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#2173557 - 10/29/13 06:30 AM Eighth notes
pianobeginner1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 20
It is a simple question. Why sometimes a pair of eighth notes are played with a long-short rhythm ?

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#2173562 - 10/29/13 06:50 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
Steve Warner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/13
Posts: 23
Loc: New York, New York
I think this is common in jazz music. I think your question is why the transcription doesn't use a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note.

I believe there are 2 reasons for this:

(1) Using the pair of eighth notes makes the music easier to read.
(2) The rhythm isn't supposed to be exactly 3/16 followed by 1/16. So to write it the more complicated way wouldn't be technically correct either.

#2173573 - 10/29/13 07:28 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
zrtf90 Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2852
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
This is an old performance practice dating back to the French Baroque era and earlier.

I would suggest you look up "Notes inégales" on Wikipedia.

#2173595 - 10/29/13 08:28 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2480
Loc: Virginia, USA
Why? Because "it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing!" wink
  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

#2173615 - 10/29/13 09:17 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014

Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2192
Loc: Rocky Mountains
It's something that comes from the heart. It can't be written out. You can cut and add as you feel. Just slightly. Maybe more? It's up to you.
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

#2173650 - 10/29/13 10:16 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: Andy Platt]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 774
Loc: Illinois
Thanks for the laugh this am Andy thumb grin

At first, she only flew when she thought no one was watching.

#2173679 - 10/29/13 11:15 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
KurtZ Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 1333
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
I'll add that ONE of the reasons they're not normally written as dotted sixteenth's is because they're more usually based on triplets or are considered to be a derivative of a 12/8 time sig. The unequal note of the french baroque is closer to a double dotted sixteenth and would never bounce as much as a blues shuffle. The shuffle of the blues is different from the swing of jazz. There's an infinite amount of space between one note and another in which to place a middle beat. Written music is an inexact attempt to record how to play a piece and it is only a beginning point. The amount of the ranges of variation in phrasing and style are almost endless as you will find when you start your own attempts at interpretation. When I went from 20 years of drumming to playing a woodwind with a small ensemble, It took months to get used to how free they were with the time. Even now, on the piano, my teacher struggles to get me to play what she calls "freely and with expression."

One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.


#2173684 - 10/29/13 11:17 AM Re: Eighth notes [Re: pianobeginner1]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6081
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
In my line of work, Andy nailed it smile


Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous


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