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#1
Recently I've been getting iinto a band known as Animals As Leaders and I've noticed that these songs have alot of extremely odd time signatures.

The song is called CAFO and its one of the main songs off of their self titled album

Cafo

The song seems to be in 9/4 for the first 16 bars (Correct me if im wrong) and then on the 17th and 18th bar it goes back to 4/4. The section thats really getting me is the 19th bar which occurs at about 1:10.

The drums seem to be in 13/4 but the guitar seems to be doiing something else and I don't understand whats going on rhythmically.

Are there any good resources out there on odd time signatures that would help me in figuring out this bands music?

Also can somebody explain to me in simpler terms what is a Polyrhythm and are there any being used in this song?

Regards to those who are willing to help!
#2
9/4 isn't really that odd. It's essentially 3 triplets in a bar, which is a common dance meter. 1+2+3 4+5+6 7+8+9

It's still pretty even.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#3
Quote by Xiaoxi
9/4 isn't really that odd. It's essentially 3 triplets in a bar, which is a common dance meter. 1+2+3 4+5+6 7+8+9

It's still pretty even.


Thanks and sorry for asking but how would you fit 3 triplets into one bar a 4/4? What would those beats be considered?

EDIT: Nevermind I understand what your saying. Thanks for your help and forget that last comment.

Where did you learn all your information about time signatures though?

Is there any specific way that I should divide this time signature? For example wouldnt I also be able to count

1+2+3+4
5+6+7+8
9?
Last edited by dannydawiz at Dec 10, 2011,
#4
Well, it sounds like you might not exactly be clear on how time signatures work. I mean, I didn't listen that closely because there is a lot going on, but I don't really think they deviate from an even triple meter throughout most of the piece. So I kinda doubt they're really in 13/4 or even 9/4 (not really hearing the triplets, it's more like 3/4).

I think I'm gonna let someone else properly explain time sigs though, because I'm too mentally drained right now...

I learned time sigs by eating lots of Popeyes.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#5
Quote by Xiaoxi
Well, it sounds like you might not exactly be clear on how time signatures work. I mean, I didn't listen that closely because there is a lot going on, but I don't really think they deviate from an even triple meter throughout most of the piece. So I kinda doubt they're really in 13/4 or even 9/4 (not really hearing the triplets, it's more like 3/4).

I think I'm gonna let someone else properly explain time sigs though, because I'm too mentally drained right now...

I learned time sigs by eating lots of Popeyes.


Alright thats fine thanks for your help anyways and I'll make sure to give Popeyes a visit every now and then!
#6
9/4 is not 3 "triplets." That would be three sets of 8th note triplets in a measure of 3/4, which happens to sound the same as 9/8.

9/4 is 9 evenly subdivided quarter notes

And three triplet notes in the space of 4 quarter notes in 4/4 would be half note triplets
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 10, 2011,
#7
Quote by chantastic
9/4 is not 3 "triplets." That would be three sets of 8th note triplets in a measure of 3/4, which happens to sound the same as 9/8.

9/4 is 9 evenly subdivided quarter notes

And three triplet notes in the space of 4 quarter notes in 4/4 would be half note triplets

Just depends on your definition. I guess it should really be called a compound meter, but wanted to simplify it for him.

And yes, you can group them unevenly so that it's not a compound meter, but when that's the case it's often easier to group them by 4/4 2/4 3/4 for example.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#8
^But 9/4 is not a compound meter.

I know it probably doesnt seem like it matters, and it wont ever matter for most people who dont play tons and tons of mixed meter music, but the truth is that there are huge differences in meters that are theoretically the same because of the way they are written and read
#9
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_(music)#Compound_meter

9/4 is counted in three beats of three quarter notes. When you divide the beat into three you get compound meter. 9/4 is compound meter, same way 6/4 is compound meter, same way 3/4 is compound meter. You could in theory say it was an additive meter of 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 but that's not altogether practical. 9/4 with no other indications is compound triple meter.

