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#2025973 - 02/02/13 04:57 PM Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
This a thread for all who are interested in analysis. It was proposed that we have a separate thread for each piece. In this thread we are looking at America (God Save The Queen for our Commonwealth players), a.k.a. My Country 'Tis Of Thee.

We have three arrangments of this piece to look at.

First, a simple arrangement.

Second, arranged as a hymn, published in 1744.

Third, an arrangement by Muzio Clementi, published in 1801. The fingerings in this one are Clementi's.

My goals in having us look at this piece are threefold:
  • practice identifying chords
  • learn some common chord progressions
  • consider ways of interpreting a piece

All are welcome on this thread, whether or not you participated in the previous thread. All questions are welcome.

~~~ Thread history ~~~
We began on Starting out with analysis, all invited. First we looked at Happy Birthday, starting here. Then we looked at Lili Marlene, starting here (with some Happy Birthday discussion intermingled). The latest corrected version of Lili Marlene is here.

You might also be interested in the Music Theory 101 - Ask your theory questions here! thread. That thread has many links to theory websites, although (despite the title) not very much discussion of theory.
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#2025977 - 02/02/13 05:14 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
We'll look at each arrangement in turn. They get progressively more challenging to analyze, and looking at all three of them will tell us something about the varieties of ways a piece can be arranged.

Let's start with the simple arrangement.

1. Overview. What do you know or can you find out about this song? If you wish, find out about its composer and lyricist.

2. Time signature. What is the time signature?

3. Key. What key is this in? How do you know?

4. Melody. Using what you know about the lyrics of this song, into what phrases would you divide the piece? If you were singing it, would you sing some parts louder and/or softer than others? Would you vary the tempo, or take it all at one tempo?

5. Harmony. Play the piece slowly, listening to the chords and the melody together.

What are the names of the chords? Look at the left hand for this, except on the last two chords look at all the notes in both hands. Some of the chords are "inverted," meaning the root (name) of the chord is not the lowest note.

After you identify the chords, look at the right hand. Circle any notes that are not one of the notes of the chord. For example, in m.1, the third melody note, G, is not a note in the F major chord (FAC). We'll talk about these notes later.

6. Playing. I'm not sure I should put playing last; perhaps it's better to play it first and then start analysing it! Play through the arrangement. Does the given fingering work for you, or do you want to change it? (Feel free smile .) Do you need more fingering indicated? Where? Is this arrangement easy or challenging or just right for you?

Some people have asked about counting. In the next few days I'll post some versions showing counting, and hopefully post a YouTube video illustrating the counting. I know that mostly counting issues seem to come up when the left and right hands have different rhythms, but it can't hurt to illustrate counting here.
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#2025994 - 02/02/13 05:59 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
Mark... Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Can we assume it's a waltz ie 3/4 signature?

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#2026002 - 02/02/13 06:28 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
It is in 3/4 time, but not everything in 3/4 time is a waltz. This is a galliard. Some distinguishing characteristics are 6 beats per phrase, and the dotted quarter, eighth note figure.

Can anyone find us a video of a galliard being danced?
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#2026057 - 02/02/13 09:28 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 252
ANALYSIS: AMERICA/GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

1. Overview. What do you know or can you find out about this song? If you wish, find out about its composer and lyricist.


This song was written sometime around 1600-1700. It seems there are many speculations as to who first wrote the song but no one is exactly sure. The song is in galliard form—the rhythm of it tells us this. A galliard is an athletic dance involving leaps and jumps. How funny to imagine someone hoping around while singing this song to the queen.

2. Time signature. What is the time signature?

The time sig. is ¾ time. So there will be an equivalent of three quarter notes per bar.

3. Key. What key is this in? How do you know?


The key is F major. There is a Bb in the key signature. The first and last chords in the LH are F major chords.

4. Melody. Using what you know about the lyrics of this song, into what phrases would you divide the piece? If you were singing it, would you sing some parts louder and/or softer than others? Would you vary the tempo, or take it all at one tempo?

