#2
It's a kind of cross rhythm, or rather "cross meter" that occurs in triple time signatures. It's most often described as three units of duple time in a triple time signature: in 3/4, a hemiola would be three units of 2/4 across two bars of 3/4.

I'll mark the hemiola in square brackets:

1 2 3 1 2 3 [ 1 2 1 2 1 2 ]

It has the effect of broadening, you often find it in Baroque music a lot before a cadence. It's for this reason that I prefer thinking of it as a doubling in the meter, so 1 bar of 3/2 occurring in across two bars of 3/4.
#6
Thank you. I understand what's being described. Although I think (I know!) I'm missing something here, because when I try to analyze a piece of classical music, in terms spotting hemiola(s), I struggle to see it.

This is with two clefs, and that's what's confusing me, I don't know which one to focus on! The obvious answer is probably both I'm just not sure.
#7
Quote by mdc
when I try to analyze a piece of classical music, in terms spotting hemiola(s), I struggle to see it.


Then there probably isn't one. I'll have a dig around and post a good example of one.
#8
There's an example in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no.4, I don't have the sheet music though so I don't know the exact bar.
#9
Any time you have a rhythm based in a triple meter occuring over a rhythm based in a duple meter, you have a hemiola.
#10
Quote by chantastic
Any time you have a rhythm based in a triple meter occuring over a rhythm based in a duple meter, you have a hemiola.


Other way round.

The example on the wikipedia page is as good as any. The only examples I can think of at the moment are the ones that I argue with people over, because I think they're not
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 8, 2011,
#11
Quite simply, a hemiola is two bars of 3/4 pretending to be three bars of 2/4. In 3/4 time, it's usually the first beat of each bar that's emphasised, to give 1 2 3 1 2 3 (where the underlined beats are the strong ones). Where there's a hemiola, alternate beats are emphasised, to give 1 2 3 1 2 3 (again, the underlined beats are the strong ones). Note how when you're in the midst of a hemiola, the first beat of the second bar (which is normally strong) is a weak beat, and how both the third beat of the first bar and the second beat of the second bar (which are normally weaker beats) are strong. Don't be fooled into changing tempo though, as the crotchet beat remains the same throughout - it's just the emphasised beats which are different.
#12
Quote by jonymac001
Quite simply, a hemiola is two bars of 3/4 pretending to be three bars of 2/4. In 3/4 time, it's usually the first beat of each bar that's emphasised, to give 1 2 3 1 2 3 (where the underlined beats are the strong ones). Where there's a hemiola, alternate beats are emphasised, to give 1 2 3 1 2 3 (again, the underlined beats are the strong ones). Note how when you're in the midst of a hemiola, the first beat of the second bar (which is normally strong) is a weak beat, and how both the third beat of the first bar and the second beat of the second bar (which are normally weaker beats) are strong. Don't be fooled into changing tempo though, as the crotchet beat remains the same throughout - it's just the emphasised beats which are different.

Are the underlined beats right?
Last edited by mdc at Sep 9, 2011,
#14
Quote by National_Anthem
Yeah, it's probably better to think of it as 1 2 1 2 1 2, though.

Why is that still considered as 3/4 if the accents clearly suggest it's 2/4?
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#15
Quote by Flibo
Why is that still considered as 3/4 if the accents clearly suggest it's 2/4?


The whole point of a hemiola is the conflict between 3 and 2. The only reason I say it's better to think of it like that is a practical one, rather than theoretical: it's just more intuitive. Thinking 1 2 3 1 2 3 whilst you're playing is a bit of a headache, and you get a much clearer sense of cross rhythm by thinking in 2s.
#16
Can someone do a quick demonstration on Guitar Pro? I think I understood the concept but I'd like to be sure.
#17
Quote by symba05
Can someone do a quick demonstration on Guitar Pro? I think I understood the concept but I'd like to be sure.
Don't let it discourage you. They can actually sound good.
Attachments:
Hemiola.gp5
#18
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
Don't let it discourage you. They can actually sound good.

Haha, it sounds good. Thank you for the example.
#19
Quote by National_Anthem
Other way round.

The example on the wikipedia page is as good as any. The only examples I can think of at the moment are the ones that I argue with people over, because I think they're not


It doesnt matter which way it goes. If its 2 against 3 its a hemiola. If its 3 against 2 its also a hemiola.
#20
Quote by chantastic
It doesnt matter which way it goes. If its 2 against 3 its a hemiola. If its 3 against 2 its also a hemiola.


Both of those are in the ratio 3:2, but it's important which way it is around.
Hemiola is a term that originates from the archaic mensural system of notation. In the mensural system, a perfect note is one divisible into three, and translates into a dotted note in our modern system, and an imperfect note is divisible into 2, so just a regular crotchet, minim etc. It gets a bit confusing because in the absence of bar numbers, perfect and imperfect units function more like bars than notes. A hemiola is when two perfect units are substituted by 3 imperfect ones. A bar of 3/4 instead of a bar of 6/8 still technically counts as a hemiola, because it is like three bars of 2/8 over two bars of 3/8, or two perfect units replaced by three imperfect ones.
However, this slightly stretches the definition of hemiola, because hemiola only applies in the triple time signatures in mensural notation: in tempus perfectum major (which kind of translates into a modern 9/8) or tempus perfectum minor (which is like 3/4 today). 6/8 is more of a duple time signature, and three crotchets in a bar of 6/8 is perceived as triplets, rather than hemiola.