EDIT: Isn't that song just in 3/4? You could almost waltz to it. I don't hear much that would indicate 9/4.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Dec 10, 2011,
#10
Misha programmed the drums on that record and did a lot of the arranging, so if you've heard anything from Periphery you'll know it's more extreme syncopation than true polyrhythms 99.999% of the time.
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#11
Quote by Hail
Misha programmed the drums on that record and did a lot of the arranging, so if you've heard anything from Periphery you'll know it's more extreme syncopation than true polyrhythms 99.999% of the time.

True polyrhythms? What do you mean by that? There is polyrhythmic stuff in this song, and to be honest, it's different from anything Periphery has ever done. For one, it's not in 4/4, and there are polyrhythms (3 against 4 and such). I don't think it's fair to assume that just because Misha programmed the drums they're as syncopated as Periphery's stuff.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#12
Pretty sure 9/4 is a compound time signature. The beat unit is a dotted minim.

A compound meter is when the beat can be divided in to three equal parts. Dotted minim = 3 crotchets.
#13
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_(music)#Compound_meter

9/4 is counted in three beats of three quarter notes. When you divide the beat into three you get compound meter. 9/4 is compound meter, same way 6/4 is compound meter, same way 3/4 is compound meter. You could in theory say it was an additive meter of 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 but that's not altogether practical. 9/4 with no other indications is compound triple meter.

EDIT: Isn't that song just in 3/4? You could almost waltz to it. I don't hear much that would indicate 9/4.


The reason why I thought the beginning is in 9/4 is because it takes 9 beats in quarter notes before the guitar loops.

Same goes for the part at 1:10. I though it was 13/4 because it takes 13 bars of 4 before the drum makes a loop. However the guitar seems to be doing something else and Im completely confused on whats going on. Thats why I wanted to learn more about polyrhythms because Im aware of there existence I just don't know alot about them. I suspected that this band might have something like that in their songs so thats why I asked.
#14
Quote by dannydawiz
I though it was 13/4 because it takes 13 bars of 4 before the drum makes a loop. However the guitar seems to be doing something else and Im completely confused on whats going on.

I haven't listened to the song, but you're thinking polymeter, not polyrhythm.
#15
To my ear, both the drums and the guitar are in 13/4. Listen to the drum fills. Also, the guitar does play something resembling 13/4: Listen to the highest note, it repeats every 13 sixteenth notes, doesn't it? I don't hear a polyrhythm or polymeter there.

If you're new to polyrhythms, polymeters and odd time signatures then I'm not sure if I can recommend you to start with Animals As Leaders. It's pretty tough to figure out for me as well.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#17
Quote by Flibo
To my ear, both the drums and the guitar are in 13/4. Listen to the drum fills. Also, the guitar does play something resembling 13/4: Listen to the highest note, it repeats every 13 sixteenth notes, doesn't it? I don't hear a polyrhythm or polymeter there.

If you're new to polyrhythms, polymeters and odd time signatures then I'm not sure if I can recommend you to start with Animals As Leaders. It's pretty tough to figure out for me as well.


Could you give me any reccomendations then? What did you start off with?
#18
Quote by dannydawiz
Could you please explain to me what the differences are?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyrhythm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_(music)#Polymeter (scroll down to near the bottom).

A good song to demonstrate the use of a polymeter is the intro riff to The Attitude Song by Steve Vai. I know you like Little Stevie Vai.

The drummer is in 4/4, the guitar riff is in 7/8
Last edited by mdc at Dec 11, 2011,
#19
Quote by mdc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyrhythm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_(music)#Polymeter (scroll down to near the bottom).

A good song to demonstrate the use of a polymeter is the intro riff to The Attitude Song by Steve Vai. I know you like Little Stevie Vai.

The drummer is in 4/4, the guitar riff is in 7/8


Thanks for the example I could hear it quite clearly Bonus points for being a Steve Vai song.