I might put the phrases over every two bars (from the first note in the first bar to the last note of the second bar, and do that over every two bars, so 7 phrases through the piece). I might slow down a little in bars 11-12, and could slow a bit over 13 as well. It seems like the beginning of bar 13 is the pinnacle of the piece so maybe you could really belt it out there in volume if you wanted. Maybe even build up in volume from 11-12 before you hit 13.

5. Harmony. Play the piece slowly, listening to the chords and the melody together. What are the names of the chords? After you identify the chords, look at the right hand. Circle any notes that are not one of the notes of the chord.


1-F major (I)---in RH, 3rd note G not in the chord
2. C major (V)—in RH, second note F not in the chord
3. F major (I)—in RH, 3rd note Bb not in the chord
4. F major (I)—in RH, second note G not in the chord
5. C major 7th?? (V)—in RH, second note F not in the chord
6. F major (I)
7. C major (V)
8. F major (I)—in RH, second note G not in the chord
9. Bb major? (IV)
10. C major (V)—in RH, first and second notes (Bb and A) not in the chord
11. Both F major (I) –in RH, Bb and the G not in the chord
12. All F major chords (I)—in RH, Bb not in the chord
13. First chord: G minor? (ii)—in RH, both eight notes on that beat are in the chord
Second chord: F major (I)
Third chord: I was not sure about this one. At first I had “C major”, but then I remembered how notes in the chord can sometimes shift into different octaves, and there is a Bb in the RH, along with an E and G, and so I thought all together it might be a C major 7th chord (V).
14. F major (I)

6. Playing. I haven’t been to the piano yet with this piece. Will report back when I do.

Thanks for your time and efforts Pianostudent88!

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#2026071 - 02/02/13 10:04 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Well done, Valencia. I like your observations about the melody. If you look at the other two versions, you will see that they both put a crescendo before m.13 just as you proposed.

The chord you're calling Cmaj7 is actually called just plain C7. C7 is CEGBb. Cmaj7 would be CEGB. I'm collecting my thoughts for how to describe 7 and maj7 chords, but I want to tie it together with intervals (and this ties it together with the answers to your questions about using flats or sharps over on the other thread, which I'm also collecting my thoughts about).
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#2026173 - 02/03/13 04:20 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
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About the pesky "7" in "7 chords" such as C7. It's an anomaly, but there is a reason for it.

Let's start with a G7, because it is so familiar in beginner music in the key of C major. In this key it is part of the V7 I cadence (G7 C) which ends a piece and a section. End a piece or a section with either V-I or V7-I is almost always done. This chord is so familiar, that its form is the default "7 chord" that first comes in mind to musicians, and that's why we're stuck with this naming.

In classical theory, G7 in the key of C major is called the "Dominant 7". That is because the V degree is called the "dominant" degree (the I degree is the Tonic) and the V chord plays an important role. So in classical theory, it also plays an important role.

The confusion comes, because if you really think about what the 7 in a G7 ought to be, then you think that in G major, the 7th is F#, so why doesn't G7 represent GBDF#? And wouldn't GBDF mean G(min7). Well, it really should - but in the way the system evolved, it doesn't. People's minds have slipped over to the fact that G7 refers to the V of C major, and they are thinking of the F that exists in C major, rather than the F# which is the 7 of G major, and that's how it came to be.

The best is just to remember what the 7 represents, and then if you actually do have an F#, that this is called (maj7) to distinguish it from the minor 7 which is the default.

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#2028260 - 02/06/13 05:36 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
AMERICA/GOD SAVE THE QUEEN analysis
1. OVERVIEW: There's some interesting history, including the purported original score (sect 8 p36) here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=5WUUAAA...ing&f=false

2. TIME SIGNATURE: If this is really a Galliard, which has a 6 beat pattern,
why isn't the time signature 6/4?

I'm thinking that the "time signature" is an imprecise indication of the actual rhythm.
One thing I'd like to learn is the main varieties of actual rhythms
(my electronic piano has over 100 built in!).
And how they relate to the various dance forms, such as:
Galliard, Waltz, Minuette, Bourree, Canzonet, Polka, Gavotte, etc.

