#1
Me and a friend are transcribing this piece of music, for eventual publication:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2WITklL6RM
and can't agree on the best way to notate the rhythms at 0:52, 1:21 and 2:18.

He wants it like this (in 5 x 3/8s and a 7/8)


Personally I'd favour 3/4 + 3/4 + 5/4 (or 3/4 + 3/4 + 3/4 + 2/4) but I do see the advantage in highlighting the repeated 3/8 emphases.
(The opening 2/4 and closing 4/4 bars in this excerpt are agreed, btw. It's the bit in between that's in dispute.)

The publication will of course be aimed at folk guitar players, who I guess will not generally be too fussy about notation conventions. But I find that bar of 7/8 confusing - it makes it harder (for me) to get the sense of where the beat is, and therefore harder to play.

All suggestions welcome (I know there are many alternatives)!

(Tuning is DADGAD, btw)
Last edited by jongtr at Oct 21, 2015,
#2
I prefer your way. Calling it a bar of 5/4 makes more sense of the bass part of that section.

7/8 is just confusing. If I think of it in 7/8, the low C at the end of the bar sounds out of place.

Those 3/8s bars make sense but naming them 3/4 fits more with the timing of the rest of the piece.

I love Bert Jansch. All the best with your project!
#3
Quote by Declan87
I prefer your way. Calling it a bar of 5/4 makes more sense of the bass part of that section.

7/8 is just confusing. If I think of it in 7/8, the low C at the end of the bar sounds out of place.

Those 3/8s bars make sense but naming them 3/4 fits more with the timing of the rest of the piece.

I love Bert Jansch. All the best with your project!
Thanks for your support!
We may have to go with my friend's choice in the end, but I'll try and persuade him we need to show the 5/4 alternative in some way. And the 3/4s too...
(It's at least a case for persuading the designer/publisher to allow an illustration of the alternative.)

Do you have any opinion on the 5/4, whether it would be clearer as 3+2 or 2+3? 3+2 obviously follows on from the previous 3/4 bars, but I kind of feel like it's a 4/4 with a beat added, so 2+3 feels a little closer.
#4
Honestly I'd do 3 x 6/8 and 1 x 2/4 because it's a clear 1 2 3 4 5 6 feel and 2/4 precedes the 6/8.
#5
Quote by NeoMvsEu
Honestly I'd do 3 x 6/8 and 1 x 2/4 because it's a clear 1 2 3 4 5 6 feel and 2/4 precedes the 6/8.

Yes, that was one compromise I'd considered.
I'm honestly 50/50 on the 3/4 v the 6/8, and I generally try to resist odd bars of 5/4 when 3/4+2/4 (or 6/8 + 2/4 in this case) makes more sense.
#6
I'm all for hemiolas and other polyrhythms, but if it's an entire section, I'd rather it just be in the most natural meter.

Which one is more natural?



#7
Quote by NeoMvsEu
I'm all for hemiolas and other polyrhythms, but if it's an entire section, I'd rather it just be in the most natural meter.

Which one is more natural?



The way I hear the track is with a constant quarter-note pulse - even through this whole section.
Of course I realise that pulse is not being overtly stated: it's something I find I need to imagine, to get myself through it. If I can hang on to that, and it turns out OK in the end (coming back on the beat) - as it does - then all is well.
So I like to see the 1/4-note pulse reflected in the notation. I can see the cross-rhythm well enough in the ties, etc.
If I see it all in 6/8 to begin with, it's confusing (though only mildly, briefly). I have to recognise that the 8th note value is the same throughout - and then impose my own sense of the persistent 1/4-note feel "beneath" it, so I don't lose the groove.

As I say, this is just the way I hear and see this. I'm grateful for all opinions.

There's a nice quote from Bert Jansch himself, when asked about his habit of dropping or adding beats here and there (occasional 3/4, 2/4 or 5/4 in the midst of 4/4). He said "most people count 1-2-3-4. I just count 1-1-1-1."
(Of course, there's no clue there as to whether his 1-1-1-1 was just quarters, or could include dotted quarters...)
Last edited by jongtr at Oct 21, 2015,
#8
I get that constant denominators would be much easier to follow in the long run and that you can train yourself to think that way - probably drove my choir teacher half mad talking about a polyrhythmic portion of a piece back in ninth grade haha

Having said that, there IS something about pulse that is overtly stated. Accents. It's interesting how you say you hear the track with a constant quarter-note pulse and yet notate the accents with a dotted quarter pulse.
#9
Quote by NeoMvsEu
I get that constant denominators would be much easier to follow in the long run and that you can train yourself to think that way - probably drove my choir teacher half mad talking about a polyrhythmic portion of a piece back in ninth grade haha

Having said that, there IS something about pulse that is overtly stated. Accents. It's interesting how you say you hear the track with a constant quarter-note pulse and yet notate the accents with a dotted quarter pulse.
Right.
The accents marked are actually survivors from the 3/4 notation I had originally. In 3/4, I think they're necessary to indicate the cross rhythm. They're superfluous in 3/8 or 6/8 and I should have removed them.
IOW, the pulse is something different from the accent pattern. One can imagine a continuing regular pulse (in fact I'm sure we usually do), even when a passage contains accents off the beat, and even (though more arguably) when those accents form a different metrical pattern.
In this case, I think you're right that the length of this section, and its persistent 3+3+3 etc pattern, argues for 6/8 bars, for as long as the dotted quarter feel can be heard. But for me it's a close call - hence my asking advice.

I suppose the other view is that the underlying consistent pulse here is 8ths anyway?
#10
FWIW, I can't hear it with what you considered quarter note pulses. If by pulse you mean beat subdivisions (ONE two three Four five six) then yes, I hear it in 8th notes, although I only would bob my head twice with the song (on each accented beat, with the second beat a bit less strongly accented).
#11
Quote by NeoMvsEu
FWIW, I can't hear it with what you considered quarter note pulses. If by pulse you mean beat subdivisions (ONE two three Four five six) then yes, I hear it in 8th notes, although I only would bob my head twice with the song (on each accented beat, with the second beat a bit less strongly accented).

I hear the 4th 8th note as a syncopation. I.e., I'm feeling a quarter note pulse to begin with, in the previous bars, so the 4th 8th note in the "6/8" bar just feels like a syncopation, not a change in the beat.

I just had a suggestion from another experienced muso that he'd write those first bars of 2/4 + 6/8 + 6/8 simply as two bars of 4/4 - I hadn't considered that, but can certainly feel it that way; a more complex pattern of syncopation, but still one I can follow. (But I'm not saying I'll go with that. I like your 6/8s.)