#1

Warning: Incoming wall of text

Okay, so I was busy in class today not doing my work and I came across some strange rhythmic and metric ideas. It started when I was fooling around with grouping triplets in 4's and 5's, by accenting every fourth or fifth triplet eighth note instead of every 3.

A bar of 4/4 can contain 12 triplet eighth notes, 3+3+3+3 when grouped normally.

You could also group them in 4's (4+4+4) giving you 3 sets of 4 and an interesting rhythmic effect. I took it further and tried a 4+4+4+4 grouping, extending the bar beyond 4/4, and leaving me with 16 triplet eighth notes.

In trying to name this time signature, I looked at the 16 triplet eighth notes as 3+3+3+3+3+1 rather than 4+4+4+4 as 3 triplet eighth notes are equal to a quarter note. This worked out to 5/4 with an extra triplet eighth note. Since 3 triplet eighths notes are equal to a quarter note, I gathered one triplet eighth note would be equal to a third of a quarter note, giving me a time signature of 5⅓/4 (five and one third over four).

What's interesting about this time signature is that it divides 4 bars of 4/4 exactly in 3. I can already imagine some very cool polymetric ideas involving these time signatures.

I found similar time signatures by grouping the triplet eighth notes in different ways. I suppose the same idea could be applied to other n-tuplets (quintuplets, septuplets), though I doubt time signatures such as three and one fifth over four would be very practical or useful.

My questions are:

1. Does any of this make sense?

2. Are there examples of usage of these kinds of time signatures?

3. I forgot this one gimme a sec.

THANKS IN ADVANCE.

edit: Added a GP/MIDI file. The kick drum is quarter notes for 8 bars of 4/4 and the guitar can be seen as 6 bars of 5⅓/4

edit2: thanks for the correction arch, I hope I fixed that

Okay, so I was busy in class today not doing my work and I came across some strange rhythmic and metric ideas. It started when I was fooling around with grouping triplets in 4's and 5's, by accenting every fourth or fifth triplet eighth note instead of every 3.

A bar of 4/4 can contain 12 triplet eighth notes, 3+3+3+3 when grouped normally.

You could also group them in 4's (4+4+4) giving you 3 sets of 4 and an interesting rhythmic effect. I took it further and tried a 4+4+4+4 grouping, extending the bar beyond 4/4, and leaving me with 16 triplet eighth notes.

In trying to name this time signature, I looked at the 16 triplet eighth notes as 3+3+3+3+3+1 rather than 4+4+4+4 as 3 triplet eighth notes are equal to a quarter note. This worked out to 5/4 with an extra triplet eighth note. Since 3 triplet eighths notes are equal to a quarter note, I gathered one triplet eighth note would be equal to a third of a quarter note, giving me a time signature of 5⅓/4 (five and one third over four).

What's interesting about this time signature is that it divides 4 bars of 4/4 exactly in 3. I can already imagine some very cool polymetric ideas involving these time signatures.

I found similar time signatures by grouping the triplet eighth notes in different ways. I suppose the same idea could be applied to other n-tuplets (quintuplets, septuplets), though I doubt time signatures such as three and one fifth over four would be very practical or useful.

My questions are:

1. Does any of this make sense?

2. Are there examples of usage of these kinds of time signatures?

3. I forgot this one gimme a sec.

THANKS IN ADVANCE.

edit: Added a GP/MIDI file. The kick drum is quarter notes for 8 bars of 4/4 and the guitar can be seen as 6 bars of 5⅓/4

edit2: thanks for the correction arch, I hope I fixed that

*Last edited by ramm_ty at Oct 22, 2008,*

#2

I you had typed in "Fractional Meter" in Google you would've found your answer.

Nevertheless, your post inspired some ideas in me.

Nevertheless, your post inspired some ideas in me.

#3

While time signatures are not fractions, simplify yours as if you were simplifying a compound fraction. That gets you 4/3, which is somewhat crazy, but it's certainly better than a compound fraction (compound fractions aren't simplified!)

*Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Oct 22, 2008,*

#4

You can't, it always comes out as a fraction.While time signatures are not fractions, simplify yours as if you were simplifying a compound fraction.

#5

(5+1/3)/4=((15/3)+(1/3))/4=(16/3)/4=4/3.You can't, it always comes out as a fraction.

#6

1. Yes, though I would have notated it 16/8 personally.

2. Wikipedia is your friend. A few modern composers have employed them.

3. No.

2. Wikipedia is your friend. A few modern composers have employed them.

3. No.

#7

You just exploded my brain. 4/3? What's a 3?

I understand how you did that, but 4/3 seems much more confusing than 5⅓/4 (to me).

I understand how you did that, but 4/3 seems much more confusing than 5⅓/4 (to me).

#8

You just exploded my brain. 4/3? What's a 3?

I understand how you did that, but 4/3 seems much more confusing than 5⅓/4 (to me).

Indeed. BGC, you have confused me and not in a good way. I've seen fractional time signatures, but I've yet to see a 4/3 time signature and I'm ok with that...

#9

Your meter is 5/4 plus one third of one fourth of a triplet. That's pretty confusing.

Either way, it's weird.

Either way, it's weird.

#10

Indeed. BGC, you have confused me and not in a good way. I've seen fractional time signatures, but I've yet to see a 4/3 time signature and I'm ok with that...

It's exactly what it looks like: four beats, which each beat having the length of one third of a bar of 4/4. Obviously, in order to be able to

*use*4/3 you first have to establish exactly how long a bar of 4/4 is, so time signatures like 4/3 would far better be described as 4/4 unless put in some sort of context.

#11

I think I understand, thanks for comments everyone.

#12

So you mean that in 4/3 the unit of time is the tripled half note? I don't know if such note value is even allowed to be used as unit of time in time signatures...

In 4/3, you have 4 tripled half notes, each of them allow 4/3 of a quarter note.

So basicly you are dividing the 4 beats in 4/3 equal parts (just like a simple metre divides it in 2 and a compound metre in 3).

How you divide a beat in 4/3 quarter notes I don't know, but suming those parts would get a somewhat super-compound metre...

In 4/3, you have 4 tripled half notes, each of them allow 4/3 of a quarter note.

So basicly you are dividing the 4 beats in 4/3 equal parts (just like a simple metre divides it in 2 and a compound metre in 3).

How you divide a beat in 4/3 quarter notes I don't know, but suming those parts would get a somewhat super-compound metre...

#13

So you mean that in 4/3 the unit of time is the tripled half note?

No, it describes a bar consisting of four beats, with each beat having the length of 1/3 of a bar of 4/4.

I don't know if such note value is even allowed to be used as unit of time in time signatures

Why wouldn't it be?

#14

1/3 of a bar of 4/4 is a triplet half note, is it not?

#15

1/3 of a bar of 4/4 is a triplet half note, is it not?

I guess it would be equivalent to that length of time. I'd be hesitant to actually

*describe*it as a "tripled half note", since we're not dealing with triplets.

#16

How do you get 1/3 of anything if we're not dealing with triplets?

Doesn't filling a bar of 4/3

Doesn't filling a bar of 4/3

*have*to involve triplets by definition?*Last edited by ramm_ty at Oct 22, 2008,*

#17

Since 3 triplet eighths notes are equal to a quarter note, I gathered one triplet eighth note would be equal to a third of a quarter note, giving me a time signature of 5⅓/4

to make it a non-fractional, you'd make it 4/3 TS

3rd meaning a half note triplet, in a 3:2 ratio.

#18

No, it describes a bar consisting of four beats, with each beat having the length of 1/3 of a bar of 4/4.

Well, considering a bar of 4/4 equals a whole note, a third of a whole note is a ternary division of it, meaning 3 tripled half notes, or in this case (each beat), one.

Why wouldn't it be?

I don't know, I am talking traditionally.

Various musicians write in complex irrational time signatures like 2/6, 5/24, etc, but I am not too sure if there is another way of notating them...

Also, I wonder how you have to write time signatures which uses note values longer than whole notes as unit of beat...