There seems to be a lot of information on dance forms here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Dance_forms_in_classical_music

4. MELODY
In the "original" score referenced above, the two 1/8 notes melody in 13 are actually triplets: la-so-fa or D C Bb.

5. HARMONY,
Not much to add to what Valencia said,
except to note the interesting sequence of inversions of the F (I) chord in M 11-12.
I suppose it's good practice to break up a long stretch on the same chord with variations such as this.

6. PLAYING
I'm not real good yet at jumping my hand around for the block chords,
especially the inversions M11-12
and the open positions in M5 and M14, so that will take practice.
But I notice the open chords are just 1-5-8, which I should be learning to do!

7. Something you don't have on your list, but I always thought was important, is FORM.
Form is also related to rhythm, and may come under "playing",
but to my mind it's the "poetic" structure of the music:
breaking it up into stanzas and lines and metrical feet.

I don't think a standard score does a very good job of highlighting the form or rhythm,
especially when measures are compressed to fit as many as possible on a page,
ignoring the actual structure of the music.

This song is unusual in that it seems to be missing two measures in the first half!
Assuming the Galliant rhythms is | q q q q. e q | q q q h. | where q=quarter note; e=eighth note; h=half note,
then the actual song pattern is:

| q q q q. e q |
| q q q q. e q | q q q h. |

| q q q q. e q | q q q q. e q |
| q ee ee q. e q | ee q q h. |

So that's a 3+4 (or 6+8) structure, or as Valntia says, 7 phrases, rather than the 8 I would expect.
I haven't seen a lot of songs that aren't even multiples of four measures.
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Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2028273 - 02/06/13 06:08 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
The rhythm seems to be that of a Gaillard regardless of time signature if you match it with what is written here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galliard

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#2028350 - 02/06/13 08:27 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Galliard - dances - "Renaissance man / woman" (the gentry) was supposed to be well versed in all the arts. Dancing was a kind of refined athleticism where you needed skill but everything was kept muted and genteel. The Galliard was one of the dances, and of course a dance has to have a steady rhythm.
Galliard - period dancers
I remember reading about a cellist and period dance expert talking about one of the dance forms. If the music had stayed strictly in the rhythm of the dance, it would have been spoiled and unplayable on the instrument. Otoh, the instrumental version of dance form music would have been undanceable. So the music did morph as it changed purposes. I imagine that might have happened with God Save the Queen / America.

Here is a Galliard played on the harpsichord, which was an instrument of that time. This passage has very clear rhythms. Could be fit God Save the Queen into this rhythm, maybe with a few tweaked accents?
Galliard on harpsichord

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#2028569 - 02/07/13 07:10 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2436
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: tinman1943
I'm thinking that the "time signature" is an imprecise indication of the actual rhythm.
The time signature is to indicate the metre, not the rhythm.

Originally Posted By: tinman1943
Form is also related to rhythm
I think form is more about the structural design, as in binary form, ternary form, rondo form, variation form. It has little to do with rhythm.

Originally Posted By: tinman1943
I don't think a standard score does a very good job of highlighting the form or rhythm,
especially when measures are compressed to fit as many as possible on a page,
ignoring the actual structure of the music.
Standard notation does an excellent job of representing simple forms like binary form where double repeat bars show the basic structure. Look also at Joplin's Rags.

In Complex Binary Form, or Sonata form, the form is defined by tonality rather than its structure and standard scores are less able to make those structures stand out. There is a way, though, that we overcome that weakness - we call it harmonic analysis and we should get to that in these threads.
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#2028681 - 02/07/13 11:13 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: tinman1943]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
Tinman, welcome to this little project in both threads, and good answer.

A couple of things that you mentioned go into basic concepts, which is what we are trying to get at in these threads, so we should look at them more carefully.

FORM
Musical form refers to an overall structure of the whole thing. We haven't gone into that yet here, so why not now? Let's use Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as an example of one kind of form.

Twinkle twinkle little star - How I wonder what you are.
C,C,G,G,A,A,G,F,F,E,E,D,D,C


This is one section that goes a certain way, and it clearly ends. In chords we have a V-I cadence which marks the end, and we can hear that in the melody. We'll call this Section A.