Triplet crotchets against crotchets, or 3 crotchets in a bar of 6/8 is technically known as Sesquialtera (which, confusingly enough, is the translation of Hemiola into Latin). This is three imperfect notes in the the time of two perfect. They resemble each other in effect, but it is incorrect to use them interchangeably.

These subtleties are lost when you translate from mensural notation into modern notation. I'm no expert in mensural notation, and anyone who was would be horrified by the way I have simplified things, but I think that's the gist of it.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 9, 2011,
#21
The mensural system is as archaic as its definition of hemiola.

Today, hemiola is the commonly accepted term for any poly rhythm that involves a rhythm based in duple played against a rhythm played in triple.
#22
First off , thank you for all the responses. I kinda got the hang of it. I've developed an interest in classical music over the last year or so and have been working through some books.

I understand the examples on wiki and in what I've been told in this thread, but I can't seem to apply it to the following...

The hemiola comes up in this grade 6 book, but all the examples are in 6/4, with two clefs. It's hard to find any examples on the internet, and I don't really want to scan a page from the book since that is a copyright issue.

6/4 is compound duple if i'm not wrong, so I guess it's just a case of identifying the 3 against 2 (or vice versa) within the bar(s)?
Last edited by mdc at Oct 6, 2011,
#23
6/4? that's basically a hemiola!! take two bars of 3/4, rewrite it in 6/4 (so there's three strong beats a minim each in length) and there it is. i wouldn't go looking for it randomly, it's not really that common, but if you think you spot it, try to look for the harmonic movement, it should change on each beat of the hemiola.
#24
I can't seem to get these examples. I just can't see it. If I could play piano a little better I'd be able to hear and feel it, but I guess the exercise is to be able to spot it just by looking. I really wanna get this stuff down and carry on with the book, but not until I've cracked this topic.

I know you guys are all doing your best to help. Ty. It's good for me to be on the other side of the fence for once I guess?!!

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/cimg0177i.jpg/
#25
Those don't look like hemiolas to me. There isn't any 3:2 feel in those examples at all. It's a very straight 6/4 thing.

If the bass clef in the second half of the first bar were dotted quarters it'd be one.
#26
If you want extra info than that already posted on the Guitar World section: Hole notes They showed some a while ago and explained the technique you should check their page
#27
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Those don't look like hemiolas to me. There isn't any 3:2 feel in those examples at all. It's a very straight 6/4 thing.

If the bass clef in the second half of the first bar were dotted quarters it'd be one.


I think its supposed to be a hemiola in that your playing a a two beat based rhythm in a measure of 6 beats. I agree that there are no actual hemiolas, and that its not uncommon to have bars of six divided 2-2-2 or even 4-2 or 2-4
#28
I'm so confused now. I thought I had it, I mean the exercise in the book is to bracket the main beats to show where they occur to create a hemiola effect. That's what they've done for the first bar.

I thought it would be the 2nd half of bar 3? Does it help to see where there are accents? Like a chord?

Also, how is a 6/4 felt? I thought it was felt in two since it's compound duple.

There's also another photo there. I have a couple more exercises that i have to identify which are in 3/8 and 3/4.

Last edited by mdc at Nov 27, 2011,
#29
Quote by mdc
I'm so confused now. I thought I had it, I mean the exercise in the book is to bracket the main beats to show where they occur to create a hemiola effect. That's what they've done for the first bar.

I thought it would be the 2nd half of bar 3? Does it help to see where there are accents? Like a chord?

Also, how is a 6/4 felt? I thought it was felt in two since it's compound duple.

There's also another photo there. I have a couple more exercises that i have to identify which are in 3/8 and 3/4.



Well, its arguable if there are enough of the rhythmic components needed for a hemiola in that example. If there were stronger rhythmic things happening where the brackets indicate, it would be a more "for sure" hemiola if that makes any sense

6/4 is shown many different ways. Most commonly, Ive seen it shown is 4-2, but 3-3 is common too. 6/4 is kind of a chameleon time signature that can be morphed into many different things depending on whats happening around it.

The biggest notational bifference between 3/8 and 3/4 is that 3/4 is going to be bracketed as 3 quarter notes and 3/8 will be 3/8th notes
#31
Quote by Life Is Brutal
I saw the title and thought this thread was going to be about a medical condition.

Yes, I think I'm having one!

Does anybody have the album Talk To Your Daughter by Robben Ford?

There is a song on there that I think may use this musical device.

The album version of the song is not on YouTube, and the live performances of it don't provide a good example of it, as they change it quite a bit live.

Let me know if you have it, then I can explain what to listen for.

Thanks again!