So a polyrhythm has to contain at least one irrational rhythm such as a triplet,quintuplet,sextuplet along with a regular time signature such as 4/4?

A polymeter is just two different time signatures being used at the same time like in the example you gave me where the guitar is in 7/8 and the drums are in 4/4.

Is this correct? If not could you or someone else please correct me?
#20
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meter_(music)#Compound_meter

9/4 is counted in three beats of three quarter notes. When you divide the beat into three you get compound meter. 9/4 is compound meter, same way 6/4 is compound meter, same way 3/4 is compound meter. You could in theory say it was an additive meter of 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 but that's not altogether practical. 9/4 with no other indications is compound triple meter.

EDIT: Isn't that song just in 3/4? You could almost waltz to it. I don't hear much that would indicate 9/4.


Im splitting hairs here, but the fact that 9/4 is generally viewed as a compound meter comes from the problem that there is no practical way for a conductor to show 9/4 with no subdivision of the measure. In a perfect world, 9/4 would generally NOT be viewed as compound

Usually by the time you are using 9/4, your counting it just as 9, not 3 3 3 or 4 5 or whatever else you can come up with.

This opinion comes from years of playing mixed meter and poly rhythmic brass music written by Germans, Austrians, Swedes, and other weird national composers who apparently eat sleep and shit in mixed meter


^NO! You dont need triplets or any of that to have a polyrhythm. A poly rhythm is just when you have two independent rhythms working at the same time. That could mean dotted quarter notes that extend over bar lines in 4/4 for instance.

The term independent is misleading because in order for a poly rhythm to occur, they have to be happening at the same time

The last part pf what you said is more accurate
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 11, 2011,
#21
Quote by chantastic
Im splitting hairs here, but the fact that 9/4 is generally viewed as a compound meter comes from the problem that there is no practical way for a conductor to show 9/4 with no subdivision of the measure. In a perfect world, 9/4 would generally NOT be viewed as compound

Usually by the time you are using 9/4, your counting it just as 9, not 3 3 3 or 4 5 or whatever else you can come up with.

The subdivision is relative. A conductor can easily conduct 9/4 with a tri pattern. You speak as if mixed meters is some kind of anomaly. It's been the norm for over a century.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Dec 11, 2011,
#22
Quote by Xiaoxi
The subdivision is relative. A conductor can easily conduct 9/4 with a tri pattern. You speak as if mixed meters is some kind of anomaly. It's been the norm for over a century.



Ugh. Of course the subdivision is relative. Of course mixed meter is not an anomaly. My point is that conductors have to subdivide 9/4 even if it's not being used in compound form because of the mechanical restrictions of conducting, leading to the assumption that 9/4 is compound intrinsically or even most oftenly. (in my experience it's not)
#23
Quote by chantastic
Ugh. Of course the subdivision is relative. Of course mixed meter is not an anomaly. My point is that conductors have to subdivide 9/4 even if it's not being used in compound form because of the mechanical restrictions of conducting, leading to the assumption that 9/4 is compound intrinsically or even most oftenly. (in my experience it's not)

None of what you just said makes any sense.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#24
Quote by chantastic
Ugh. Of course the subdivision is relative. Of course mixed meter is not an anomaly. My point is that conductors have to subdivide 9/4 even if it's not being used in compound form because of the mechanical restrictions of conducting, leading to the assumption that 9/4 is compound intrinsically or even most oftenly. (in my experience it's not)


So you're suggesting that 9/4 is compound meter because conductors conduct it that way?
#25
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
So you're suggesting that 9/4 is compound meter because conductors conduct it that way?


No, I'm suggesting that conductors are forced into subdividing any time signature into groups of beats, and that grouping does not always accurately reflect the music, as is sometimes the case with 9/4.

You guys can take it up with Muti or Solti or Boico if you like

What I'm trying to say is that there is a specific beat pattern for 1/4 2/4 3/ and 4/4 time, and all other time signitures are conducted as combinations of these beat patterns. There is no 9/4 beat pattern. There is not 7/8 either. It's a 3 beat pattern conducted with one of the beats (as in conducting beats) held an 8th note longer to reflect that.

