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mgustavo

Help with music notation, time signature (Solved)

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Posted (edited)

Hi, I've been doing some music transcriptions for a music studio and in some cases there are sequences of 4/4 + 2/4 . I thought it would be better if I write 6/4, but they are not compound meter, they feel like 4/4 + 2/4 . Is that common on music writing?

The reason I'm asking is because there are alternate time signatures like 5/8 and 7/8, where we count 3 plus 2, etc.

Thanks!

Edited by mgustavo

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Generally 6/8 is considered to be in "2" time, e.g.  ONE, two, three, TWO, two three.

For 6/4 however, it can be either a slow version of 6/8 (so still 2 triplet beats) or literally 6 straight beats.

So the correct time signature largely depends on the feel. 

If it feels like a bar of four, followed  by a bar of two, then you should write it like that: e.g. 4/4 , 2/4... but if the phrase sounds like it "belongs" together as 6 notes then 6/4 is fine.

However, if it's constantly going between 4/4 to 2/4, it's probably much better to write it as 6/4 simply because it's far easier to read.

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Msmcleod, thanks!

Yes, that's what is happening, there are many repetitions of 4/4 and 2/4, maybe 6/4 will help reading!

Best regards,

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It's really up to the composer.

Personally, I would find 6/4 easier to read as the score would be less cluttered. If it only happened a few times in the piece, either way would be fine with me though. And if it only happened a few times, does the meter change aid a sight reading musician? If so it's the way to go.

When writing a score, my personal opinion is that it should be as easy to sightread as possible. That includes the aforementioned time signature, but also careful about repeats, DC or DS directions, page turns, and so on.

There are some who seem to want to either make it challenging or save paper to the point where it hinders a performance or requires some wood-shedding to get right.

If it's easy to sight read, even those who can read but not sight read the piece will find it much easier to play.

The less your brain is working on the score, the more resources you have to add expressiveness.

Bob

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I really think it comes down to how do you feel it. Sometimes I rather have 6/8 but maybe it is my way of seeing the music on the printed page.

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Go with whichever is easiest to read. Make note of the feel at the top of the page 

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Posted (edited)

Hi, thanks for the comments about helping readers with a friendly score! I'll try to work on this!

Actually these transcriptions are meant for register purposes and to help producers work the tunes with its composers. In these cases they seem to play and sing by ear, so some scores would change from 6/4 to 4/4, 5/4, etc. I guess they will fit it on more common forms.

Best regards,

Edited by mgustavo

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Some discussion here under complex meters:

https://music.indiana.edu/departments/academic/composition/style-guide/#meter

To me it sounds like the best policy is to make a note of how you want the beats placed on the score and then use a more common meter, supplemented by numeric notations if that helps, leaving it up to the performer to work it out. After all the standard notation is just meant to communicate how the music is to be interpreted. Trying to jam uncommon music into the notation framework suitable for the common practice period is likely to confuse contemporary readers on first sight at least. 

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