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Where is the beat #2709337
01/27/18 11:28 PM
01/27/18 11:28 PM
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Jitin Online content OP
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What do You recommend how I go about learning so that I can tell where the beat lies for any piece of music in any time signature and in any measure for piano?

I want to do this so I can play with metronome clicks to match the beats and always be in tempo based on beats per minute for the specific music

can this be self taught or should I take music theory course , or lessons , I have some understanding , but not always certain


P155
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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709340
01/27/18 11:56 PM
01/27/18 11:56 PM
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Can you tap your foot to music when you hear it ?


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709366
01/28/18 02:52 AM
01/28/18 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin

What do You recommend how I go about learning so that I can tell where the beat lies for any piece of music in any time signature and in any measure for piano?

I want to do this so I can play with metronome clicks to match the beats and always be in tempo based on beats per minute for the specific music

can this be self taught or should I take music theory course , or lessons , I have some understanding , but not always certain

If I understand your question correctly what you need is some theoretical and practical study on time signatures and how the pulse works in music. Your goal should not be to be able to follow a metronome but to understand how the music flows in each case so that you can internalize the different time signatures and play according to the written notes fluently. This can be self taught in some cases but would be easier with a teacher. I recommend lessons with a teacher who will teach you theory and practice at the same time.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709387
01/28/18 05:06 AM
01/28/18 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
What do You recommend how I go about learning so that I can tell where the beat lies for any piece of music in any time signature and in any measure for piano?

Do you mean by ear or from the sheet? Each one supports the other but they are not the same skill.

Originally Posted by Jitin
I want to do this so I can play with metronome clicks to match the beats and always be in tempo based on beats per minute for the specific music

That's not necessarily a good idea. Music isn't metronomic. Sometimes you have to slow down or speed up slightly, sometimes the pulse changes in the middle of the music. Learn to do this reliably without the metronome.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709576
01/28/18 07:34 PM
01/28/18 07:34 PM
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For standard Western music (classical or jazz or pop), "the beat" is right at the barline. If there's a note written right after the barline (no intervening rest), _that_ note is "on the beat".

For the rest of the beats in the measure:

. . . Yes, you need to learn some theory about time signatures.

Either self-study, or a teacher, will let you do that.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Qazsedcft] #2709583
01/28/18 07:47 PM
01/28/18 07:47 PM
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I think using the metronome is a good idea. Yes, music isn't always metronomic. But if you can play reliably with the metronome, it will be much easier to bend and stretch the beats later on. If you can't play reliably with the metronome, it means you have serious problems that will get in the way of absolutely everything you do on the piano.

Look at the time signature and decide how many beats are in each measure.

For example, in 4/4 there might be 4 beats in the measure. In 2/2, there might be 2 beats. In 6/8, there might also be 2 beats.

The only way you are going to learn to quickly identify which specific beats the notes fall on is by reading a lot of music, so get started with that. Here are some things you can try:

1) Turn the metronome on and play, ensuring that there are the correct number of beats in every measure. This needs to be your overwhelming priority, completely non-negotiable. There must be the correct number of beats in every measure.

2) Listen to pieces with the score in front of you, tapping your finger on each beat.

3) Play only the notes that fall on the beats, and skip the others.

4) Decide on a time signature, and make up your own tunes, again ensuring that you have the right number of beats in each measure.

The pulse must always continue, no matter what.
It is more important that you have the correct number of beats in the measure than that you are playing the right notes, or that the dynamics are right, or that you avoid losing your place in the music.

Now, I'm assuming I'm addressing your question. If your question is "how can I learn to play at exactly 88 beats per minute without the use of a metronome for reference?", I have no clue.


Michael
My blog on mindfulness in piano playing
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709767
01/29/18 11:42 AM
01/29/18 11:42 AM
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It depends on the music you want to play. Some should be played exactly as notated, some requires rubato. Notation isn't perfect. It tells you exactly which keys to press, but not so exactly when. And how loud? That's very subjective.

Instead of trying to achieve an exact overall timing without a metronome, why not an earphone metronome that only you can hear? That's how movie and TV sound tracks are done.


-- J.S.

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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709784
01/29/18 12:22 PM
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when learning the piece, whether from sheet music, or by ear, you guys never really figure out where the beats are , on the music, and play alongside metronome?