Up above the world so high - Like a diamond in the sky.
G,G,F,F,E,E,D - G,G,F,F,E,E,D


This section feels different, and it also seems to be semi-ending, the way a question is complete but you expect an answer. The final chords are probably I-V. We'll call this Section B.

Then it ends with
Twinkle twinkle little star - How I wonder what you are.
C,C,G,G,A,A,G,F,F,E,E,D,D,C
Since it is the same as the beginning, we will call it Section A.

So Twinkle as a Section A, Section B, Section A. We can call that ABA.

This kind of large overall shape in music is what we call "form". These forms, in turn, have names like binary, ternary, and fancier combos like rondo and sonata form that evolved out of them. They are overall global sketches to which composers added their own variations.
-------------------
"Dance form" is a different kettle of fish, because a particular dance form like Gavotte, Minuet, Galliard also have the above kind of "form". The dance form will have its particular rhythm and typical tempo (after all, they danced to it). At the same time, a Minuet, Gavotte etc. will have "form" in the above sense. Is it organized into ABA or some other arrangement?

Meanwhile this music also evolved as time went on. Some of the music that began as something that the gentry danced to went on to become strictly instrumental music. As the composer was free to embellish and expand, because he was not restricted to dancers' limitations, he could start being more creative. I read an interesting article by a cellist who got together with a period dance instructor/dancer. The Gavotte or whatever he played as an instrumental piece would have been undanceable, while the strictures of dance music would have made his later Gavotte unplayable. This showed that the music evolved.

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#2028683 - 02/07/13 11:14 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
Galliard Dance
There are several examples on YouTube if you search for "Galliard Dance".
I like this one because it more closely matches the rhythm of our song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lDCxv3Hv2g
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tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2028693 - 02/07/13 11:36 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: tinman1943]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Another part of Tinman's post:
TIME SIGNATURE vs. Rhythm

This in particular struck me:
Quote:
I don't think a standard score does a very good job of highlighting the form or rhythm, especially when measures are compressed to fit as many as possible on a page, ignoring the actual structure of the music.


A number of things here.

Time signature establishes the underlying meter. For example, 3/4 means that the quarter note gets the count, and there are three such counts to the measure. All things being equal, you will get a strong beat in for count 1. (ONE two three).

Measures are not designed to fit on a page. A measure holds the meter. If there are lots of sixteenth notes, then the measure will be very wide to fit in all those notes, while if there is a single whole note in 4/4 time, you'll have a skinny measure. Sizing up those measures is an art in itself, since you don't want to end up with the kind of thing that notation software often does.

RHYTHM works together with meter. That is created by the way notes are longer or shorter, whether they fall on the count or off the count, and how the various voices work with each other. A waltz has a strong ONE two three where the first count is emphasized. The Galliard in the Wikki example emphasizes beat 4 in the 6/4 time, and in the 2nd measure emphasizes beat 2. The instrumentalists lean on those notes, and maybe there was strong percussion in the old music to bring this out. You still have the steady counts of 3 quarter notes within a meter, but because of the way the note lengths are organized in relationship to each other, you have different rhythmic possibilities.

Rhythm is far too neglected, so it's good you brought it up.

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#2028694 - 02/07/13 11:38 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: tinman1943]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tinman1943
Galliard Dance
There are several examples on YouTube if you search for "Galliard Dance".
I like this one because it more closely matches the rhythm of our song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lDCxv3Hv2g

An excellent one! smile thumb

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#2028718 - 02/07/13 12:07 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: zrtf90]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Originally Posted By: tinman1943
I'm thinking that the "time signature" is an imprecise indication of the actual rhythm.
The time signature is to indicate the metre, not the rhythm.


OK, so what is the difference between METER and RHYTHM? There are a lot of other related terms, like, BEAT, COUNT, MEASURE, BAR, ACCENT, PULSE.
I have a notion of what these terms mean but I couldn't give clear definitions that distinguish one from another.
And there are other terms relating to shorter musical segments: PHRASE, MOTIF,
THEME, and in pop music "LICK" and "RIFF". What do these mean and how do they fit in to the overall structure of the music?

