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Hemiolas in piano music #1922197
07/03/12 01:19 PM
07/03/12 01:19 PM
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In the thread about Alkan's Nocturne I mentioned that I think the opening bars are a good example of hemiolas. I am using hemiola to mean(from hemiola.org)

"a rhythmic device in music whereby the meter changes briefly-
usually found where 2 measures of 3 beats feel like 3 measures
of 2 beats, or vice-versa."

I think another example of the first kind of a hemiola in the above definition would be the measures in the Brahms Intermezzo in A Op.118, No.2 where the key switches to F# major(the end of the middle section) and the middle section of the Brahms Intermezzo Op.in E, 116 No.4.

Do you agree with the two I gave?

Can you give some other good examples? Which composers use hemiolas a lot or very little?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/03/12 02:09 PM.
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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922201
07/03/12 01:24 PM
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Fifty years ago I was singing in my college chorus. There was a funny rhythm change in the piece. The conductor explained, "It's called a hemiola."
"That sounds like a disease," said one of the tenors.

"You sing it like one," the conductor responded. I thought that showed us a lack of respect, but perhaps we deserved it.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922202
07/03/12 01:32 PM
07/03/12 01:32 PM
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I don't know which composers used them more than others, but they make a very nice surprise/change in the flow. I think there are some hemiolas in this piece, particularly at 1:20 with the text "unto our King" (in the phrase "Sing praises unto our King). There are other moments where he messes with the rhythm/beat for a bit.



Would an extreme example be the last movement of Ginastera's 1st piano sonata? crazy

Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: Orange Soda King] #1922210
07/03/12 01:45 PM
07/03/12 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Would an extreme example be the last movement of Ginastera's 1st piano sonata? crazy


Not extreme at all, a textbook example.

Hemiola is also common in courantes. (Bach 2nd English suite, for example.)


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: Orange Soda King] #1922213
07/03/12 01:51 PM
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Schubert's Impromptu in E flat major has a hemiola where the rhythmic change is used as a transitional device. The term does sound like maybe it's a blood disease or other unwanted ailment.



Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922228
07/03/12 02:16 PM
07/03/12 02:16 PM
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I like to be in A me ri ca.....

Just like the Ginastera example.


Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922241
07/03/12 02:54 PM
07/03/12 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I like to be in A me ri ca.....


actually America is not strictly a hemiola; from wiki:

"From a technical standpoint, the alternating of 3/4 (three quarter notes) with 6/8 (two groups of three eighth-notes), while the value of the eight-note remains constant, is a distinctive characteristic of the song. This rhythm has been called both a hemiola and a habanera, although it is not really either. The "two" and "three" bars alternate, but they are not superposed, as in a hemiola."

a better example is measures 64 and 65 from the first movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Sonata, K. 332:

[Linked Image]

Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922242
07/03/12 02:56 PM
07/03/12 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I like to be in A me ri ca.....

Just like the Ginastera example.



You beat me to it. That's probably the most well known to the general public.


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1922326
07/03/12 06:26 PM
07/03/12 06:26 PM
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Since I've been playing this lately, how about the left hand versus the right in Brahms' Op. 39, No. 1?

(I chose the word "versus" very carefully, as that's how it sounds when I play it. ha)


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: jmcintyre] #1922341
07/03/12 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jmcintyre
Since I've been playing this lately, how about the left hand versus the right in Brahms' Op. 39, No. 1?
Not a hemiola as I understand it but I'm no hemiola expert.

Anyone else have opinions either way?

Still hoping to get more hemiola examples!

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/04/12 11:16 AM.
Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1923173
07/05/12 08:55 PM
07/05/12 08:55 PM
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Schumann loved the hemiola. The example that comes to mind for me is the end of the Marche des Davidsbundler. You can hear it just after the 7 minute mark:

http://youtu.be/rbzGQ9CwBHo

Another favorite of mine is in the Brahm's lied Von ewiger liebe. In this one, you can hear the accompaniment part go from a 6/8 feel to a 3/4 feel underneath the melody (which stays in 6/8 feel) just after the 4 minute mark:

http://youtu.be/EsMazJjayUY

Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1923199
07/05/12 10:30 PM
07/05/12 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by jmcintyre
Since I've been playing this lately, how about the left hand versus the right in Brahms' Op. 39, No. 1?
Not a hemiola as I understand it but I'm no hemiola expert.


Maybe not... I was thinking of the "b" section (although I forgot to mention that in my post), where the accompaniment suggests a 2/4 feel while the melody continues the flowing eighth-note figure from the end of the "a" section:

[Linked Image]


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1923275
07/06/12 05:55 AM
07/06/12 05:55 AM
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It's the bass-line in the above example that creates the hemiola effect of four bars of 3/2. This is in cross rhythm with eight bars of 3/4.


John


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1923569
07/06/12 11:04 PM
07/06/12 11:04 PM
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I believe the passage from m177 - m186 in Beethoven's Pastorale sonata's 4th movement (Rondo in Op 28) is an example of a hemiola.


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: jmcintyre] #1923575
07/06/12 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jmcintyre
Maybe not... I was thinking of the "b" section (although I forgot to mention that in my post), where the accompaniment suggests a 2/4 feel while the melody continues the flowing eighth-note figure from the end of the "a" section:

[Linked Image]


I don't see how this is an example of a hemiola.



Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: PianogrlNW] #1923661
07/07/12 06:33 AM
07/07/12 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
Originally Posted by jmcintyre
Maybe not... I was thinking of the "b" section (although I forgot to mention that in my post), where the accompaniment suggests a 2/4 feel while the melody continues the flowing eighth-note figure from the end of the "a" section:

[Linked Image]


I don't see how this is an example of a hemiola.


Look at the left hand

The second subject in Beethoven Op31/2 3rd mvt is a hemiola (the one with the mordents)


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1923730
07/07/12 11:21 AM
07/07/12 11:21 AM
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That above example is a hemiola.

Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1924022
07/07/12 11:48 PM
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PianogirlNW, I was referring to the juxtaposition of the 3/4 feel in the right hand with the 2/4 feel in the left:

1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3
1 2 1 | 2 1 2 | 1 2 1 | 2 1 2

That's what I understand a hemiola to be - either the superimposition of triple and duple meters, or the illusion of alternating between them (like "America" as mentioned above). I don't consider a 3:2 polyrhythm, like triplets against eighth notes, a hemiola.

Pianoloverus, I've also been working on Brahms 118/2 that you mentioned in your original post. I never really heard the duple meter in the F# major section before, but now that you mention it I can tell what you mean. I've been having enough trouble voicing the canon in that "simple" section to my liking, and now you've thrown a monkey wrench into it for me! ha


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1924088
07/08/12 06:33 AM
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This particular cross rhythm is 3/4 in the right and 3/2 in the left. The left hand at this point demonstrates a hemiola effect - 2 bars of 3/4 are treated as 1 bar of 3/2.

John


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Re: Hemiolas in piano music [Re: pianoloverus] #1924551
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