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6/8 time how to count it out loud
#1865578 03/20/12 08:35 PM
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I'm pretty sure I remember 6/8 as being different in someway from 3/4 when counting it out loud. but I can't seem to remember what the difference is.

Any ideas or am I straight out to lunch?



Where did you say middle "C" was?

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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865586 03/20/12 08:44 PM
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123,456?




Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Rostosky #1865589 03/20/12 08:48 PM
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Rossy is correct:

8th notes are counted: 1-------- 2-------- 3------- 4------- 5--------6
16th notes are counted 1---&--- 2---&--- 3---&--- 4---&--- 5---&---6---&
32nd notes are counted 1-e-&-a-2-e-&-a-3-e-&-a-4-e-&-a-5-e-&-a-6-e-&-a

Last edited by polyphasicpianist; 03/20/12 08:54 PM. Reason: Stupid numbers wouldn't line up!
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Rostosky #1865590 03/20/12 08:48 PM
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Or even ONE two three FOUR five six?

(though through force of habit I tend to do ONE two three ONE two three)


Currently working on: F. Couperin - Preludes & Sweelinck - Fantasia Chromatica
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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865592 03/20/12 08:51 PM
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On fast 6/8, like jigs, I use "1-and-uh 2-and-uh", and then, out of habit I suppose, that's what I use on moderate 6/8, too. Sometimes I play jigs slowly and in waltz time, and then I'd use "1-2-3 1-2-3" even if that was only 1 measure, because that's the way waltzes are counted.

Cathy


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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Rostosky #1865593 03/20/12 08:54 PM
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I should have a Two beats per measure feel with a dotted quarter note being one beat. If you count to 6 you could count like Rosky suggests with an emphasis on 1 & 4.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Last edited by Studio Joe; 03/20/12 09:03 PM.

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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865595 03/20/12 08:56 PM
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thank you everyone.

I knew it was something different. Now it's coming back to me.

@ polyphasicpianist I knew there was a way to count it. I remember it like that too. phew!



Where did you say middle "C" was?

Proud owner of a 1917 Chas. Brothers Grand Piano named "Goldy" She sings like a bird. I lucked out Big Time.

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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865596 03/20/12 08:56 PM
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When my daughter was a little dancer, our local ballet mistress counted the Mother Buffoon/Mother Ginger music like this:

One, two, three, four, five, six, se-ven and EIGHT...


Learner
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865650 03/20/12 10:50 PM
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The way it's taught in theory books is that there is "simple time" where the top number represents the beat and the bottom number represents which note value gets the beat: i.e. 3/4 = 3 beats, quarter note gets the beat. Then there is "compound time" where 3 notes are 3 pulses making one beat: i.e. 6/8 = 6 pulses = 3 + 3 = two beats. That is probably what you are remembering. Practically speaking you might count this is (1,2,3) (1,2,3) or ONE two three FOUR five six. The way to tell in simpler music is when you see dotted quarter rests or eighth notes beamed in three's.

In the real world music doesn't fall into such neat categories and the best way to count is by using what works.

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865692 03/21/12 12:20 AM
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The easiest, most logical way is either: 123456 or 123123. You can divide up the beats into smaller portions, but most of the time it's unnecessary.

The 6/8 signature tells you that there are SIX beats in every bar, and every EIGHTH is one beat.

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
malkin #1865724 03/21/12 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
When my daughter was a little dancer, our local ballet mistress counted the Mother Buffoon/Mother Ginger music like this:

One, two, three, four, five, six, se-ven and EIGHT...


One, two, three, four, five, six, se-ven and EIGHT...????
1........2.....3......4.......5....6.....7..8...9....10 ???

Did your daughter have an unusual amount of legs?


Last edited by Rostosky; 03/21/12 02:04 AM.



Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865743 03/21/12 03:44 AM
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6/8 is a compound duple time. So you count 1, 2, 1, 2... Each beat equals 3 quavers, much like playing triplets.

Similarly, 9/8 is compound triple time. So you count 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3... Each beat equals 3 quavers.

12/8 is compound quadruple time. So you count 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4... Each beat equals 3 quavers.

For compound times, if you count each quaver as a beat, you will be playing too slow or counting like mad!

Good luck :-)


Be yourself

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865877 03/21/12 10:41 AM
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I hope that I'm not hijacking the thread, but I do have a related question.

People always mention that certain meters are compound (i.e. 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, etc...) and others are simple (3/4, 4/4, etc...). I know a lot of the common meters and how to count them, but how do you tell the difference between compound and simple, in general? Is it just an established convention? Is there something about the meter notation that should tell me this? What if I have the meter 28/32?

Thanks!


