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 Post subject: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:17 pm 
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I'm dabbling with a tune, "The Shepard's Flute" in 5/4. The written advice with the sheet music suggests one should hold his foot down counting 1,2,3, and raise it for 4 and 5 to get the feel of the rhythm. How does this differ from just counting 1 to 5 with one's foot down?

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Think about tunes in 3/4 and 6/8. Each time signature involves 6 eighth notes (or quavers, if you're one of those people) to the bar. However, they have very different feels because of grouping. 3/4 organizes them into groups of 2, making 3 beats to the bar, each with 2 eighth notes. That's where you get the "1, 2, 3" feel of a waltz. 6/8, on the other hand, groups them into groups of 3, making 2 beats to the bar, each with 3 eighth notes. This is where the jig feeling comes in, a quicker "1-2-3, 4-5-6."

Technically, you could tap both of them like "1-2-3-4-5-6," but it wouldn't convey the right feel.

Your conundrum falls along the same lines. Yes, you could tap all 5 beats out equally. Chances are, though, that they are really in some kind of grouping. For 5/4, it's usually a group of 2 followed by a group of 3, or vice versa. Check out the Mission Impossible Theme to see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAYhNHhxN0A. You could tap it out "1, 2, 3, 4, 5," but it really feels like a grouping of 3, then 2, like "1-2-3, 1-2."

I don't know the tune, so I can't tell you what exactly the best way to tap it out would be. But I hope this is at least a little enlightening.


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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:41 am 
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When I see 5/4 I always think of Dave Brubeck's 'Take Five', a classic tune that first introduced me to 5/4 time. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:30 am 
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Whenever I hear "5/4" mentioned , I'm reminded of a story the Glasgow trade union leader and newspaper columnist, the late Jimmy Reid used to tell. It doesn't really make musical sense but goes like this :
There was a bar in Glasgow which had a jazz band playing, and a guy gets up out of the audience and asks if he can sing a song. "No problem", says the band, "what are you going to sing ?" "Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries", but I'll do it in 5/4 time. Can yez play in 5/4 ?".
Wondering how he's going to do this, they tell him to start off and they'll join in. Yer man goes up to the mic, and sings, " Life, is just a bowl of f***in' cherries................. "
:)

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:02 am 
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@bigsciota - The first 6 lines, each of 4 bars, follows this pattern: 3 bars of 5 quarter notes, 1 half note. The final line 2 bars of 3 quarter notes, 1 half. Final 2 bars dotted half, half. I can paly through the notes well enough but don't find the rhythm to be exciting, as the attached note promises, nor does it have the Eastern European feel it should. I'm missing something. And the tap eludes me. Whether my foot is up or down the pace of counting remains the same, no?

And "quavers". The religious group centered in PA known for a brand of quick oats?

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:09 am 
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bigsciota wrote:
Yes, you could tap all 5 beats out equally. Chances are, though, that they are really in some kind of grouping. For 5/4, it's usually a group of 2 followed by a group of 3, or vice versa. Check out the Mission Impossible Theme to see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAYhNHhxN0A. You could tap it out "1, 2, 3, 4, 5," but it really feels like a grouping of 3, then 2, like "1-2-3, 1-2."

Dunno if this helps or not, but for 1960s jazzy 5/4 like Mission Impossible, Take Five, or Everything's Alright, I hear it as actually having four beats in a measure -- two long ones to start the measure (counting eighths, 1-2-3, 1-2-3) followed by two short ones (1-2, 1-2). Like instead of switching back and forth between 3/4 and 6/8 (think "America" from West Side Story) it's switching back and forth between 6/8 and 2/4 (where each bar of 5/4 is a 6/8 + a 3/4).

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:32 pm 
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I'd say there's potential danger in treating syncopated 3/4 as 6/8. So, while you might get away with 6/8 + 2/4 for the opening of Mission Impossible, I just can't hear Take Five that way and regard it as firmly 3/4 + 2/4. Most 5/4s resolve to 3 + 2 or 2 + 3 rather than anything more complex.

