advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

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clif9710
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:01 pm

advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by clif9710 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:34 pm

I'm confused by the timing of the second (lower) voice within measure 5 (and others similar) of this lesson.

The lower voice has two dotted quarter notes in this measure. Since each measure is 6 beats and an eighth note gets one beat (6/8 time) that tells me that each dotted quarter note in the measure should be held for half of the measure.

However, when I listen to the piano demo, each dotted quarter note is being held for only one beat as if it were an eighth note, leaving the upper voice F and D to be played alone.

The next measure, 6, starts with a lower voice dotted quarter note and in this case it is held for the full 3 beats.

Why this difference when a dotted quarter should always be held for 3 beats in this piece?

andrewwegierski
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by andrewwegierski » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:09 pm

Hi Clif,

Fantastic question. This is a lesson in different types of meter. There are simple and compound meters.

Simple meters are felt with duple subdivisions. For example, 4/4 is a simple meter. This means 4 beats per measure, and the quarter note gets the beat. Each quarter can be divided into TWO eighth notes, then FOUR sixteenth notes, and so on.

Compound meters, however, are felt with TRIPLE subdivisions. For example, 6/8 is a compound meter. You're right - on paper, this means that there are 6 beats per measure and the 8th note gets the beat. But it doesn't REALLY get the beat. The 8th note simply measures how many notes are in measure - so 6/8 means 6 eighth notes in total.

In compound meters, the pulse is always a dotted duration. In 6/8, the pulse is actually the dotted quarter note. There are 2 pulses per measure. See these equivalent meters:

2/4 and 6/8
3/4 and 9/8
4/4 and 12/8

They have the same number of pulses - 2, 3, 4 respectively. But the former are divided into 2, and the latter are divided into 3.

So the lesson is correct. The dotted quarter notes each get 1 beat.
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

sw1tch73ch
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 pm

Re: advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by sw1tch73ch » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:45 pm

Something you can try is play the "Demo" mode for the lesson. Click on the pictures of the hands at the top (each one) and turn the piano volume up in the app. Then you can press play and her the app play the piece. Don't play any notes of your own and it won't try to score you. Once you can hear the rhythm, you can try to replicate it. Remember to turn the demo hands off.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

clif9710
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by clif9710 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:08 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Andrew, I read your reply carefully. I thought a picture might be worth a thousand words. See the graphic I made of the measure. https://imgur.com/6eFUKDZ

The top measure is as it is written in the lesson.

The bottom measure is how it sounds to me as played in the demo. Forgive my poor home-made flags on the eighth notes.

My question really is why are dotted quarters used when it is played as if they were eighth notes?

You use the word pulse...is that different from beat?

andrewwegierski
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm

Re: advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by andrewwegierski » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:41 pm

The dotted quarters are supposed to sound for 3 eighth notes, or one pulse. Pulse and beat are usually synonymous.

In 6/8 the eighth note doesn't get the beat, but rather it's how the measure is organized. Two groups of 3 eighth notes = 6 eighth notes in total.

I'd recommend doing some outside reading on compound meters. It's a tricky thing to understand at first. Wikipedia is always a great source!
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

MarcVanMeer
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:01 am

Re: advanced #11: two voices, timing in a measure

Post by MarcVanMeer » Sat May 11, 2019 7:53 pm

I came across this post because I’m working on this lesson right now, and I noticed the same thing as Clif. And I agree that in part 3 of this lesson the dotted B flats in measures 5,7,13 and 15 sound differently from measures 6,8,14 and 16, although the notation is exactly the same, i.e. they are all dotted quarter notes. Compare these parts with part 2 and I’m sure you’ll hear the difference.

Marc

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