I'm explaining that just because something CAN be broken into coumpound groupings doesn't mean they should be
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 11, 2011,
#26
Quote by chantastic
No, I'm suggesting that conductors are forced into subdividing any time signature into groups of beats, and that grouping does not always accurately reflect the music, as is sometimes the case with 9/4.


What I'm trying to say is that there is a specific beat pattern for 1/4 2/4 3/ and 4/4 time and all other time signitures are conducted as combinations of these beat patterns.
No, there is no specific beat pattern for any of those. There are specific beat patterns for 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats in a confined measure.

There is no 9/4 beat pattern. There is not 7/8 either. It's a 3 beat pattern conducted with one of the beats (as in conducting beats) held an 8th note longer to reflect that.
So essentially, there is clearly a way to conduct these types of meters.

I'm explaining that just because something CAN be broken into coumpound groupings doesn't mean they should be
But more often than not, they are.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#27
Quote by Xiaoxi


No, there is no specific beat pattern for any of those. There are specific beat patterns for 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats in a confined measure.

So essentially, there is clearly a way to conduct these types of meters.

But more often than not, they are.


1 Thats what I was trying to say, just couldnt find the words

2 Yes, there are. Thats what Im saying

3 According to who is the question? The only reason Im bringing this up is because there actually are a ton of cases where a measure of 9/4 is broken up in a way where a conductors beat pattern does not reflect the musical idea.

And bro, subdivide can mean more than one thing. Dont worry, I know the other definition too
#28
Quote by chantastic

3 According to who is the question? The only reason Im bringing this up is because there actually are a ton of cases where a measure of 9/4 is broken up in a way where a conductors beat pattern does not reflect the musical idea.
Enlighten us with one, then.


And bro, subdivide can mean more than one thing. Dont worry, I know the other definition too

Sure, we can all have our little inconsistent terminologies. I'm sure that'll clear up any confusion.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#29
Quote by Xiaoxi
Enlighten us with one, then.


Sure, we can all have our little inconsistent terminologies. I'm sure that'll clear up any confusion.


First of, subdivide is used in a few different ways in different context by many advanced musicians. Ive heard ricardo muti use the term "incorrectly" in rehearsals with CSO Ive sat in on. C'mon man...

Second:

Awakening- Aargard-Nielsen
Liturgical Symphony- Fischer Tull
Fanfare of Hope- John Stevens
Quintet for Brass- Bozza

I guess I could go on, but thats not the point. I could write an example right now if I felt like it, and it would be as valid as any other composer doing the same thing

And remember kids. Its always important to augment your theory study with score study, so you can see how concepts are actually applied in real music; otherwise, you might as well just be reciting things you read on the internet!

Btw, as a side note, this problem isnt unique to 9/4. It exists with all time signatures that require a conductor to beat more than 4 beats. Its rarer in 9/4 just because 9/4 is a somewhat rare time signature. Take the gonkobi pattern in music from Ghana, which is a 6/4 pattern that is not broken into subdivisions, for instance
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 13, 2011,
#30
Quote by chantastic
First of, subdivide is used in a few different ways in different context by many advanced musicians. Ive heard ricardo muti use the term "incorrectly" in rehearsals with CSO Ive sat in on. C'mon man...
But in rehearsals, he can physically show what is meant. On here, where I can only rely on your words, my head is spinning from trying to comprehend how the hell are you not able to NOT subdivide (as in subdivisions of the basic beats) a compound meter.

Awakening- Aargard-Nielsen
Liturgical Symphony- Fischer Tull
Fanfare of Hope- John Stevens
Quintet for Brass- Bozza

I guess I could go on, but thats not the point. I could write an example right now if I felt like it, and it would be as valid as any other composer doing the same thing
Like I can actually find all those.

