Counting in 6/8 time

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twistedblues
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Counting in 6/8 time

Post by twistedblues » Fri May 19, 2017 1:23 pm

So many questions :)

How would you count four dotted 8th notes in 6/8?

I cannot find one example with only dotted 8ths for a full bar

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri May 19, 2017 2:29 pm

twistedblues wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 1:23 pm

I cannot find one example with only dotted 8ths for a full bar
An entire bar of exclusively dotted 8th's would be 2 against 3 twice in 6/8. Surely not unheard of but no example springs to mind.

twistedblues
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by twistedblues » Fri May 19, 2017 3:27 pm

Thank you. Would you count it 1 ah 2 ah 3 ah 4 ah 5 ah 6 ah?

Johnny Geudel
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by Johnny Geudel » Fri May 19, 2017 3:45 pm

six eight notes, subdivided for counting purposes, (12) (12) (12) (12) (12) (12) (12) become 4 dotted ones (12 1)(2 12)(12 1)(2 12).
Or am I missing something?

Robin
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by Robin » Fri May 19, 2017 4:25 pm

The dotted eighth note in a meter where the eighth note gets the beat would be counted the same as a dotted quarter note in a meter where the quarter note gets the beat. The rhythm would be syncopated.

count: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 &

The counting in bold is when the note is played. Every other note will be "off" the beat.

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JohnB
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by JohnB » Fri May 19, 2017 4:47 pm

If you are playing 4 against 6 you could count:

1 2&3 4 5&6

where the four dotted 1/8 notes fall on the red characters.

(I think this is basically what robin was saying, but the bold characters are difficult to distinguish in his post.)
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

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guitarrista
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by guitarrista » Fri May 19, 2017 6:38 pm

To elaborate on JonhB's notation adding all the "ah"s:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 &

The basic pattern is half that - 1 & 2 & 3 & - which yours has two of, back to back.
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khayes
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by khayes » Fri May 19, 2017 7:00 pm

(1 and) (2 and) (3 and) (4 and) (5 and) (6 and)
becomes
(1 and 2) (and 3 and ) (4 and 5) (and 6 and)
Grouping by 3's instead of 2's
Ken

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri May 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:An entire bar of exclusively dotted 8th's would be 2 against 3 twice in 6/8. Surely not unheard of but no example springs to mind.
Michael Karmon uses the device to good effect - "Sonatina California", "Rain" (also including 6 dotted 8ths in 9/8), "Sketchbook" (8 in 12/8) - they come immediately to mind - there are probably more examples amongst his work.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri May 19, 2017 8:16 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Michael Karmon uses the device to good effect - "Sonatina California",
Doh! Of course, I recorded that piece, it's on my youtube channel. Excellent composition.

stevel
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by stevel » Fri May 19, 2017 10:19 pm

6/8 is, officially, a "Compound Meter".

It does not have 6 beats per measure.

It has TWO beats, each a dotted half note in length. Thus each beat is divided into three 8th notes ultimately giving you 2 groups of 3 8th notes.

While this totals 6 8th notes, so does 3/4, but 3/4 is a "Simple Meter" meaning each beat consists of only 2 divisions (2 8th notes).

3/4 is counted "One and Two and Three and".

6/8 *should* be counted:'

One la le Two la le, or

One ta te Two ta te

or some other such configuration.

While "One two three Four five six" kind of gives you the same feel, that would be like counting 3/4 "One two Three four Five Six" which we really don't do.

In essence 6/8 meter is more like 2/4 meter than it is 3/4 - it has TWO beats. 2/4 is 2 beats with each beat divided into two parts (2 8ths) and 6/8 is also TWO beats with each divided into three parts (of 3 8ths, which is what makes it a compound meter).

Another way to think of it is, 6/8 is just like 2/4 with a triplet background.

Quick aside - 9/8 is like 3/4 with a triplet division, and 12/8 is like 4/4 with a triplet division.

Back to 6/8.

An interesting thing is, in 2/4, to make a group of 3 per beat, we have to use a triplet as no other note values really can divide the beat up evenly.

But with 6/8, it's already divided into 3. However, if we want to play only 2 per beat, we can do that with a "duplet". But, unlike 2/4, in 6/8 you can actually use note values to create a "2 in the time of 3" or "2 per beat" rhythm using a dotted 8th note.

You could "feel" the rhythm, playing 2 notes per beat as if 6/8 had suddenly changed to 2/4 for a measure.

But, to count it - since it is possible in this meter, you go down to the first sub-division, which is 16th notes:

One ta La ta Le ta Two ta La ta Le ta.

Each dotted 8th represents 3 16th notes worth of time, so:

One ta La ta Le ta Two ta La ta Le ta.

One and Two and Three and Four and Five and Six and divided into three words each would do the same thing. So would any combination of words.

But it is important to understand that 6/8 is traditionally only TWO BEATS PER MEASURE and should be performed that way. There may be modern music which treats it differently, but that is on purpose, not through not knowing what compound meter is.

This "four notes over 2 beats" (4 notes in the time of 6, or two groups of 2 against 3, etc.) in a compound meter becomes commonplace with Debussy and post-romantic period composers.

It's somewhat related to the alternting 3/4 and 6/8 found in a lot of South American style pieces (or America by Bernstein) like the Lauro Venezuelan Waltzes where the 6/8 measure makes a "duplet" in comparison to the 3/4 or the three 8ths in 3/4 seem like a syncopation in 6/8.

It's also sort of like a Hemiola in reverse.

Some 20th century composers abandoned the 4 dotted 8ths notation and used actual duplet (or quadruplet) figures in compound meters - there is debate that it's "felt" differently (in much the same way that writing triplets in 4/4 is supposedly felt differently than the beats in 12/8 meter).

It's also an engraver's shortcut - much easier to use existing note values than to have to punch in duplets with brackets (if not beamed) which was important in the late 1800s early 1900s where you see the bulk of them (at least in music by composers like Debussy).

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otirroz
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Re: Counting in 6/8 time

Post by otirroz » Mon May 22, 2017 12:40 am

stevel +1 :merci:

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