Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

subdivsions of notes and time signatures

Posted by pettromeloomis 
subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 04:48PM
ok, so here's my dilemma, I'm trying to learn different time signatures to play in, other than 4/4 and I'm having a difficult time figuring out the subdivions of the notes. For example; 5/8 - I understand that there are 5 beats in each measure and an eighth note represents the beat, but, what I am having a difficult time grasping is what notes can I play on each beat. Can I play 8th notes = 5 notes in all; 8th note triplets = 15 notes in all; 16th notes on each beat consisting of 20 notes in all, or 16th note triplets = 30 notes in all, so on and so forth.
It's not just the odd meter of 5/8 either. I'm having trouble with most everything but 4/4. Really, I guess, what I want to know is do I play notes according to the beat, and does it matter the time signature. I'm a huge fan of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Nevermore (obviously by the name) and Meshuggah..etc etc..and I'd really like to grasp the time signatures as well as theory in general. For 8 years I've worried a lot about technique and not about what I was playing, so I would really appreciate all the help I can get.
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 04:58PM
In time signatures, the top number tells you how many beats are in a measure (as you already know), and the bottom number tells you which note gets one beat. So, for 4/4 time, the quarter note gets one beat, because the quarter note is what the bottom 4 represents. In 5/8, the eighth note gets one beat because that is what the 8 represents. It sounds like you are already this far. So, for 5/8, you can fit 5 eighth notes in a measure, because it is the eighth note that gets one beat. Does this answer your question?

I hope it makes sense :)

Colin Thomson



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2007 04:59PM by colinthomson.
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 05:08PM
ok, so then subdivisions would be what? That's where I'm confused, like 2 eighth notes and a triplet because that would equal 5, or for 16th notes how many would fit in on one measure because it would be 4 per beat? or am I wrong? blaahhh confused haha.

Nick
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 05:15PM
It might help you to write out underneath of a measure '1 2 3 4 5' for 5/8 time, and think of each beat as seperate. Because you are in 5/8 and the eighth note gets one beat, inside of any one of those five beats you could fit in: 1 eighth not, 2 sixteenth notes, 4 thirtysecond notes, etc. Triplets basically fill space. So you look at the measure and see how many beats are filled up, and you can see how many beats you have to fit your three notes into. Making sense?

Colin Thomson
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 05:44PM
making sense indeed. so lets see here, i can fit 4 16th notes in all for beats 1 and 2 and for 3,4, and 5 I can have a sixteenth not triplet? = 10 notes in all
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 06:50PM
I think it is important to define what a triplet is. A triplet is three notes fit into one or more beats. The timing 3/4 actually does not need to have any triplets in it, as it is based on a triplet timing itself. Therefore you count it out '1 2 3', and not 'tri-pl-et'. The same applies to the timing 5/8. As you seem to know already, the timing 5/8 is actually usually a mixture of 2/8 and 3/8. So you would put the accent on the beat 1 and 4, or 1 and 3, depending on if you are have the three beat sequence go first or second. Now there is also a sort of waltz that has 5 beats to a measure, and the accent only on 1, but that is much less common, so we don't need to worry about it for now. So there does not need to be any triplets in 3/4, 5/8, 6/8, or any of those, as they already have a sort of triplet 'programmed' into them. I hope I am not making this harder than it has to be, as it is very easy once you understand it.

Oh, also be sure to understand the you can fit 4 16th notes on one beat BECAUSE it is in 5/8. If it were in 5/4, you would be able to fit 8 16th notes, and if it were in 5/2 (which I have never seen before) you would be able to fit in 16 16th notes in, as the whole note would get one beat.

Colin Thomson
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 08:00PM
Ok, I'm not sure if you're familiar with any of the bands I listed in my first post but here is a link to Meshuggah's myspace page; [myspace.com]. The first 19 measures of the first song, Rational Gaze, are in 25/16. I only know this becasue of a tab of the song on their website. But it could be wrong, not sure. I was wondering if you could break it down for me.
Let's take a few more time signatures and see if, maybe, I'm correct with the subdivisions.