In America/God Save the Queen, in particular,
and focusing just on timing independent of melody and harmony,
I count 3 or 4 layers of structural units:

* the 3-beat (count) measures
* a pair of measures forming the basic Galliard pattern: q q q q. e q
* the contrasting pair of measures forming the ending pattern: q q q h.
* in the dance, at least, these two 2-measure patterns alternate,
forming a repeating 4-measure pattern.
* in our song, the first 2-measure pattern repeats two or three times before the end pattern.
* the song thus has two larger sections, one of 6 and the other of 8 measures,
each composed of repetitions of the first 2-measure pattern followed by one instance of the second.
So, do these layers have distinct names?
Is there any real distinction between one layer and another,
that is, different rules or expectations as you move up layers?

Another mystery to me: although poetic "rhythmic feet" often start on a short or unaccented syllable, musical measures never do, though often the "musical unit" seems to start on an off-beat (e.g. anacrusis).

I'm also getting the idea that "rhythm" is an interplay of patterns from two or more dancer's or marcher's feet,
translated to instruments
(in pop music, typically untuned percussions such as kick drum, snare drum, and hi-hat)
in a way which we can only approximate on the piano by some other mechanism such as changing duration or pitch or volume.

It may be that "form" and "structure' and "meter" and "rhythm" are different,
but it seems to me they are closely related, perhaps just different levels of the same basic concept.

So why do I care? I'm trying to learn to play "by ear", and/or "memory".
That is, I'd like to play the "music I hear", not just the "notes I see".
I think "analysis" is one key to understanding the music well enough to do that.
_________________________
tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2028763 - 02/07/13 01:25 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: keystring]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
Meter vs Rhythm
Keystring: Seems our posts are criss-crossing!
OK, I suppose the bottom number of the time signature is the "meter" proper, or the overall pulse, the tick-tock of the clock, the pound of the feet, the beat of the heart.
And above that we have some kind of binary distinction: short-long or weak-strong.

Perhaps at the most elementary level (or earliest historical period?) it was simply a matter of one strong and so many weak,
which could be indicated by the top number of the signature, but in time the "rhythm" become more complex but the time signature didn't.
Now we have jazz/pop for which the time signature doesn't really provide adequate guidance.
Or for that matter, even for medieval dances!

What I'm saying is, without having sung the piece since childhood,
without knowing the history of musical styles,
but just looking at the score,
how would you know that this piece is divided into 6-beat units (what I might prefer to call 6/4 time) instead of 3-beat units?
And doesn't it really matter, because it seems like it's actually performed in 2-2-2, not 3-3?
In fact, the way I hear it, the accent is on beats 2,4 and 6, not 1,4.

Or another way to put the question:
My piano has 100 built-in rhythms, most "4/4".
How can I look at the sheet music and tell which ones would go with a particular song?
_________________________
tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2028784 - 02/07/13 01:57 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: tinman1943]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tinman1943
Meter vs Rhythm
Keystring: Seems our posts are criss-crossing!
OK, I suppose the bottom number of the time signature is the "meter" proper, or the overall pulse, the tick-tock of the clock, the pound of the feet, the beat of the heart.
And above that we have some kind of binary distinction: short-long or weak-strong.

Actually the type of things you are asking is the reason why I agreed to be part of this project. My own perspective is that in music study the most basic things are glossed over as trivial and unimportant, we work with time signatures and whatnot as we go through pieces and the thing has never been properly explored. In my own history, I had my first formal lessons on a string instrument in my fifties and since I had played things self-taught it appeared that I "knew" the basics. In a sense I did, because I could take a score and turn it into music. But I didn't really have a handle on it, and later I studied theory "rudiments". That is a study of the elementary elements such as time signatures, note values etc. in and of themselves outside of any analysis. Since then, in forums, it often seems that the most elementary concepts aren't there while advanced ones they build on are being studied = deja vu.

Ok, to answer your question:
The bottom number tells us what we count. The top number tells us how many of them we count. That is one tick-tock element, as you say.

