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question about western music

 
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I like to hear music from all the places and I have heard a fair amount popular western music. I am curious about one particular aspect that I found missing in western, or rather non-Indian, music and was wondering if anyone here knows about it.

In Indian music there are several beautiful compositions, classical as well as non-classical, based on 7 and 10 beat rhythms. These rhythms are certainly not as common as 3 or 4 beat based ones but are not rare either. I haven't heard a single piece of western music based on these beats.

Any pointers?
 
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Here's a couple of links to get you started on the 7-beat songs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuple_meter

http://www.huybers.net/music/music7e.html

"All You Need is Love" by the Beatles is perhaps the most familiar of that long list.

 
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Paul Clapham wrote:Here's a couple of links to get you started on the 7-beat songs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuple_meter

http://www.huybers.net/music/music7e.html


Thanks.


"All You Need is Love" by the Beatles is perhaps the most familiar of that long list.


This is 5/10 beats though.
 
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I think you're right. Traditionally, western "art" music has tended to focus more on exploring complexity in harmony - scales, modes etc - than in timing. For example, western music covers a huge range of approaches to harmony, from relatively simple pentatonic scales used in lots of folk music, through modal scales and the familiar major/minor scales to the weird (and IMO often unlistenable) mathematical world of serialism. But as you say, we generally use only a few time signatures compared to the often complex meters of other traditions e.g. in Indian or African music.

However, I think that has changed over the last century as other traditions have had a massive impact in popular music and in jazz. One of my favourite albums is Time Out by the Dave Brubeck quartet, which explores unusual time signatures in each piece. Cool, man!
 
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We are rehearsing Eternal Light by Howard Goodall whose second movement changes time signature from bar to bar. 7-time included. I don't think you can tell the time signatures by listening however.
Performance at Stockton on 28th March 2015. Might be too far for you to come
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:We are rehearsing Eternal Light by Howard Goodall whose second movement changes time signature from bar to bar. 7-time included. I don't think you can tell the time signatures by listening however.


You mean in general or the particular one you are rehearsing? In general, you can easily determine a difference in beat when you to hum along. You will notice that you are going off beat a lot more than usual


Performance at Stockton on 28th March 2015. Might be too far for you to come


Nothing is too far on the internet I hope you upload it on youtube
 
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chris webster wrote:I think you're right. Traditionally, western "art" music has tended to focus more on exploring complexity in harmony - scales, modes etc - than in timing.


Yes, I noticed that. Although I have observed the same thing in the new music that is composed here nowadays. Unlike in the west, in India most of the new music is released (now and and in the past) as a part of the movies and I see a distinct shift from melody to harmony over the past 50 years.


One of my favourite albums is Time Out by the Dave Brubeck quartet, which explores unusual time signatures in each piece. Cool, man!


Thanks for referring. I will listen to it.
 
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You cannot hum along to mvt2 of Eternal Light. It is difficult enough to sing with the music in front of you
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:You cannot hum along to mvt2 of Eternal Light. It is difficult enough to sing with the music in front of you


I don't know western music theory and I have no idea what mvt2 means. But is this the one you are referring to? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT70Yjoxdsg&list=PLTvBqTyPBBmovjSjBiAg8Hti5JRN_WxGG
I heard it and I admit couldn't tell where 7 beat is used. Is it even used?

On another note, I very much like this type of music but I find its human component too unnatural. The vocalists have to almost contort their faces and what not to produce the unnatural pitch and tone. Not sure if it is fun for them.
 
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chris webster wrote:

One of my favourite albums is Time Out by the Dave Brubeck quartet, which explores unusual time signatures in each piece. Cool, man!


I am listening to it right now. very
 
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One of my all time favorite songs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solsbury_Hill_(song)


and here's one in 9/4 time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Hung_My_Head
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote: . . . I have no idea what mvt2 means. . . .

Movement 2.
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote: . . . But is this the one you are referring to? . . .

No. That is mvt1 (=Movement 1). There is no 7‑time in that. What you are looking for is Factum est Silentium which you will find on the same Youtube page.

Distortion? Do you mean they are opening their mouths? Agree, that is not what people do when talking normally, but you cannot sing properly unless you open your mouth. Yes, it is a joy to perform, but requires much hard work first to learn the piece.
 
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Music is supposed to be listened to not watched. If you do watch the singers in Factum est Silentium, you will see they never take their eyes off the copies. There is too much risk of getting lost otherwise You cannot tell which bars are in 7‑time, which in 5 or 10 and which in 6 or 9 time. The conductor usually conducts in half bars for that piece. Almost exactly the same music but shortened reappears later in the same piece (I think movement 7).
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Paul Anilprem wrote: . . . But is this the one you are referring to? . . .

No. That is mvt1 (=Movement 1). There is no 7‑time in that. What you are looking for is Factum est Silentium which you will find on the same Youtube page.


Thanks, I will check it out.


Distortion? Do you mean they are opening their mouths? Agree, that is not what people do when talking normally, but you cannot sing properly unless you open your mouth. Yes, it is a joy to perform, but requires much hard work first to learn the piece.


I was trained in Indian classical vocal so I know a bit about opening the mouth. I was talking about the unbelievably high pitched notes singers hit and the also about the unnatural tone of the voice (the kind you hear in opera) that sounds almost unhuman. Not saying that it is good or bad, just that I don't like it too much. It could be because it is very different from the style practiced in India.

 
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I don't hit unbelievably high notes. I don't even think about singing a (440Hz). But to a proper soprano should have no difficulty with c″ (2048Hz). The Queen of the Night is expected to reach f″!!

Those notes may be outwith the range we usually sing, but there is nothing unnatural about it. You can tell a singer who sings things unnatural: they spend more time at the doctor's than singing
 
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Paul Anilprem wrote: . . . unnatural tone of the voice (the kind you hear in opera) . . .

I cannot speak for opera singers
 
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Since there's not such thing as a seventh note or a tenth note, I imagine all such music would have to be played by ear -- as it could not be written down.
 
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Actually it is possible to write a "seventh note" in standard music notation -- I'm assuming you mean something like seven notes of equal value fitting into a quarter note, or a whole note, or what have you. It's just the same as a triplet, where you put a brace with a "3" in the middle over the three notes which fit in where normally only two would be present. For a septuplet... well, actually you can see an example of it in the Wikipedia article Tuplet.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:Actually it is possible to write a "seventh note" in standard music notation -- I'm assuming you mean something like seven notes of equal value fitting into a quarter note, or a whole note, or what have you. It's just the same as a triplet, where you put a brace with a "3" in the middle over the three notes which fit in where normally only two would be present. For a septuplet... well, actually you can see an example of it in the Wikipedia article Tuplet.



So if you want seven notes of equal value per bar, how would you write seven notes together equaling a whole note?

Would that approach let you write a melody 2 / 5th time (two fifth-notes per measure)?
 
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Frank Silbermann wrote: . . .
So if you want seven notes of equal value per bar, how would you write seven notes together equaling a whole note?

With a horizontal [ and a number 7.

Actually those 7 notes might add up to a beat, two beats or a bar, depending on the time signature and the length of the notes under the 7.



Would that approach let you write a melody 2 / 5th time (two fifth-notes per measure)?

No.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Frank Silbermann wrote: . . .
So if you want seven notes of equal value per bar, how would you write seven notes together equaling a whole note?

With a horizontal [ and a number 7.

Actually those 7 notes might add up to a beat, two beats or a bar, depending on the time signature and the length of the notes under the 7.



If those seven notes added up to a beat, with two beats to a bar, then you would have a 14-note rhythm, not a seven-note rhythm. For a seven-note rhythm you need seven equal notes to a bar. That might mean putting a horizontal [ and a number 7 over seven whole notes, but whole notes don't have stems -- so there would be nothing to connect them to the overhead bar.
 
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No, if you want seven time you write bars with seven beats.
You are unlikely to fit 7 notes without stems into most bars. 7-1 time, anybody? A septuplet would divide one (or two or three) beats into seven equal parts. It is possible to have a septuplet dividing the entire bar into 7 too; there was an example in the Wikipedia link somebody posted earlier in this discussion.
 
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The bracket symbol for a tuplet does not usualy connect to the stems of the notes.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, if you want seven time you write bars with seven beats.
You are unlikely to fit 7 notes without stems into most bars. 7-1 time, anybody? A septuplet would divide one (or two or three) beats into seven equal parts. It is possible to have a septuplet dividing the entire bar into 7 too; there was an example in the Wikipedia link somebody posted earlier in this discussion.


After thinking it through, it occurred to me that 7-beat music would be written with quarter notes in 7/4 time.
 
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Which brings us back to Eternal Light. Actually you can tell that some of the bars are in 7 time; I was mistaken when I said you can't here the time signatures. Listen to Factum est Silentium and listen to the music after the singing stops for the first time. You can hear 7 or 14 chords three on the same note, then the pitch drops and the next 4(/8) chords are a part of a rising scale. The first time that happens it leads to a G which is the note we come in on. Second time that happens it happens twice and again ends on G but we come in on A.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:Actually it is possible to write a "seventh note" in standard music notation . . .

Heard a performance yesterday of Rachmaninov's G major Prelude (Op 32 No 5), which is 5 against 3. Sounds a bit like Feux d'Artifice by Debussy.
 
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