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Rhythm question Brahms Op. 118 no. 5
#2606224 01/19/17 06:07 PM
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I recently started learning this piece, but I am completely confounded by the rhythm, starting with the first bar... because at the beginning of bar 3 it switches.

After the pickup, this is how I hear it:
One TWO three four FIVE six
ONE two three four FIVE six etc.

And I can't reconcile that. It just sounds wrong. I'm trying to train my brain to hear the first note of the first full bar as a down beat, but I'm finding it almost impossible to hear it that way, even in my head.

Anybody know what I'm talking about?



Anne Francis
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Re: Rhythm question Brahms Op. 118 no. 5
Anne Francis #2606249 01/19/17 07:59 PM
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That's not atypical of Brahms' writing; hemiolas and off-beat stresses or accents are frequent, in my experience. I hear it the way you do, but without too much emphasis, and I simply shift my feel of the rhythmic pattern when it begins to coincide with bar lines.

If it doesn't sound too facile to say: Enjoy it as it is!

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Rhythm question Brahms Op. 118 no. 5
Anne Francis #2606380 01/20/17 07:42 AM
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Ah, I never thought of it being like a hemiola.... hm. I haven't encountered this in any of the other piano pieces of Brahms's, I must say. And it doesn't seem to be in the service of anything and I can't help thinking, it would have been so easy to just give it a conventional rhythm, especially when the melody is so beautiful. But I'll try! ;-)


Anne Francis
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1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: Rhythm question Brahms Op. 118 no. 5
Anne Francis #2606389 01/20/17 08:04 AM
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I see what you mean.
The piece changes its rhythmic feel almost every bar.

In 6/4 time, generally the stressed beats are 1 and 4. The most "logical" rhythm is one-three-four-six (like it is in bar 2).

Bar 1 has the rhythm one-two-four-five, which feels backwards, but the stresses on 1 and 4 are preserved.

Bar 4 is a hemiola (stress on 1, 3, and 5).

Re: Rhythm question Brahms Op. 118 no. 5
Anne Francis #2606432 01/20/17 10:49 AM
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Yes--I was thinking about this just now, and I think bar 4 could be described as a hemiola, but not what comes before.


Anne Francis
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