Quote:

Perhaps at the most elementary level (or earliest historical period?) it was simply a matter of one strong and so many weak,
which could be indicated by the top number of the signature, but in time the "rhythm" become more complex but the time signature didn't.

Warning: no longer basic
I don't know if you even want to get into history. laugh We just went into history over in the Pianist corner when it went off into a tangent about modes. For European (Western) music, history starts with religious chants. The chants involved the words of liturgy, and of course words have rhythms. There was no written music. That is - the Ancient Greeks had a writing system - but that didn't survive in the West. So everything was memorized. Church singers began as boys because it took so long to memorize all the chants. At that time rhythm was actually in the way you envisioned it: these little rhythm-packets that got put together. Finally when they tried to get some kind of symbolism going, there were no measures or divisions of that kind. They used "neumes" to reflect their vision of music of the time.

Article on neumes

And it evolved from there.

And is still evolving.

Quote:

Or another way to put the question:
My piano has 100 built-in rhythms, most "4/4".
How can I look at the sheet music and tell which ones would go with a particular song?

I think maybe you could work out your rhythms mathematically by looking at the note values, looking at the meter, working it out by tapping and chanting until you find a pattern. Then see which of your piano's rhythms fits with that.

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#2029184 - 02/08/13 07:31 AM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2436
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I've just covered rules on the other thread. (Another reason I'd have preferred one thread.)

Composers don't write according to rules, they write by instinct. But we have observed preferences for particular traits. They are stylistic conventions of the era that composer wrote in. In the classical period, for example, I frequently moved to IV or II, and IV to V but there is very little movement at that time from V to IV, at least in root position. It is quite conventional these days. But it's not a rule, it's a convention and it's of the day.

I'll just address the cadence issue here.

The V-I cadence is a perfect cadence, it sounds final and complete. It can be heard at the end of every single Haydn and Mozart Symphony. It's the musical equivalent of a full stop.

The IV-I cadence is a plagal cadence. It also sounds final but not as sudden and pointed a stop. Words unfortunately, at least my vocabulary, cannot convey the difference. Every hymn in church that finishes with an Amen uses a plagal cadence.

You can finish a piece of music on any other progression for effect, cf She Loves You (The Beatles) ending on a sixth, but it is only an effect, and it's effectiveness is from avoiding the convention.

There are musical reasons why the perfect cadence sounds final. The root movement of a fifth is one, the resolution by a semitone upwards from the leading note to the tonic is another. With the dominant seventh there is also the resolution by a semitone of the submediant to the mediant.

The chords used in beginner music are pandering to beginner hands. But as long as there's one of those things happening there can be closure. It works better in songs than in classical music. In Classical music every note counts whereas in modern music there are wider and looser conventions, and songs are readily heard with guitar backing. It's a feature of guitar music that the voicing of chords is dependent on the strings and root movement isn't as emphasised, which is possibly why the bass guitar is widely employed in rock groups. But it means our ears are more accustomed to compromised cadences. There's usually enough closure in the melody whatever the backing.
_________________________
Richard

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#2029396 - 02/08/13 04:39 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: keystring]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
Time Signature and Beats
RE:
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: tinman1943
Meter vs Rhythm
OK, I suppose the bottom number of the time signature is the "meter" proper, or the overall pulse, the tick-tock of the clock, the pound of the feet, the beat of the heart.
And above that we have some kind of binary distinction: short-long or weak-strong.

Actually the type of things you are asking is the reason why I agreed to be part of this project. My own perspective is that in music study the most basic things are glossed over as trivial and unimportant, we work with time signatures and whatnot as we go through pieces and the thing has never been properly explored. ... in forums, it often seems that the most elementary concepts aren't there while advanced ones they build on are being studied = deja vu.

Ok, to answer your question:
The bottom number tells us what we count.
The top number tells us how many of them we count.
That is one tick-tock element, as you say.

But specific to America, my question was:
Quote:

What I'm saying is, without having sung the piece since childhood,
without knowing the history of musical styles,
but just looking at the score,
how would you know that this piece is divided into 6-beat units (what I might prefer to call 6/4 time) instead of 3-beat units?
