theme is one of them. The 3/4 6/8 example I use is "America" from Westside Story. You get one bar of 6/8 then a bar of 3/4.
     
  3. colton

    colton Member

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    Since these examples aren't about syncopation, 9/16 is accented incorrectly as well. 6/8 and 9/16 are compound time signatures. So in the case of 6/8, there are two beats per measure and the value that each beat receives is a dotted quarter note. In 9/16, there are three beats per measure and the value that each beat receives is a dotted eighth note. I learned to count 6/8 as 1-la-li-2-la-li because I think it provides a more solid understanding of where the beat actually is. The second beat is on two, so why not say it? This is all pretty straightforward stuff imo.
     
  4. Paulie!

    Paulie! ¯\(°_o)/¯ How Do Trigger?

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    I'll agree somewhat with 3/4 and 6/8 having a different feel, but 6/8 is more like a double reverse waltz..

    Example
    3/4 - Waltz
    1 - 2 - 3 | 1 - 2 - 3

    6/8 - Double Reverse Waltz (I'm Coining A Phrase :D)
    1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

    Same feel but reverse the accents..

    EDIT: This would be a more traditional accent obviously.. as there is no reason you couldn't play straight eighths in either time signature and only accent the 1 which I've done in various metal riffs..
     
  5. colton

    colton Member

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    Your waltz accents are incorrect. The accent should be on the first downbeat of the measure, with the other two being slightly weaker.

    Regarding 3/4 and 6/8, their beat types (simple or compound) and meter types (duple, triple, quadruple) are entirely different. 3/4 is an example of simple triple meter. There are three beats per measure, each beat receives the value of a quarter note and divides equally into two eighth notes. 6/8 is an example of compound duple meter. Here we divide the beat into three equal parts, so the note value representing the beat will have to be a dotted value. This is where all the confusion takes place between the two time signatures. Simply put, compound meter tells you the number of divisions of the beat (top #) in a measure and the division of that duration (bottom #). If the number that indicates how many beats there are per measure (the top) is divisible by three, OTHER THAN THREE ITSELF, it is compound. So, 6,9, and 12. Don't worry about anything passed that because it will require a bit more explaining (I don't feel like discussing complex time signatures or borrowed division right now), so let's keep it simple (lol).

    Anyway, six divided by three equals two. That means there are two beats per measure in compound duple, not three, four, or six! Next, you have to look at the number that represents the value of each beat per measure (bottom #). However, in compound time, that number is represented as the division of the actual beat note duration. Since there are two beats per measure, and the dotted quarter note gets the beat note, the division of each beat per measure is thee equal eighth notes, hence 6/8. So again, two beats per measure, dotted quarter note gets the beat note, and each dotted quarter is divided into three equal eighth notes.

    That's quite different than 3/4 (simple triple).

    I think this is enough for now because this was suppose to be a pretty basic explanation in response to all the confusion thus far. An important thing to remember is that a measure of 6/8 in six does not sound like compound duple, it sounds like two measures of 3/8. In true compound duple, the listener will be able to hear two compound beats per measure, not six simple ones. The reverse is also true.

    Edit: Btw, this might not matter to most of you, but I'm a performing classical guitarist and there's a certain connotation these time signatures bring to me. There's a reason why composers such as Bartok and Brouwer wrote various study's and pieces that were identical except for the time signature. There's an art to notation that is quite overlooked these days. 6/8 was there to indicated to play the piece faster than one in 6/4. Mixed meter of 2/4 + 3/4 is used to show there should be a strong accent on each downbeat so it doesn't sound like syncopation in 5/4. These are just some basic examples, the list goes on. I just wanted to point out that notation regarding time signatures isn't always arbitrary. Cheers!
     
  6. Loki Laufeyiarson

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    Thank you Colton, now my head hurts... :p I appreciate the fact that you take the time to explain this, but without either writing down how the accents and counting goes (like Paulie did) or some audio examples, it's pretty hard to understand for me. I mean: how is counting 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 different from 1 - la - li 2 - la - li when it comes to feeling/groove/whutevers?
     
  7. colton

    colton Member

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    The difference is in how you understand and communicate that with others. As long as you hear two compound beats per measure, you're hearing compound duple. My two cents - use whatever works best for you and the others involved. For example, when I jam with non-music majors, I often hear them count 6/8 as 1-2-3-4-5-6, with accents on 1 and 4. There's nothing wrong with that and I didn't mean to imply otherwise in my original post. I've grown to use both interchangeably when working with others, I just prefer the other way because it provides more clarity, especially when you first learn about the elements of rhythm. Compound duple has two beats per measure, and on the second beat I prefer to call it what it is, "two!". Like I said, it's just a preference but it's also important to understand why it's counted that way. Also, a bit unrelated, but does anyone else know of a better way to count the subdivision in 6/8? "1-ta-la-ta-li-ta-2-ta-la-ta-li-ta" just rolls right off the tongue :p
     
  8. Loki Laufeyiarson

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    Allrighty then. I get it. Thank you for answering.
     
  9. gixxsta04

    gixxsta04 Member

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    I'm looking for D Natural Minor scale shapes. I know what they look like in standard tuning but I'm not sure what notes to play on the top string while in drop. Can someone point me in the right direction?
     
  10. Plankis

    Plankis Member

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  11. Paulie!

    Paulie! ¯\(°_o)/¯ How Do Trigger?

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    I was in drummer mode when I wrote that and was thinking Kick - Snare - Snare :D ...Confused myself
     
  12. USofguitar

    USofguitar New Metal Member

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    I'm quite not sure to agree with you on the fact that 6/8 is a compound time signature, Colton. But 6/8 could be defined as being the mix of binaire and ternaire as it actually is a binaire bar (2 beats) with a ternaire division of eacht beat (triplet/beat). However I think the best way to make the difference between 6/8 and 3/4 is to hear how they sound. 6/8 is not really the most used time signature, especially in metal, but in other more pop oriented styles such as gospel it's really frequent.

    Here are a bunch of songs in different styles to clearly make the difference between the feel of a 6/8 and 3/4. Hopefully it will help to clarify things more easily than a theoretical explanation to it for those who are reading about it and are trying to get it:

    6/8 songs

    Breaking Benjamin - What Lies Beneath


    Pink - Misery




    3/4 songs

    Mecano - Hijo de la Luna


    Waltz Fredric Chopin
     
    #32 USofguitar, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  13. Audiosprite

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