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#1273797 - 09/23/09 09:10 PM Tempos  
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I have a new student, 1st grader. She is very excited and really working hard. She has the accompaniment CD to use at home and early on was having trouble staying with the beat. She seemed to be playing a steady beat but was faster. So I set the metronome at 80 and she was able to follow that tempo easily. I think that is close to our "normal" heartbeat. Do you think there is a relationship?


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#1273838 - 09/23/09 10:36 PM Re: Tempos [Re: abcdefg]  
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Originally Posted by abcdefg
I have a new student, 1st grader. She is very excited and really working hard. She has the accompaniment CD to use at home and early on was having trouble staying with the beat. She seemed to be playing a steady beat but was faster. So I set the metronome at 80 and she was able to follow that tempo easily. I think that is close to our "normal" heartbeat. Do you think there is a relationship?


A music teacher I accompanied used to swear by the heart beat relationship to the "normal" tempo she would settle into in each piece. She told her class this all the time, and said she was taught this information in grad school.


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#1273868 - 09/24/09 12:14 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Barb860]  
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What happens if she exercises before playing, and her heartbeat is 100?


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#1273887 - 09/24/09 01:12 AM Re: Tempos [Re: rocket88]  
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Different tempos can be taught by comparing them to:

walking,
strolling,
jogging,
running,
running in a race around the track,
skipping,
jumping in place,
doing jumping jacks with hands over the head and legs apart.

Etc.

Each has it's own pace.

#1273989 - 09/24/09 08:15 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Betty Patnude]  
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Actually, there are common tempi in our lives. The speed at which we process information and at which we speak is 116, for example. And so often beginner students will have one speed they play at no matter what. If she can play at 80, try 84 or 88, or 76. If you can get her to vary her tempo in this way, then she can eventually learn to play with the CD. Have you tried to do teacher duets with her too? That might be helpful. Sometime the CD tempo isn't where the student is at in their ability to play.


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#1273997 - 09/24/09 08:27 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Morodiene]  
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She is already doing better with CD and other tempos. We have clapped and patted with the CD to help internalize other tempos. Mom is a dance teacher so I have talked to her about having her walk to the tempo. Plus she is concentrating better and sitting better at her lesson. Definite improvement every week. For a student this young I expect the parent to come to lessons and follow through with practice during the week. Mom is doing a great job at home.

#1274010 - 09/24/09 08:34 AM Re: Tempos [Re: rocket88]  
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What happens if she exercises before playing, and her heartbeat is 100?

Hasn't this happened to many students already sitting and waiting at a recital, getting nervous and excited and then they get up and play too fast. I know this has happened to me. I can still remember my first student recital in college, as I was waiting I could feel my heartbeat getting faster. I played the piece faster than ever and got by on adrenalin only.

#1274024 - 09/24/09 08:48 AM Re: Tempos [Re: abcdefg]  
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I believe there is a relationship to heartbeat, and I teach the kids this. I tell them to practice their recital pieces slower, for example, because during the recital, their heart is going to be going faster, and therefore, they will speed up without even realizing it.

I also tell them it is especially important when playing 3/4 meter to count out a few measures before starting, to get used to the idea of going against the duple beat our heartbeat leads us to expect.

You might try that with your student - have her clap, or count, or play a rhythm instrument in time to the metronome to concentrate on beat without having to pay attention to notes.


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#1274287 - 09/24/09 02:17 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Lollipop]  
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Originally Posted by Lollipop
I believe there is a relationship to heartbeat, and I teach the kids this. I tell them to practice their recital pieces slower, for example, because during the recital, their heart is going to be going faster, and therefore, they will speed up without even realizing it.

I also tell them it is especially important when playing 3/4 meter to count out a few measures before starting, to get used to the idea of going against the duple beat our heartbeat leads us to expect.


Eh? In what way is our heartbeat duple rather than triple?

#1275144 - 09/25/09 06:38 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
Eh? In what way is our heartbeat duple rather than triple?


A heartbeat is technically a lubb-dubb. Blood empties into the atria and out each of the ventricles. 2 valves, 2 beats.


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#1275508 - 09/26/09 09:37 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Ebony and Ivory]  
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Originally Posted by Ebony and Ivory
Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
Eh? In what way is our heartbeat duple rather than triple?


A heartbeat is technically a lubb-dubb. Blood empties into the atria and out each of the ventricles. 2 valves, 2 beats.


But surely they're not equally spaced in a manner that suggests 2 any more than 3 (or 5 or 7 or anything else)?

#1275587 - 09/26/09 11:26 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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I think you're confusing pulse with heart beat. A pulse only feels like one beat at a time. But if you listen to the heart beat (eg. with a stethoscope), it will have two sounds, made by the valves as they open and close.

I don't think it's a major interference; otherwise, we'd never get past it. But I think it helps to be aware of the fact that you do indeed have an internal rhythm.


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#1275593 - 09/26/09 11:34 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Lollipop]  
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Originally Posted by Lollipop
I think you're confusing pulse with heart beat. A pulse only feels like one beat at a time. But if you listen to the heart beat (eg. with a stethoscope), it will have two sounds, made by the valves as they open and close.

I don't think it's a major interference; otherwise, we'd never get past it. But I think it helps to be aware of the fact that you do indeed have an internal rhythm.


I think I'm familiar with the sound. I just don't see how it would represent 2 any more than 3, or why this might make 3 beats in a bar harder to feel. Having two notes per bar doesn't make for a feeling of duple meter. Any time signature can contain bars with two notes. I'm not terribly convinced by the idea that the heart beat is inherently duple or that this would make 3/4 harder.

Last edited by Nyiregyhazi; 09/26/09 11:41 AM.
#1275942 - 09/27/09 12:16 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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This is coming from a student, so forgive me if I sound silly...but what exactly is a "normal" heartbeat? Isn't a heartbeat a little too subjective to use as a basis for how quickly we play? I, for example, have a heart rate of about 65 bpm, which I gather is quite healthy. (the doctor wondered if I played sports or something).


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#1275952 - 09/27/09 01:10 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Daniel M]  
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Originally Posted by Daniel M
This is coming from a student, so forgive me if I sound silly...but what exactly is a "normal" heartbeat? Isn't a heartbeat a little too subjective to use as a basis for how quickly we play? I, for example, have a heart rate of about 65 bpm, which I gather is quite healthy. (the doctor wondered if I played sports or something).


Normal resting heart rate for an adult is about 60-80, usually a bit faster for women. A well-trained athlete can have a heart rate of 45 or even lower, because their cardiac output is greater since the heart is working more efficiently.

Anyway that's about the range people mean when they talk about tempo in music.


Of course your heart rate goes up drastically during exercise. But anyway, in re the discussion of the lub-dub of the heart, that is the sound of the valves opening and closing, and the two sounds constitute one heart beat. The heart is only pumping the blood one time for each beat, and only one time for the 2 sounds. The pulse is measuring each time the heart muscle contracts and pushes the blood out, the filling of the heart is a passive action.

Last edited by Nikalette; 09/27/09 01:14 AM.
#1275955 - 09/27/09 01:19 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
Originally Posted by Ebony and Ivory
Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
Eh? In what way is our heartbeat duple rather than triple?


A heartbeat is technically a lubb-dubb. Blood empties into the atria and out each of the ventricles. 2 valves, 2 beats.


But surely they're not equally spaced in a manner that suggests 2 any more than 3 (or 5 or 7 or anything else)?


Not quite. There are two atria and two ventricles. There are four valves. The right ventricle of the heart pumps venous blood into the lungs to be oxygenated while the left ventricle pumps arterial blood down to the body and up to the brain. Meanwhile the left atrium is receiving oxygenated blood from the lungs, while the right atrium is receiving venous blood.
The are not two beats, there is only one beat, but the valves close between the atria and the cardiovascular system and between the ventricles and the atria, in order to keep the blood from flowing back during the heartbeat.
The lub-dub is the sound of the valves closing during systole and diastole.

One heartbeat, two sounds.


Last edited by Nikalette; 09/27/09 01:20 AM.
#1276012 - 09/27/09 07:37 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nikalette]  
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My feeling isn't that we "match" the rate of our heart, but that we have an internal rhythm we don't think about that influences our tempo. It's more a relational thing. What feels like an appropriate tempo when practicing, suddenly feels too slow when adrenaline starts flowing. The relationship we've developed between internal and external rhythm is trying to stay constant, so we speed up our external rhythm.

Regarding the "duple" issue - I don't think there is any scientific evidence one way or another, this is just my opinion, and I have no need to convince anyone. But I think we are used to doing things in twos. So even-numbered rhythms are easier, more comfortable, more automatic. So much of our physical rhythm is action/reaction. My ealiest beginners seem to get 4/4 without any trouble, but stumble over 3/4. But when we count off a few measures to get them started, and override their normal tendency to do things in even numbers, then they have an easier time with it.

YMMV


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#1276040 - 09/27/09 09:13 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Lollipop]  
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Originally Posted by Lollipop

Regarding the "duple" issue - I don't think there is any scientific evidence one way or another, this is just my opinion, and I have no need to convince anyone. But I think we are used to doing things in twos. So even-numbered rhythms are easier, more comfortable, more automatic. So much of our physical rhythm is action/reaction. My ealiest beginners seem to get 4/4 without any trouble, but stumble over 3/4. But when we count off a few measures to get them started, and override their normal tendency to do things in even numbers, then they have an easier time with it.

YMMV


That may well be. However, I don't think that has any relation to the heartbeat. It's just that we hear more music in duple time than triple. Naturally, it's easier to feel what you are used to. In fact, if you tap a repeated rhythm of a crotchet upbeat to a minim (from 3 to 1) I'd say that it actually has subsantially more of the feel of a heartbeat, compared to any duple rhythm. If anything, the sound of a hearbeat feels like three in a bar to me.

Last edited by Nyiregyhazi; 09/27/09 09:17 AM.
#1276093 - 09/27/09 11:18 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
That may well be. However, I don't think that has any relation to the heartbeat. It's just that we hear more music in duple time than triple. Naturally, it's easier to feel what you are used to. In fact, if you tap a repeated rhythm of a crotchet upbeat to a minim (from 3 to 1) I'd say that it actually has subsantially more of the feel of a heartbeat, compared to any duple rhythm. If anything, the sound of a hearbeat feels like three in a bar to me.


Nyiregyhazi,

Maybe you have a 3rd heart sound? smokin
Perhaps a murmur?
Or one of the other 2 "bad" sounds...there are actually 4 heart sounds, but healthy people only have 2. S3 is the more common extra sound, which would make a heartbeat sound more like triple time.
Or perhaps you are hearing the rest, which is an absolute part of the heart beat, it is the silent portion of the heartbeat that you associate with one of the 2 normal heart, sounds,the closing of 2 of the valves. So it is Lub-dub-silence....We are more aware of that "silence" in the measure of blood pressure, since the lower number of the blood pressure is measuring the pressure when the heart is resting between beats.

#1276097 - 09/27/09 11:25 AM Re: Tempos [Re: Nikalette]  
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Originally Posted by Nikalette
Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
That may well be. However, I don't think that has any relation to the heartbeat. It's just that we hear more music in duple time than triple. Naturally, it's easier to feel what you are used to. In fact, if you tap a repeated rhythm of a crotchet upbeat to a minim (from 3 to 1) I'd say that it actually has subsantially more of the feel of a heartbeat, compared to any duple rhythm. If anything, the sound of a hearbeat feels like three in a bar to me.


Nyiregyhazi,

Maybe you have a 3rd heart sound? smokin
Perhaps a murmur?
Or one of the other 2 "bad" sounds...there are actually 4 heart sounds, but healthy people only have 2. S3 is the more common extra sound, which would make a heartbeat sound more like triple time.
Or perhaps you are hearing the rest, which is an absolute part of the heart beat, it is the silent portion of the heartbeat that you associate with one of the 2 normal heart, sounds,the closing of 2 of the valves. So it is Lub-dub-silence....We are more aware of that "silence" in the measure of blood pressure, since the lower number of the blood pressure is measuring the pressure when the heart is resting between beats.


No, only two sounds. Like if the notes fall on both the upbeat of the third beat and the first beat of triple metre. Duple/triple time is not about the number of notes per bar.

Last edited by Nyiregyhazi; 09/27/09 11:26 AM.
#1276140 - 09/27/09 01:02 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi

It's just that we hear more music in duple time than triple. Naturally, it's easier to feel what you are used to.


I do understand what you're saying, but I almost feel like you're arguing the chicken and I'm arguing the egg (or vice versa!) Perhaps there is more duple music because of our intrinsic duple rhythm, and not the reverse?

But I'm not taking the rhythm as literally as you are, I don't think. I don't think we try to "match" the heartbeat. I just think that heart beat is heard or felt in pairs. I visited Cherokee, NC last summer, and the Cherokee guide demonstrated the tom-tom rhythm, explaining that it was meant to mimic the heartbeat. It was very definitely duple. ONE two One two One two. It was interesting to me that ancient civilization, prior to being exposed to our dead white guy music still chose an even rhythm for the heartbeat. We are more comfortable with symmetry.


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#1276144 - 09/27/09 01:18 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Lollipop]  
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Originally Posted by Lollipop
I do understand what you're saying, but I almost feel like you're arguing the chicken and I'm arguing the egg (or vice versa!) Perhaps there is more duple music because of our intrinsic duple rhythm, and not the reverse?


Are there any recordings of this online that you could refer me to as illustrating a duple rhythm? I'm really struggling to see what might make you think of the heart beat as a duple rhythm. From what I recall, it approximates far more closely to a swinging gigue style rhythm (from 3 to 1) of triple metre.

Here's an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aO0HKIP3vI

I found others that were a lot faster (after exercise) which certainly sounded duple. However, it seems pretty clear that the heart has far more of triple feel than a duple one, when at resting rate.


Last edited by Nyiregyhazi; 09/27/09 01:28 PM.
#1276167 - 09/27/09 02:02 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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You're right - the heart sounds are in 3 if you count the pause. Guess I'm like all my students who like to skip over the rest. laugh And yet, I still want to argue that there is some intrinsic even-number ingrained in us. Like breathing in and out, or rocking back and forth.

Perhaps this ECG helps, showing the PQRS of the heart - the strong wave, followed by three shallow ones. The bottom line is easiest to see the 4 waves.
http://www.valuemd.com/usmle-step-3-forum/14427-normal-adult-12-lead-ecg.html

Like I said before, I don't think we try to "match" the heartbeat - only that it leads us to prefer the evenness. I don't know how much of the heart action we really feel, beyond what is audible, so I don't know if there is any effect or not.

However, it looks like there is no evidence to support my view. I Googled a bit, and found one article that says

Quote
There are quite a few studies that looked for these direct physiological relations (like heart rate, spontaneous tapping rate, walking speed, etc.) and how these might influence or even determine rhythm perception. However, none of these succeeded in finding a convincing correlation, let alone a causal relation.


I don't know whether those studies explored basic innate rhythm or whether they also focused on tempo (which is where this thread started.) Or even if the studies were done by musicians...

I found another study that explored babies' development of rhythm based upon whether they were bounced in duple or triple meter. So maybe all our duple preferences can be blamed on the rocking chair! Or the back and forth rocking of a mother's arms. (And maybe our rhythm-impaired children come from homes without rockers.)

I guess the end result - that I make my students count off in 3 for a few measures before playing - still has merit for those who are more inclined to 4/4.


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#1276196 - 09/27/09 03:04 PM Re: Tempos [Re: Lollipop]  
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I found another study that explored babies' development of rhythm based upon whether they were bounced in duple or triple meter. So maybe all our duple preferences can be blamed on the rocking chair! Or the back and forth rocking of a mother's arms. (And maybe our rhythm-impaired children come from homes without rockers.)


Interesting thought. Also how we walk, perhaps. You wouldn't tend to alternate an 'accent' between the left and right feet. I'm too convinced by the relevance of the heartbeat, but I think that there may well be something more natural about 2 or 4.


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