12/8 = | 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 and I think it is comprised of 4/12 and 4/12 so there could be 4 16th notes per beat and triplets as well because triplets aren't already 'programmed' in it, as you said. which woould be 6 notes per beat if it were triplets?

7/8 = 8th note per beat - 4 sixteenth per beat - 2 32nd - no triplets

6/4 = quarter note per beat - 3 eighth notes per beat - 4 16th per beat - 6 16th triplets per beat

9/8 = 8th note per beat - 4 16th per beat - 2 32nd - no triplets


please help me.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2007 08:02PM by pettromeloomis.
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 10:19PM
OK, you have the 'per beat' thing down, but I think I must have been confusing about the triplets. Sorry, I am not familiar with the bands you mentioned, but 25/16 time signature would be VERY confusing to count. But this is important: EVERY TIME SIGNATURE CAN HAVE A TRIPLET IN IT. The way that you count the triplet is by saying 'tri-pl-et', with three syllables in order to get three beats. So, say you are in 4/4 time, which you seem to know well. There can be triplets in this key just as easy as there can be in any other key. Say you are counting it out '1 2 3 4' and you come to a triplet that is on the third beat. They way you would count it is '1 2 tri-pl-et 4 1 2' etc. The third beat is not held out for any longer than any of the other beats, it just has three notes crammed in evenly. Is this making sense? So your statements 'no triplets' for a certain time signature is wrong, because there can be triplets in any timing. Even in the time signatures that I said had triplets 'programmed in' there can be (and often are) triplets. Say you are in 3/4, and you have a triplet on the second beat. The way you count it is '1 tri-pl-et 3 1 2' etc, again not holding the second beat out any longer, but fitting 3 notes in it evenly spaced.

Sorry for the delay in responce time.

Colin Thomson



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2007 10:21PM by colinthomson.
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 10:35PM
alright that clears that up.

so in an attempt to clear everything up, could you give me the subdivisions for 5/8? and possibly 6/4?





Nick
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 10:53PM
5/8, as you know, has 5 beats to a measure and the eighth note gets one beat. Therefore, you count it out '1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5' etc, and, say you have a triplet on the fourth beat of one of those measures, you count it '1 2 3 tri-pl-et 5 1 2 3 4 5' etc. A whole note would get 8 beats, a half note would get 4, a quarter note would get 2, an eighth note would get 1. You can fit one eighth note in a beat, 2 16th notes in a beat, 4 32nd notes, etc.

In 6/4 timing, each measure has 6 beats, and the quarter note gets one beat. A whole note gets 4 beats, a half note gets 2 beats, a quarter note gets 1 beat. You can fit one quarter note in a beat, or 2 eighth notes, or 4 16th notes, or 8 32nd notes, etc. You count it '1 2 3 4 5 6', so if you have a triplet on the third beat, you count it '1 2 tri-pl-et 4 5 6' etc.

But, as I said before in an earlier post, triplets just fill up space. So it is possible to have a triplet that spans 2 beats, therefore you would count it half as fast. Or you could have two triplets in one beat, in which case you would count both of them twice as fast. I hope this makes sense.

Colin Thomson
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 11:36PM
thank you, i appreciate it much. I will be working hard again tomorrow to try and understand this even more and ill let you know tomorrow at around 5 or 6 eastern standard time. thanks again!

Nick
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
May 21, 2007 11:52PM
Glad to help.