And remember kids. Its always important to augment your theory study with score study, so you can see how concepts are actually applied in real music; otherwise, you might as well just be reciting things you read on the internet!

Btw, as a side note, this problem isnt unique to 9/4. It exists with all time signatures that require a conductor to beat more than 4 beats. Its rarer in 9/4 just because 9/4 is a somewhat rare time signature. Take the gonkobi pattern in music from Ghana, which is a 6/4 pattern that is not broken into subdivisions, for instance

Yes, but you're failing to see that when these things aren't specified, the assumption is even compound time for good reasons. Any meters can be conducted differently to suit the true phrasing of the music. But for the sake of standards in mind, you're bringing up annoying semantics.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#31
Quote by Xiaoxi
But in rehearsals, he can physically show what is meant. On here, where I can only rely on your words, my head is spinning from trying to comprehend how the hell are you not able to NOT subdivide (as in subdivisions of the basic beats) a compound meter.

Like I can actually find all those.


Yes, but you're failing to see that when these things aren't specified, the assumption is even compound time for good reasons. Any meters can be conducted differently to suit the true phrasing of the music. But for the sake of standards in mind, you're bringing up annoying semantics.



So when Im technically wrong, its an issue, and when your technically wrong, its semantics?

Interesting take

Your missing out by not checking some of that shit out btw. Its all great music by pretty famous "classical" composers. Just seeing as how your always talking about your symphonic stuff...
#32
Quote by chantastic
So when Im technically wrong, its an issue, and when your technically wrong, its semantics?
I said right away that what you brought up CAN happen. You, on the other hand, thinks it's impossible for something like a 9/4 to be a compound meter. That's the difference.

Your missing out by not checking some of that shit out btw. Its all great music by pretty famous "classical" composers. Just seeing as how your always talking about your symphonic stuff...
I'm saying that those scores aren't easy to come by.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#33
Quote by Xiaoxi
I said right away that what you brought up CAN happen. You, on the other hand, thinks it's impossible for something like a 9/4 to be a compound meter. That's the difference.

I'm saying that those scores aren't easy to come by.



I dont believe I ever said that which is exactly why this whole convo is moot

Looking back, the term I used was "generally not." Which I think I can still make a good argument for, since, in the music I play, its generally not common for 9/4 to be compound. See: north indian music

Of course now we're getting super theoretical since youd be imposing western time signatures on eastern music

But whatever man
Last edited by chantastic at Dec 13, 2011,
#34
Quote by chantastic
I dont believe I ever said that which is exactly why this whole convo is moot

Quote by chantastic
^But 9/4 is not a compound meter.

...

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#35
My bad. Not necessarily is what I should have said. English language and all that
#36
Quote by chantastic
My bad. Not necessarily is what I should have said. English language and all that

Uh huh...


...modes and scales are still useless.


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#37
Quote by chantastic

Of course now we're getting super theoretical since youd be imposing western time signatures on eastern music

But whatever man

The very convention that we're talking about is a western creation. It's not meant to suit eastern music.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Dec 13, 2011,
#38
Quote by Xiaoxi
The very convention that we're talking about is a western creation. It's not meant to suit eastern music.


A ton of the rhythmic terminology still fits really well though, actually. The thing about western rhythmic notation is that theres literally a way to notate ANY rhythm if you know what your doing even a little bit
#39
Quote by chantastic
A ton of the rhythmic terminology still fits really well though, actually. The thing about western rhythmic notation is that theres literally a way to notate ANY rhythm if you know what your doing even a little bit

Yes, but it didn't have eastern sense of rhythm in mind for its standards. Let's not kid around, you can be semantic and say the compound feel or purpose choosing 9/4 as opposed to 9/8 as a triple meter isn't applicable to Indian music, but it's applicable to Beethoven, it's applicable to Stravinsky, and it's applicable to whatever western band TS is talking about.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#40
I can't hear the triplet's too well except in the fills but I'm pretty sure the drummer is phasing a bit with the snare so that might throw you off.
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