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#1147208 - 07/01/08 01:06 AM Feel of 12/8 time
agent3x Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 147
Loc: United States
I’m writing a piece in 4/4 using a lot of eight note triplets. I’m thinking it might be easier to just write it in 12/8; this will allow me to get more creative with the melody instead of using groups of three all the time.

So how if 12/8 felt? Is it four groups of three, two groups of six, etc.?

Also, I have some passages using regular eight notes. Will these be written as two notes in the space of three (with the bracket and number underneath)? Or should I use eight in the space of twelve? If I write it the first way, would those be called duplets? Is that a word?

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#1147209 - 07/01/08 04:22 AM Re: Feel of 12/8 time
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 13997
Loc: Canada
12/8 time is compound time, so it's "beats with pulses" the way I learned it. 12/8 time consists of 4 beats which each contain three pulses, so four groups of three eighth notes. Tempo would be marked as MM = (dotted quarter). It's as if you had 4 dotted quarter notes in a measure, in a sense.

The two notes in a space of three with the bracket w. number is used if your two eighth notes take up the time of the dotted quarter note - in other words, they would fit inside that one 3-eighth-pulse beat. It would be like a slowed down pulse since they would be a bit slower than three notes fitting in the same beat.

I would like to know about the rhythm in compound (12/8) vs. simple (4/4) time. I know that in 4/4 time you have a beat that goes "strong weak medium weak". In 12/8 does that "strong weak etc." still exist across the four beats? Or do you end up with something more smooth and even (my impression, but I don't actually know). If so, then this might affect the choice of which type of time to use.

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#1147210 - 07/01/08 09:25 AM Re: Feel of 12/8 time
eromlignod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 379
Loc: Kansas City
Four groups of three.

Don
Kansas City

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