Colin Thomson
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
August 30, 2007 08:50AM
hi the amount and timings of the various notes of music in a bar could be of any value---as long as, combined with any rests, they do not exceed the total value of the top figure of the time sig.the bottom figure merely tells you what the amount of the top figure is. For example,in 5/8 time you could have 1 quaver, 3 semi- quavers,1 crotchet and, a single semi quavers rest!---if you check it out, you'll find that all those values added up come to a signature of 5/8 Hope this helps
colinthomson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Oh, also be sure to understand the you can fit 4
> 16th notes on one beat BECAUSE it is in 5/8. If it
> were in 5/4, you would be able to fit 8 16th
> notes, and if it were in 5/2 (which I have never
> seen before) you would be able to fit in 16 16th
> notes in, as the whole note would get one beat.
>
> Colin Thomson


That doesn't make sense.
colinthomson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 5/8, as you know, has 5 beats to a measure and the
> eighth note gets one beat. Therefore, you count it
> out '1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5' etc, and, say you have a
> triplet on the fourth beat of one of those
> measures, you count it '1 2 3 tri-pl-et 5 1 2 3 4
> 5' etc. A whole note would get 8 beats, a half
> note would get 4, a quarter note would get 2, an
> eighth note would get 1. You can fit one eighth
> note in a beat, 2 16th notes in a beat, 4 32nd
> notes, etc.
>
> In 6/4 timing, each measure has 6 beats, and the
> quarter note gets one beat. A whole note gets 4
> beats, a half note gets 2 beats, a quarter note
> gets 1 beat. You can fit one quarter note in a
> beat, or 2 eighth notes, or 4 16th notes, or 8
> 32nd notes, etc. You count it '1 2 3 4 5 6', so if
> you have a triplet on the third beat, you count it
> '1 2 tri-pl-et 4 5 6' etc.
>
> But, as I said before in an earlier post, triplets
> just fill up space. So it is possible to have a
> triplet that spans 2 beats, therefore you would
> count it half as fast. Or you could have two
> triplets in one beat, in which case you would
> count both of them twice as fast. I hope this
> makes sense.
>
> Colin Thomson


Ok this makes sense :)

I don't understand why you posted this before:

>Oh, also be sure to understand the you can fit 4 16th notes on one beat BECAUSE >it is in 5/8. If it were in 5/4, you would be able to fit 8 16th notes, and if >it were in 5/2 (which I have never seen before) you would be able to fit in 16 >16th notes in, as the whole note would get one beat.



Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
December 10, 2007 05:08PM
If you are in 5/8 you can fit 10 16th notes into a measure.

2 16th=1 beat (in this case)
<If you are in 5/8 you can fit 10 16th notes into a measure.

2 16th=1 beat (in this case)

Sure Im not gonna argue that. :)
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
December 11, 2007 11:05AM

Hey, I prefer not to use the word'beat'in the context of 'notes' in a measure. I would say- using the original time sig' of 5/8,- that one measure of music will contain the equivalent of 5 quavers, or 10 semi-quavers or 20 demi-semi quavers Hey! that far enough? That same measure could contain the equivalet ofa mixture of those values of NOTES AND RESTS in any order, And, As long as- including rests-that the total does not exceed the equivalent of FIVE QUAVERS in One measure.Then, that is what Pettromeloomis specifically asked about, and, that is what I say is fact.
whats the accent pattern within the sub divisions isnt there a chart of some sort where can i find it, i can find free @#$%& but no free education. mom i wanna be a stripper. lol
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
August 18, 2008 10:26PM
I'm going to expand on this a bit:

Meters like 5/8, 7/8, etc. are often called "asymmetrical meters".

2/4 is called "Duple" meter.

Because each beat is broken into two parts (two 8th notes in this case), it's called "Simple".

2/4, 2/8, 2/2 are all examples of Simple Duple Meter (or Duple Simple).

6/8 is thought by many people to have 6 beats, but it is understood by theorists as having TWO beats. Each of those two beats are broken into THREE parts (three 8th notes). This is called "Compound" meter.

6/8, 6/4, 6/16 are all Compound Duple Meter.

So you count 2/4 like:

ONE and TWO and

and 6/8 like:

ONE la le TWO la le

5/8 is considered asymmetrical because it is still DUPLE, but it contains one Simple division, and one Compound division, that is 2+3 or 3+2.