Kawai K-3 (2008)
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Coolkid70 #1865880 03/21/12 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Coolkid70
I hope that I'm not hijacking the thread, but I do have a related question.

People always mention that certain meters are compound (i.e. 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, etc...) and others are simple (3/4, 4/4, etc...). I know a lot of the common meters and how to count them, but how do you tell the difference between compound and simple, in general? Is it just an established convention? Is there something about the meter notation that should tell me this? What if I have the meter 28/32?

Thanks!


If the top number is greater than three and divisible by three it is compound time.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Studio Joe #1865892 03/21/12 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe
Originally Posted by Coolkid70


If the top number is greater than three and divisible by three it is compound time.


As always with music there are occasional exceptions ... (which you couldn't tell from the time signature alone). A number of pieces I've sung have switched time signatures continuously and ended up with things like 9/8 that were not compound time (it really was just 9 eighth notes in the measure).


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
pg2 #1865895 03/21/12 11:12 AM
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We're playing some Balkan music in 11/8 right now, and when I dance Balkan to it I count it as quick-quick-slow-quick-quick. I think the drummer said they counted it as 1-2,1-2-3,1-2, but it may have been something else. Any way, I don't know how it's defined re: simple or compound time (particularly since, as in Joe's post, the top number isn't divisible by 3) but it's really fun to play.

Cathy



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Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Tubbie0075 #1865909 03/21/12 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
6/8 is a compound duple time. So you count 1, 2, 1, 2... Each beat equals 3 quavers, much like playing triplets.

Similarly, 9/8 is compound triple time. So you count 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3... Each beat equals 3 quavers.

12/8 is compound quadruple time. So you count 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4... Each beat equals 3 quavers.

For compound times, if you count each quaver as a beat, you will be playing too slow or counting like mad!


Sorry, I disagree on the counting - this is wrong. The names are right.

Compound means that there are triplets in the beat.

Compound duple: In 6/8 there are TWO beats (hence the "duple") with three pulses per beat. I.e. the 1/8 notes are triplets and called pulses, and three 1/8 notes make a beat. The count is
(1 2 3) (1 2 3)
though you might count and think
(1 2 3) (4 5 6).

This gives an underlying rhythm of 2 beats.

Compound triple: Same as what you wrote. Three beats.
(1 2 3) (1 2 3)(1 2 3)
though you might count and think
(1 2 3) (4 5 6) (7 8 9)

Compound quadruple: Same as what you wrote. Four beats.
(1 2 3) (1 2 3)(1 2 3) (1 2 3)
though you might count and think
(1 2 3) (4 5 6) (7 8 9) (10 11 12)

There are two, three, and four BEATS (dotted quarter = 3 eighths). Two does not mean (1 2), and four doesn't mean (1 2 3 4). They refer to the number of beats.

Your beat essentially is a dotted quarter note in */8 compound time. You can recognize compound time in the rests, which will be dotted quarter rests, dotted half rests etc. Stemmed notes will be stemmed in threes instead of two's and fours.

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
Studio Joe #1865913 03/21/12 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Studio Joe


If the top number is greater than three and divisible by three it is compound time.

That's what I thought when I started and was preparing for my first theory exam. And then while going through a practice exam with my teacher we came to a small passage in 9/8 and he said it could be the "other" (don't know name - like Kathy's Balkan) with a long-short 5 + 4 rhythm. It bugged me that it wasn't as simple as the formula Joe just put out.

The bottom line seems to be what the underlying base rhythm of the piece is. Listening to someone playing it will help. Knowing the type of music and what it usually does helps. Also how the notes are stemmed and how the rests are grouped helps. For example, would write a dotted quarter or a quarter plus eighth note?

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
jotur #1865916 03/21/12 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jotur
We're playing some Balkan music in 11/8 right now, and when I dance Balkan to it I count it as quick-quick-slow-quick-quick. I think the drummer said they counted it as 1-2,1-2-3,1-2, but it may have been something else. Any way, I don't know how it's defined re: simple or compound time (particularly since, as in Joe's post, the top number isn't divisible by 3) but it's really fun to play.

I call it "the other one" since it's not simple and not compound. I love it and wish I had a better handle on it. Must be fun indeed. smile

Re: 6/8 time how to count it out loud
keystring #1865919 03/21/12 11:50 AM
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Ah, keystring, I think you may have misread Tubbie's post (where he says each beat equals three quavers). He's only counting the main beats.

Where he says to count 1, 2, 1, 2 in compund duple he is intending 1-2-3, 2-2-3, 1-2-3, 2-2-3 but not counting the -2-3 aloud.

Similarly the 12/8 blues count-in: 1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3, 4-2-3 he's only vocalising the 1, 2, 3, 4.

See?



Richard
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