My favourite irregular beat is probably the 9/8 of Blue Rondo à la Turk, where you get three bars of 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 (or perhaps more properly a lopsided 4 with the fourth beat longer) followed by one of 3 + 3 + 3, and think you have to count the quavers or eighth notes here.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:26 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
@bigsciota - The first 6 lines, each of 4 bars, follows this pattern: 3 bars of 5 quarter notes, 1 half note. The final line 2 bars of 3 quarter notes, 1 half. Final 2 bars dotted half, half. I can paly through the notes well enough but don't find the rhythm to be exciting, as the attached note promises, nor does it have the Eastern European feel it should. I'm missing something. And the tap eludes me. Whether my foot is up or down the pace of counting remains the same, no?

This has confused me. I think we need a link to the music or music score, somehow. What you're describing for the first six lines appears to be in 7/4, not 5/4, and only going into 5/4 in the final line. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:59 am 
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I don't know anything about that tune (shepherd's flute) but I will say that there are different types of 5/4 as one would expect.

Brubeck's 5/4 (well actually not Brubeck's, the sax player wrote it IIRC) is a bar of jazz waltz with two extra beats, 3+2 if you will.

Bulgarian dance has a 5/4 that's 2+3, called Paidushko. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJu-W9JSOCo

There's a Scottish Highland pipe march called Cullen Bay that's 5/4, which is essentially 4/4 with the fourth beat of each bar held one beat longer, 4+1 if you will. Many years ago when I was an avid Scottish Country Dancer we would dance to Cullen Bay sometimes; special steps had to be created. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HLIf_gRG6o

In that limited sampling there's no "one size fits all" approach to 5/4.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:39 am 
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@Richard - Thanks for the reply. I had played GHB for some years and often played Cullen Bay The sheet music signature is 4/4 so I never considered it as a 5/4. But going back to the sheet music and counting, it is a 5/4 to my surprise. I also found, Radical Road on The Session, another 5/4. In comparing these to The Shepard's Flute they are rhythmically more interesting. Perhaps TSF is a poor example of a 5/4. See the description in a previous post.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:25 am 
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Michael w6 wrote:
@Richard - Thanks for the reply. I had played GHB for some years and often played Cullen Bay The sheet music signature is 4/4 so I never considered it as a 5/4. But going back to the sheet music and counting, it is a 5/4 to my surprise. I also found, Radical Road on The Session, another 5/4. In comparing these to The Shepard's Flute they are rhythmically more interesting. Perhaps TSF is a poor example of a 5/4. See the description in a previous post.

Could you link to sheet music, though? Because, as I said, from your previous description, it doesn't sound like 5/4 at all (except for a very few bars at the end).

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:53 pm 
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I find it easier to break down complicated time signatures into one and two-beat sections like this: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3. Wrong Foot Forward by Flook is in 7/8. The bodhran player emphasizes the 1, 1, 1 of the 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvtBvSAoS30

Here's the sheet music so you can see how it plays out: https://thesession.org/tunes/5411

At least for me it's a lot easier to think 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3 rather than 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Same applies to 5/4, 9/8, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:36 pm 
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@Moderator - The tune is in a recorder tutorial, but fits a D whistle, which is why I'm pursuing it here. I'm a Luddite and far behind the technological times. If someone could explain how to post the sheet music form a book, I'd give it a try. Or for anyone who plays recorder the source I'm using is, "Basic Recorder Lessons Omnibus Edition" Wm. Zeitlin.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:27 am 
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psoutowood wrote:
Same applies to 5/4, 9/8, etc.

9/8 is normally just compound triple time, meaning three beats dividing into three, so more 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a than 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3.

The one I quoted above is an obvious exception.

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 Post subject: Re: 5/4 Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:31 am 
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Michael w6 wrote:
I had played GHB for some years and often played Cullen Bay The sheet music signature is 4/4


I don't know where sheet music in 4/4 would have come from. Because according to the Pekaar Encyclopedia of Tunes for the Great Highland Bagpipe, Cullen Bay has only been published in two books (the SPBA Tutor Vol 1 and Scots Guards Vol II) and both versions are in 5/4.

So a sheet music version in 4/4 would be somebody's manuscript.

This being a whistle forum, here's Cullen Bay on whistle!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4NYf-eg-qA

Now, the tune Cullen Bay (by Ian Duncan) had its debut AFAIK on the album of the same name by Shotts & Dykehead.

Their arrangement started with a solo piper playing a slow air version of the tune, which was in 4/4.

Then the drum corps played an elaborate segue which led to the whole band playing the march in 5/4.

So yes sheet music to the slow air would be 4/4.

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