And yes, I understand beat doesn't always match on the a note, could be a rest, or nothing at all,


P155
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709789
01/29/18 12:27 PM
01/29/18 12:27 PM
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Get someone who can play well (like a teacher) too show you how to find the beat.
Reading about how to find the beat is like dancing about architecture.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709796
01/29/18 12:54 PM
01/29/18 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
when learning the piece, whether from sheet music, or by ear, you guys never really figure out where the beats are , on the music, and play alongside metronome?


I don't use the metronome. Notating rhytm is fairly simple and with a little bit of practice it's normally easy to figure out what to play. There's just a little bit of math to learn.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709862
01/29/18 04:17 PM
01/29/18 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
when learning the piece, whether from sheet music, or by ear, you guys never really figure out where the beats are , on the music, and play alongside metronome?

And yes, I understand beat doesn't always match on the a note, could be a rest, or nothing at all,


Beats yes, metronome no. I only use the metronome to work on rhythms if I hear some unevenness but never in the initial stages of working out the rhythm. I was just sight reading a piece in 7/8 right now and playing without a metronome. I started by tapping out the odd meter (in this case it was 4+3) feeling the strongest beats (1 and 5) then, having that beat clearly imprinted in my mind I followed the score. That's what I usually do. First, feel the main beats then fill out the rest. It makes the music come out more musical than following along metronomically.

BTW, I know about strong and weak metronome sounds but I find that feature very annoying because when you miss a beat you have to wait a whole measure. I always use equal beats.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709868
01/29/18 04:33 PM
01/29/18 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
when learning the piece, whether from sheet music, or by ear, you guys never really figure out where the beats are , on the music, and play alongside metronome?

Jitin, I think you are mixing up two things: (1) giving a musical performance that includes a sense of beat and rhythm, vs. (2) using the metronome as a tool. These are quite separate things.


One thing is to be able to keep a steady beat on your own, without a metronome.

Another thing is to learn how to read music notation and be able to see on the music where the beat is.

Another thing is to understand the rhythm as notated, fitting subdivided notes within the beat or across notes.

Another thing is to be able to combine the three previous items: keep a steady beat while playing the correct rhythm. (And then later, in certain styles of music, to vary the beat with slight slowing down and speeding up.)


Yet another thing is to be able to play in time with a metronome. This is generally a tool used for other purposes, not as an end goal in itself. For example, you might use the it only briefly, before starting to play, to determine the tempo. You might use it to test or to develop your sense of internal rhythm. You might use it as a click track to put together a multi-track recording.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: PianoStudent88] #2709881
01/29/18 05:11 PM
01/29/18 05:11 PM
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I think my question is for "Another thing is to learn how to read music notation and be able to see on the music where the beat is." plus by listening and telling where the beat is, and knowing how to use the metronome because I think metronome works with knowing where the beat is and playing with clicks.....is there books that I can buy to learn that, any that you recommend?

Last edited by Jitin; 01/29/18 05:15 PM.

P155
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709910
01/29/18 07:27 PM
01/29/18 07:27 PM
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One of my 1st books in music theory was: Elementary Rudiments of Music by Barbara Wharram.
But that was in the ancient past and might not still be in print.
But there are loads of other good books on music theory.
Get one that a music education center recommends and is using if possible.
There might be one near you. And maybe sign up for a course at the same time.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709929
01/29/18 09:45 PM
01/29/18 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
I think my question is for "Another thing is to learn how to read music notation and be able to see on the music where the beat is." plus by listening and telling where the beat is, and knowing how to use the metronome because I think metronome works with knowing where the beat is and playing with clicks.....is there books that I can buy to learn that, any that you recommend?

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually. If you understand time signatures, note values, and how note values work with time signatures, then it's a very obvious thing. But if one of these things went awry when you were learning first theory, then it would account for the confusion you seem to be having. On the one hand you had some amount of theory, but I don't know if it translated into actually using it for music. You can listen to music, and pick it up from there. The music (heard / played) side doesn't seem to be connected to the read side - and in regards to beats and maybe not values in particular.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: keystring] #2709933
01/29/18 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Jitin
I think my question is for "Another thing is to learn how to read music notation and be able to see on the music where the beat is." plus by listening and telling where the beat is, and knowing how to use the metronome because I think metronome works with knowing where the beat is and playing with clicks.....is there books that I can buy to learn that, any that you recommend?

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually. If you understand time signatures, note values, and how note values work with time signatures, then it's a very obvious thing. But if one of these things went awry when you were learning first theory, then it would account for the confusion you seem to be having. On the one hand you had some amount of theory, but I don't know if it translated into actually using it for music. You can listen to music, and pick it up from there. The music (heard / played) side doesn't seem to be connected to the read side - and in regards to beats and maybe not values in particular.

Sometimes (I assume in op's case) it's just a matter of not having learned/taught any of the theory at all. But I also had a friend who had extreme trouble understanding the underlying math. The idea of the note values as fractions of the whole note/each measure just did not go through until we used a very concrete tool. It would take quite a few words to explain, a picture would be easier. But basically made a circle from paper which was cut into divisions with the note values printed on them and then learned to put them together correctly so that the end result fits neatly within the whole note. Only after that practice did we go to actual measures of music and analysed different meters and how to count them.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709935
01/29/18 10:04 PM
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I taught theory to a student quite a few years ago who had been self-taught originally. Some of the things that can get mixed up are the concept of relative note value (how whole notes, half, quarter, eighths etc.) related to each, versus the ratios and values in time signatures. One thing I disagree with strongly is when a shortcut is taken, all time signatures first being taught in quarter notes (4/4, 3/4, 2/4) giving the impression that a beat and a quarter note are the same thing. Then later when 3/8 or 2/2 are introduced, there is massive confusion.

I like the idea of your visual tool for relative note values, Outou.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: keystring] #2709941
01/29/18 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I taught theory to a student quite a few years ago who had been self-taught originally. Some of the things that can get mixed up are the concept of relative note value (how whole notes, half, quarter, eighths etc.) related to each, versus the ratios and values in time signatures. One thing I disagree with strongly is when a shortcut is taken, all time signatures first being taught in quarter notes (4/4, 3/4, 2/4) giving the impression that a beat and a quarter note are the same thing. Then later when 3/8 or 2/2 are introduced, there is massive confusion.

I like the idea of your visual tool for relative note values, Outou.


It was very much improvised, I might still have the material somewhere so I could post a picture. It just seemed going through the charts in the book we used were not sufficient after I realized what the actual problem was and why she could not figure out how to count correctly in music. Her piano teacher either had not realized or gave up trying to explain. The idea was not just to visualize but actually have some hands on practice on how to build the rhythm part of notation. With a fun playful aspect because I could see how stressing everything related to math was to her. This was an adult with not so fond memories of math lessons in school.

I cannot remember how I was initially taught time signatures myself.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709947
01/29/18 11:19 PM
01/29/18 11:19 PM
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Several of the metronome apps sub-divide the beat by cycling around a visual shape. I personally find it pleasing; it re-enforces the cyclical nature of each measure. And it’s a particularly good way to visualize polyrhythms.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709950
01/29/18 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jitin
when learning the piece, whether from sheet music, or by ear, you guys never really figure out where the beats are , on the music, and play alongside metronome?


Where I am, right now, for the genre I play, I don't.

I do run into stuff that is tricky sometimes that I have to figure out.

The metronome is a tool and counting is a tool. Clapping rhythms is a tool. Listening to music is a tool. Speaking rhythms is a tool. Use them.

At some point, you internalize it and you fall back on the tools when you run into problems.

I recall some study with chess players where advanced chess players are able to see 'patterns that come up in play' and then quickly solve problems. But if you were to throw random patterns at advanced chess players, they struggle as much as novices. Music is kind of similar... if you were to throw crazy multi-meter stuff at me, I know I would really have an issue. But I think if you stick with music and find the music you like, you'll get the rhythmic themes of that style and not have to stress so much.

But in the meantime, hang onto any technique that works for you !


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709960
01/30/18 12:43 AM
01/30/18 12:43 AM
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Tapping out rhythms to real music is a practical way to learn rhythm. You can practice it almost anywhere.

I initially used the Rhythm Bootcamp book when I was self-teaching. It’s good for beginners, covers the most common time signatures, and it has all those fun Philip Johnston games to “level up” your skills.

When I found a teacher, he assigned the Modern Reading and Odd-Reading books by Louis Bellson. A step up from the Rhythm Bootcamp book, but very well rounded. I usually take these books with me when I travel. I fire up Spotify or iTunes and I’m good to go.


We are the music makers,
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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2709980
01/30/18 04:06 AM
01/30/18 04:06 AM
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@keystring
Here's a picture, not great quality, but you get the idea:
[Linked Image]

Last edited by outo; 01/30/18 04:07 AM.
Re: Where is the beat [Re: outo] #2710028
01/30/18 10:12 AM
01/30/18 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
@keystring
Here's a picture, not great quality, but you get the idea:
[Linked Image]



Ok ..... now show us a picture like this for 3/4 time.


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors
Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2710039
01/30/18 10:48 AM
01/30/18 10:48 AM
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Hi Jitin, Do you know how to count rhythms?

If you do: the "beat" is anytime you say a number. The "downbeat" is anytime you say 1.
When getting used to playing with the metronome, you can try counting out loud. Anytime you say a number should be at the same time as a metronome click.
Or if that's difficult at first, start by just trying to tap your finger on the wood of the piano at exactly the same time as the metronome clicks.

If you don't know how to count rhythms, many folks here can help with that.

(And yes, one SHOULD always know exactly where the beat is when one is learning a piece. Music has a pulse just like we all have a heartbeat. No, it won't always be metronomically even, depending on the style of the piece, and no we won't always be counting numbers in our heads any more than we go around all day counting our heartbeats, but it's always there.)


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
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I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Where is the beat [Re: keystring] #2710044
01/30/18 11:10 AM
01/30/18 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.


Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

It matters how the person who wrote the notation chose to use dots and ties. For instance, the same measure could be written:

quarter, eighth, dotted quarter, quarter

quarter, eighth, eighth tied to quarter, quarter

The first takes less space on the paper, the second gives you something to see where all the beats are.


-- J.S.

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Re: Where is the beat [Re: dmd] #2710116
01/30/18 02:51 PM
01/30/18 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by outo
@keystring
Here's a picture, not great quality, but you get the idea:
[Linked Image]



Ok ..... now show us a picture like this for 3/4 time.



That was not the purpose of this exercise. Different meters were the next step.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: JohnSprung] #2710144
01/30/18 04:29 PM
01/30/18 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by keystring
The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.


Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: PianoStudent88] #2710148
01/30/18 04:48 PM
01/30/18 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by keystring
The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.


Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.


I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.

Re: Where is the beat [Re: Jitin] #2710156
01/30/18 05:27 PM
01/30/18 05:27 PM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by keystring
The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.


Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.


I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.


I guess it's possible to avoid the math, I am thinking back to myself as a child. Lets say a 4/4 passage on middle C. Crotchet, two quavers, crotchet, two quavers. With visualisation, the child will see the little flag on the quaver, it looks different so will realise it means something different, and by sound association and given an example by the teacher and can learn that way. I had recorder lessons when I as 4 - 5, I still have book of the pieces I was playing so I checked, I am pretty sure I didn't know fractions then, but for sure there were quavers and crotches. I had no issue learning them just fine, judging by the grades of the pieces at the time and date stamps to confirm it.

There were no theory lessons at that early age until about 6 or 7 for me, not in terms of math and such anyway, there was sight reading of course, and lots of following by example. It was a case of, when a note looks like this, then play this as follows, if a time signature is this, listen to the sounds etc. I would just copy and follow it by ear is how I recall it mostly , and I understood the concept after that. Perhaps it was a case of that I learned most easily/quickly that way ... at that age.


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Re: Where is the beat [Re: Alexander Borro] #2710163
01/30/18 05:42 PM
01/30/18 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexander Borro
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by keystring
The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.


Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.


I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.


I guess it's possible to avoid the math, I am thinking back to myself as a child. Lets say a 4/4 passage on middle C. Crotchet, two quavers, crotchet, two quavers. With visualisation, the child will see the little flag on the quaver, it looks different so will realise it means something different, and by sound association and given an example by the teacher and can learn that way. I had recorder lessons when I as 4 - 5, I still have book of the pieces I was playing so I checked, I am pretty sure I didn't know fractions then, but for sure there were quavers and crotches. I had no issue learning them just fine, judging by the grades of the pieces at the time and date stamps to confirm it.

There were no theory lessons at that early age until about 6 or 7 for me, not in terms of math and such anyway, there was sight reading of course, and lots of following by example. It was a case of, when a note looks like this, then play this as follows, if a time signature is this, listen to the sounds etc. I would just copy and follow it by ear is how I recall it mostly , and I understood the concept after that. Perhaps it was a case of that I learned most easily/quickly that way ... at that age.


Since this is the abf I would assume that any starter will be well equipped to understand and not just copy. Children who start very early may be a different matter. But there is the risk that they become quite good at doing without no understanding and that needs to be patched later.

And I don't even want to start on the difficult to remember names used for note values in some countries...it all makes such perfect sense with whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and so on wink

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