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Re: Music theory
keystring #2563586 08/16/16 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring

c) mixed meter - 5/8 etc. - where typically one beat is longer, the other is shorter, found in Balkan music etc., and only taught at an advanced level.


It's actually fairly common to see this in more recent wind ensemble pieces. Curnow for example, several others I'll think of too late.

If there are 5 eight notes in a 5/8 measure, the struggle is to play them evenly. I've played in bands that did this very well, and bands that yield to the temptation to play a triplet followed by a duplet, each on the same length beat.


gotta go practice
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Re: Music theory
TimR #2563597 08/16/16 10:24 AM
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From singing in a church choir where we sang a lot of music with Latin American influence, the switching back and forth between two threes and three twos (just like in West Side Story) happened quite often. Many of the Hispanic choir members did this really naturally.

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

In a 6/8 measure, there will fit 6 eighth notes, and that's really what it means.

Yup. Two threes, three twos, six sixes.

Three twos is unusual but happens. wink


It happened last night when our band played a medley from West Side Story.



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Re: Music theory
MomOfBeginners #2563610 08/16/16 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MomOfBeginners
From singing in a church choir where we sang a lot of music with Latin American influence, the switching back and forth between two threes and three twos (just like in West Side Story) happened quite often. Many of the Hispanic choir members did this really naturally.



Funny thing, I have no trouble doing it when playing or singing, but counting rests takes real effort.


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Re: Music theory
PianoScholar232 #2563613 08/16/16 11:48 AM
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Perhaps the problem lies with the actual test, and the idea of the test. I think I'd like to ask the reason for the test, and the context in which it is given. However, the original poster asked for feedback and has not written in once since then. I don't know if we can expect a response.

When I gave me first responses, I had already put it into a context. Often kids who do these kinds of tests also go on to write exams in a program. These programs, in turn, tend to present things in a typical way, making generalizations which you have to learn (and later know that all music doesn't go that way). They do have those categories, with 6/8 being compound time, with there being 2 beats per measure etc. If a student is going that route, then it's good to be careful not to mix them up. In question 4 any time signature could be used, and that is why I suggested another.

But if you're just creating a test to test knowledge, what is the purpose? Why not do this in the context of teaching the music the kids are learning? And why not, at least, have actual musical examples with notation, rather than a page of words? After all, the kids are working with music and learning to play music. And a student who might understand the written music very well, might be weaker in words and grammar.

Re: Music theory
keystring #2563626 08/16/16 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Perhaps the problem lies with the actual test, and the idea of the test. I think I'd like to ask the reason for the test, and the context in which it is given. However, the original poster asked for feedback and has not written in once since then. I don't know if we can expect a response.

When I gave me first responses, I had already put it into a context. Often kids who do these kinds of tests also go on to write exams in a program. These programs, in turn, tend to present things in a typical way, making generalizations which you have to learn (and later know that all music doesn't go that way). They do have those categories, with 6/8 being compound time, with there being 2 beats per measure etc. If a student is going that route, then it's good to be careful not to mix them up. In question 4 any time signature could be used, and that is why I suggested another.

But if you're just creating a test to test knowledge, what is the purpose? Why not do this in the context of teaching the music the kids are learning? And why not, at least, have actual musical examples with notation, rather than a page of words? After all, the kids are working with music and learning to play music. And a student who might understand the written music very well, might be weaker in words and grammar.


Very good points. Often if you participate in exams, they do provide practice tests (at least the local MTNA ones I've had students do - not sure about the larger ones the OP mentioned). It's best to use their materials and wording in that case.

But if this is just for helping students learn, it's best to have a good theory book with lots of examples for practice, and introduce the concepts as they are encountered in their repertoire.


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Re: Music theory
Morodiene #2563634 08/16/16 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Very good points. Often if you participate in exams, they do provide practice tests (at least the local MTNA ones I've had students do - not sure about the larger ones the OP mentioned). It's best to use their materials and wording in that case.

I think we're on the same page. smile

When I prepared for my theory exams way back when, we went through sample exams during a lesson or two, and he would point out what "they" want to see, and how they think. Occasionally I'd also be shown how musicians might perceive this or that differently, or in a more expanded way.
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But if this is just for helping students learn, it's best to have a good theory book with lots of examples for practice, and introduce the concepts as they are encountered in their repertoire.

Excellent advice. I sometimes see people who have memorized theory on the one hand, and play music on the other, as if they were separate unconnected things.

Re: Music theory
PianoScholar232 #2563685 08/16/16 04:41 PM
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Where is the OP?


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