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#1061964 - 11/06/04 03:15 PM alla breve eighth note question
denise_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 20
Loc: springfield
How many counts does an eighth note get in one measure with 2/2 time?

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#1061965 - 11/06/04 03:39 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
denise_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 20
Loc: springfield
My Moonlight Sonata piece gives 12 eighth notes in a measure.

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#1061966 - 11/06/04 03:40 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
denise_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 20
Loc: springfield
My Moonlight Sonata piece gives 12 eighth notes in a measure.

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#1061967 - 11/06/04 09:32 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
Denise, I'm sure others can tell you much more about Moonlight Sonata than I can, but it seems obvious that all those triplets are triplets.

Triplets are defined and played as three notes in the time of two notes. Normally triplets are marked with a "3" and a line over the three notes. The three triplet note grouping is played in the time of two notes, or each triplet group in the time of one quarter note, same thing.

Then the time signature will come out OK. There are only eight eighth note timings in a 2/2 measure, but three triplet notes are played in the time of two notes, so this case has four triplets per measure, each with quarter note timing.

Why this piece isnt normally marked as triplets, I dont know, but probably because all that marking would be excessive to read in this case. But if 2/2, then it cant be anything other than triplets. I have seen versions of it that marked only the first one measure as triplets, and some dont mark even that much.

Read about triplets and it should come clear. It's just that these are assumed, not marked.

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#1061968 - 11/07/04 09:17 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
denise_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 20
Loc: springfield
Yes,each triplet in the first measure has a 3 over the second eighth. Then the third triplet also says simile above it. Thank you. Thank you.

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#1061969 - 11/09/04 10:30 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Use of triplets is a musical convention to get in more notes without changing the time signature. However, it's not as though Beethoven wanted a sudden boost in tempo as the first movement of the Moonlight is framed on a steady eighth note beat - true 12 to the measure - but the composer might as well have used a 12/8 time signature to avoid the "triplet 3".

The US numerical note descriptions (whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc) only adds up arithmetically in 4/4 time. Measures in waltz time come short with only 3 quarter-notes.

The UK call the eighth-note a "quaver" which avoids any unnecesaary bad maths.

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#1061970 - 11/09/04 12:11 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
The US numerical note descriptions (whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc) only adds up arithmetically in 4/4 time. Measures in waltz time come short with only 3 quarter-notes.

The UK call the eighth-note a "quaver" which avoids any unnecesaary bad maths. [/b]
Dont take my comments too seriously, btb, but that seems to be a questionable statement.
Can you give examples?

The excellent Dolmetsch UK theory site defines the crotchet as 4 of them equal to the semi-breve, and it defines quaver as 8 of them equal to the semi-breve, etc. I wondered how that concept is different, and how is it better than calling it a quarter note or eighth note?

In the US, that waltz would be indicated as 3/4 time, which means 3 beats per measure, and the quarter note gets that beat. How would this be done in the different system? If the waltz is still indicated as 3/4 time, what does that 4 mean exactly? How would that be explained in words? Would the music sound different?

In the US, that waltz could never be written with whole notes, but would instead use a dotted half note to fill the measure. If there is to be any advantage to the semi-breve at all, then I imagine the semi-breve possibly might fill one measure if 3/4 time. But I am quite skeptical, does it really? Does that semi-breve actually denote variable and different timings? Are there really cases when the semi-breve can actually be equal to only 3 crochets? Or does that case make those crotchets be 3/4 shorter too? Help me to understand that case?

My own opinion is that there is no difference whatsoever, only just a UK or US name, but with exactly the same meaning and usage in every case.

Probably the US names have the advantage in this case, in that the name specifically defines its own usage. \:\)

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#1061971 - 11/09/04 11:00 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Lightnin,

Nice chatting. We might be discussing an ephemeral "what's in a name?"

We all read 3/4 as waltz time - 3 beats of a set duration (US quarter-notes or UK crotchets)

What seems to have happened with Denise's reading of the Moonlight is a mathematical calculation in reconciling 4 beats - her reckoning equivalent to triplets - in the first measure bringing the note tally to 12 - are they still call eighth-notes or are they in a metamorphic process of becoming sixteenth-notes - possibly then at a stage of being hybrid eighth/sixteenth-notes?

As most music involves quarter and eighth-note beats (4/4, 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures) it would seem obvious to stick to a familiar beat description without resolving to heady mathematics.

Remember Ira Gershwin's words
"You like po-ta-to and I like po-tah-to" to George Gershwin's famous "Let's Call The Whole thing Off".

Thanks for your valued interest.

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#1061972 - 11/10/04 12:49 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3000
Loc: Virginia, USA
Clang.