And doesn't it really matter, because it seems like it's actually performed in 2-2-2, not 3-3?
In fact, the way I hear it, the accent is on beats 2,4 and 6, not 1,4.

OK, for America/God Save the Queen,
the Time Sig 3/4 says a measure has three quarter notes, so count: ONE two three ONE two three.
But PianoStudent88 says that's not right:
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
It is in 3/4 time, but not everything in 3/4 time is a waltz.
This is a galliard.
Some distinguishing characteristics are 6 beats per phrase, and the dotted quarter, eighth note figure.

So in spite of the time signature, it's really a Galliard, which counts in six, not three.
And as I said, to me, at least the America version, sounds more like:
one TWO three FOUR five SIX,
which is not "threes" at all, but "twos".

My purpose here is not to debate time signatures (there are other forums for that),
but to learn how to "analyze" a piece to discover things that aren't self-evident,
or in this case possibly misleading, from the score.
_________________________
tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2029411 - 02/08/13 05:14 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: zrtf90]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
Cadence
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
I've just covered rules on the other thread. (Another reason I'd have preferred one thread.)

I'll just address the cadence issue here.

The V-I cadence is a perfect cadence, it sounds final and complete. It can be heard at the end of every single Haydn and Mozart Symphony. It's the musical equivalent of a full stop.

The IV-I cadence is a plagal cadence. It also sounds final but not as sudden and pointed a stop. Words unfortunately, at least my vocabulary, cannot convey the difference. Every hymn in church that finishes with an Amen uses a plagal cadence.


Perhaps we should go back to the original forum for general discussions and just discuss application to the particular piece in the piece forum.

So specific to America/God Save the Queen 1:

At the end, M13-14, we have ii I V7 I
Not quite a ii V7 I because of the intervening I.
Bass: 4/5\5/1: V7 resolution 5-1 up,
ii is in 1st inversion rather than 2nd,
and the intervening I is in 2nd inversion,
so it's not parallel fifths.
Melody: downward 64321; V7 tritone 7-4 resolves to 8-3; last melody note is the tonic.
So: this is a perfect V7-I cadence.

At the midpoint, M5-6, we also have V7-I.
Here the V7 is in root position, so the bass also progresses 5-1,
but this time downward. The melody also ends with the tonic.
So this is also a perfect V7-1 cadence.

The same is true in the other versions:
V7-I both in root position, with tonic the last melody note.

The ends of the other 2-measure units in version 1 are all the same chord,
so I suppose there are no more cadences.
Looks like it will be more interesting in the other two versions though.

In any case, it appears PianoStudent88's arrangement follows the "rules",
even though it's more of a challenge to play.
_________________________
tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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#2029471 - 02/08/13 07:35 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11800
Loc: Canada
Tinman, which version?

Edit - oops got it - first one.
The I at the end is part of the V chord because a 2nd inversion I (F/C) has the C on the bottom which we also then find in the C7 chord. In some theory books they even classify it as a "V" chord to stress the fact, even though it isn't really.


Edited by keystring (02/09/13 12:12 AM)

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#2030686 - 02/10/13 05:38 PM Re: Beginning analysis 01: America / God Save the Queen [Re: keystring]
tinman1943 Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 04 2013


Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 61
Loc: NC
America/God Save the Queen version 1
Originally Posted By: keystring

The I at the end [M13] is part of the V chord because a 2nd inversion I (F/C) has the C on the bottom which we also then find in the C7 chord. In some theory books they even classify it as a "V" chord to stress the fact, even though it isn't really.


OK. The notation get confusing. So it's OK to call it F/C,
but if I were to call it I/V would that mean something else,
like tonic of the dominant or somesuch?

I can see with a descending scale in the melody [ la (so) fa mi re do ],
the Gm fits with the D-Bb and the C7-F forms the V7-I cadence harmonizing G-F,
so we have to do something to harmonize the A.

Now I'm thinking we could learn a lot just studying the "end game" of various songs, knowing that they will all start with I end up with a V7-I.
_________________________
tinman1943
Adult Learner: PianoMagic
--Music is poetry; why print it like prose?--

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