#19

Also, I wonder how you have to write time signatures which uses note values longer than whole notes as unit of beat

A whole note is not the largest note value. There are notes that span two three, or even four whole notes, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't use them as a beat unit (though I don't see why you

*would*)

#20

A whole note is not the largest note value. There are notes that span two three, or even four whole notes, and I don't see any reason why you couldn't use them as a beat unit (though I don't see why youwould)

But how do you write the time signature if 1 is the smallest denominator (which represents a whole note)?

You write 5/4^-1?

#21

But how do you write the time signature if 1 is the smallest denominator (which represents a whole note)?

I think that's more of a limitation of the current convention regarding the way times signatures are written. There are a few advocates of the idea that that the beat unit should be written as a note symbol (quaver, semi quaver, etc), which I think is a much more sensible idea since it, among other benefits, eliminates the need for compound time signatures.

#22

It's definatley a cool idea, but I think its could be just narrowed down to simple Polyrhythm.

Your first example

In the first time your accenting the first beat of every 8th note triplet, resulting in 4 attacks in a 4/4 bar.

Than you were talking about accenting every 4th note, ersulting in 3 attacks in a 4/4 bar.

So, in one version you have 4 attacks, in the other you have 3 attacks.

Just down to the attacks, the 4 attack, would be playing straight crotchets, and the 3 attack, playing Minum Triplets.

Playing them both together would result in a 4:3 or 3:4 Polyrhythm, depending on which rhythm is dominant, which would be established by what the other instruments are doing.

4:3 being 4 beats in the time of 3 beats

3:4 being 3 beats in the time of 4 beats.

Now if your working in 4/4, and having 4 groups of 4 8th note triplet notes, I would say, as Nightfyre did, to write it in 16/8

If your grouping it as 5 groups of 3. This is triplets in 5/4 of a compound version of 5/4, 15/8.

Adding one 8th note is 16/8

Your idea could be done easily with any tuplet grouping (or non-tuplet grouping for that matter)

Take Quintuplets (16th note).

In a bar of 4/4, you have 20 notes.

You could accent this as 4 groups of 5, as already done, or 5 groups of 4.

If you wanted to be a real asshole, you could accent the quintuplets in 3's

Taking 3 bars of 4/4 to get back to original, the possibilities are endless, enjoy.

Your first example

A bar of 4/4 can contain 12 triplet eighth notes, 3+3+3+3 when grouped normally.

You could also group them in 4's (4+4+4) giving you 3 sets of 4 and an interesting rhythmic effect. I took it further and tried a 4+4+4+4 grouping, extending the bar beyond 4/4, and leaving me with 16 triplet eighth notes.

In the first time your accenting the first beat of every 8th note triplet, resulting in 4 attacks in a 4/4 bar.

Than you were talking about accenting every 4th note, ersulting in 3 attacks in a 4/4 bar.

**1**2 3 4**5**6 7 8**9**10 11 12So, in one version you have 4 attacks, in the other you have 3 attacks.

Just down to the attacks, the 4 attack, would be playing straight crotchets, and the 3 attack, playing Minum Triplets.

Playing them both together would result in a 4:3 or 3:4 Polyrhythm, depending on which rhythm is dominant, which would be established by what the other instruments are doing.

4:3 being 4 beats in the time of 3 beats

3:4 being 3 beats in the time of 4 beats.

Now if your working in 4/4, and having 4 groups of 4 8th note triplet notes, I would say, as Nightfyre did, to write it in 16/8

If your grouping it as 5 groups of 3. This is triplets in 5/4 of a compound version of 5/4, 15/8.

Adding one 8th note is 16/8

Your idea could be done easily with any tuplet grouping (or non-tuplet grouping for that matter)

Take Quintuplets (16th note).

In a bar of 4/4, you have 20 notes.

You could accent this as 4 groups of 5, as already done, or 5 groups of 4.

If you wanted to be a real asshole, you could accent the quintuplets in 3's

Taking 3 bars of 4/4 to get back to original, the possibilities are endless, enjoy.