(monkey wrench coming)

Of course in the UK and US, the waltz has three equal beats per measure.

In Vienna this would not be true.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1061973 - 11/10/04 09:07 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
As most music involves quarter and eighth-note beats (4/4, 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures) it would seem obvious to stick to a familiar beat description without resolving to heady mathematics. [/b]
But the concept is mathematic, or at least arithmetic.

My only point was that the difference in this situation (triplets redefining timing, in this case, definitions of eighth note and quaver symbols) is certainly not the fault of the Name of the US eighth note definitons as was suggested. Triplets also redefine the timing of quavers in exactly the same way, also no longer 8 per semi-breve. Technically, these triplets are 12 notes per semi-breve now.

 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
The US numerical note descriptions (whole, half, quarter, eighth, etc) only adds up arithmetically in 4/4 time. Measures in waltz time come short with only 3 quarter-notes.
[/b]
Do you see the problem yet? The problem is that your math incorrectly assumes 8 eighth notes per measure, and incorrectly assumes 4 quarter notes per measure. However that assumption is wrong, at least for all measures. That is NOT the defintion of eighth notes or quarter notes at all. The definition of eighth notes is instead 8 per whole note, same as quavers are defined as 8 per semi-breve. No difference at all.

So there is not necessarily a whole note per measure as your statement assumes. Some measures are indeed shorter and some measures are longer, depending on the time signature, which is what determines the length of a measure.

Then triplets are something yet again different too. If we are to have a debate, a more reasonable subject might be if these triplets still contain eighth notes or not. I say no. \:\)

TimR, I didnt understand about Viennese waltz. I know the tempo is about double time faster, but they are still 3/4 ?

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#1061974 - 11/10/04 11:55 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Lightnin,

We're talking past one another. You are so right in your descriptions. But we seem to have highjacked this thread to settle some niceties of notation.

Denise said
"My Moonlight Sonata piece gives 12 eighth-notes in a measure".

The observation suggests an inability to reconcile 4/4 time with 12 notes to the measure - thus her arithmetical inference that the 4 beats are grouped as triplets.

But my Schirmer's Edition has no indication of triplets - merely 12 eighth-notes forming a succession of four G#, C#, E arpeggios.

Without labouring the subject, numerical inferences can unduly cloud the issue as presently seems to be the case. I only hope Denise will forgive our rant and get happily stuck into into her Moonlight Sonata.

Regarding TimR's comment about the Waltz - he must be of Austrian stock with an inborn sensitivity to that special tempo from the land of the Waltz. While the rest of the world plod along with a rum-tum-tum tempo, the Strauss devotees have added an effervescent charm to the Waltz by stretching the duration of the note on the beat - this liberty with the overall tempo induces a resultant cascading speeding up of the second two beats which so aplty captures images of those elegant, swirling Viennese dancers of those grand bygone years.

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#1061975 - 11/11/04 05:03 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3000
Loc: Virginia, USA
Ah, the Viennese waltz.

No, I'm not Austrian, but I've played trombone in some German bands, and you have to be alert to the rhythm in a Viennese waltz.

Just like you have to know that in jazz, straight eighth notes must be played "swung," you have to know that in the waltz the three beats are not equal. Beat two is played ahead of the beat. How much ahead? Well, like jazz, you've got to feel it.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1061976 - 11/11/04 06:38 AM Re: alla breve eighth note question
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:

The observation suggests an inability to reconcile 4/4 time with 12 notes to the measure [/b]
Exactly right, because unless the triplets are marked correctly, then this case doesnt make any notational sense.


 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:

But my Schirmer's Edition has no indication of triplets - merely 12 eighth-notes forming a succession of four G#, C#, E arpeggios.
[/b]
And I have a different version of this piece that also does not mark these triplets properly as triplets either. However there are other versions do mark these triplets properly as triplets, and the world pretty much knows all about the famous triplets in Moonlight Sonata.

I've wondered why the printing is incorrect, if it is some ancient tradition that has changed now, or if it is simply a printing omission. My copy says 4/4 too, but some say 2/2 for it. Neither 4/4 or 2/2 allows 12 eighths in one measure, and neither allows 12 quavers in one measure, because the time signatures dictate that there are 4 quarters or 2 half notes per measure. So this case can only be triplets, even if sometimes not marked as such.

It is a matter of time signature, not US/UK note names. The confusion was not at all about the name "eighth note" as was suggested.

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#1061977 - 11/11/04 12:27 PM Re: alla breve eighth note question
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi TimR,

Nice story on Viennese Waltz time.
Envy you trombone involvement in a jazz band.

As "Ain't Misbehavin'" Fats Waller once said
"What's jazz lady? If you don't know, I can't tell you".

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