ONE and TWO la le, or
ONE la le TWO and

7/8 is asymmetrical triple meter - two simple beats and one compound beat as:
2+2+3
2+3+2, or
3+2+2

So:
2/4 = 2+2 (or, two beats of two 8ths)
6/8 = 3+3 (or, two beats of three 8ths)
5/8 = 2+3; 3+2 (or one beat of two 8ths, and one beat of three 8ths).
3/4 = 2+2+2
9/8 = 3+3+3
7/8 = 2+2+3, etc.

It should be noted here that this is WHY, 6/8 is not considered as 6 beats:
3/4 = 2+2+2
6/8 = 3+3

3/4 is three beats
6/8 is TWO beats

Obviously, treating 6/8 as 6 even beats removes its identity. Accenting as 3+3 versus 2+2+2 is what makes 6/8 unique from 3/4 even though both meters contain 6 8th notes.

Now, that said, it is possible to use meters in larger or smaller units.

3/8 is often taken "in one" as one beat per measure.
5/4 is often taken as 5 beats.
4/4 can be taken asymmetrically: 3+3+2 is a common way to make the ordinarily 2+2+2+2 4/4 meter a little less square.

Peace
whats a 12/32 time signature?
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
June 04, 2011 10:05PM
jpaesano Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> whats a 12/32 time signature?


Twelve thirty-second notes in a measure. It's probably a compound meter. (One-and-a Two-and-a Three-and-a Four-and-a, where every syllable is a thirty-second note.)
I have to agree with the professor-in 5/8 time you can fit 10/16 notes in the measure because simply take the 16th note and divide it by 8, take the 2 and multiply the 5 and you get 10. I think the person who started this thread should go back and learn the dif between simple and compound time. It's not as complicated as you think. For instance, I believe you are looking at a triplet as meaning the same in EVERY instance, in 4/4 time, a triplet gets one count, in 3/4 time a triplet gets one count, etc. Sure you can put triplets in all time signatures, just like you can make any rhythm that you wish. In simple time, the top number gives you the number of beats per measure, but in compound time, you get the number of break down beats per measure. So, for example in 6/8 time, the first 3 eigth notes can condense down to be a dotted quarter note, so we have a dotted quarter note as the rhythmn. Hence, 6/8 time is condenced down to 2 components. Comppound time can be 2,3, or 4 components where simple time is two components. The beat is never on a dotted rhythm. Hope this helps along with the knowledge of some others here.
Re: subdivsions of notes and time signatures
June 21, 2011 10:20PM
I am not sure if this was completely clarified, but keep in mind that three eighth, 16th, etc. notes beamed together does not a triplet make; this can be confusing because many older editions of music do not consistently include the little 3 on top that indicates a triplet figure, but three eighth notes beamed together, for example, is just one and a half beats, i.e., one big beat in 6/8 time. Triplets, on the other hand, are three divisions that fit into the space normally taken up by one quarter note (for example) i.e., one beat in 3/4 time. They are not the same timing.

As for what subdivisions are possible; really, it is not related to the time signature very much at all, except that the divisions usually found are different for simple as opposed to compound times. For asymmetrical meters, I find it helpful to view it in terms of the meters built in. Like if you have a 5/8 bar divided 2+3, then you could just think of it as a 2/8 measure and then a 3/8 measure, and subdivide as appropriate. As long as the metric values add up appropriately, you are all good. The matter of actually hearing what that sounds like will take some practice; a 16th note quintuplet followed by an 8th note triplet and then an 8th note will be pretty difficult to hear at first (and I cannot imagine what kind of crazy that composer must be to think of something like that!) but if I counted right, that could add up to 5/8.

However, while it might be fun to try to think up really ridiculous rhythms, I would start out with simpler beat divisions (stick to straight 8th/16th/32nd type notes, mostly) when you're starting out, before getting into the odder beat divisions like triplets and quintuplets.
Author:

Your Email:


Subject:


Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
xUGuG
Message: