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Time signature?????

DigiTrad:
SOVAY
THE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN
THE MALE FEMALE HIGHWAYMAN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Solvay, Solvay (19)
Tune Req: Sovay (20)
Lyr Req: Sovay / Sylvie (17)
TAB or Notation to 'Sovay' (21)


alison 29 Dec 98 - 07:31 PM
Animaterra 30 Dec 98 - 06:17 AM
alison 30 Dec 98 - 07:48 AM
Liam's Brother 30 Dec 98 - 09:06 AM
alison 30 Dec 98 - 09:16 AM
Joe Offer 31 Dec 98 - 01:07 PM
Charlie Baum 31 Dec 98 - 09:02 PM
alison 31 Dec 98 - 11:12 PM
alison 31 Dec 98 - 11:29 PM
Grey Wolf 12 Feb 00 - 05:37 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Feb 00 - 04:02 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 14 Feb 00 - 02:22 AM
alison 29 Aug 03 - 01:36 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 03 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 29 Aug 03 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Me 29 Aug 03 - 02:54 AM
greg stephens 29 Aug 03 - 05:39 AM
alison 29 Aug 03 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Aug 03 - 10:22 AM
Leadfingers 29 Aug 03 - 07:18 PM
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Subject: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 29 Dec 98 - 07:31 PM

Hi,

Having just debated the differences between 9/8 and 3/4.... I remembered a song I have had trouble with for years.

Does anyone have music for "Sovay"? The tune itself is no problem (and it's in the database). But does anyone know the time signature?

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Animaterra
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 06:17 AM

A great song, Alison, and I know the rhythmic form has a name but I don't know it. It's sort of, 2-1-2-1-2-1-2- 1-2-3-1-2 etc. Just keep the steady beat of the song and don't worry about a time signature. Or, if you're writing it out, do it in 2/4 with a 3/4 measure thrown in in phrases 1 & 2. Thanks for reminding me of this song; I'm putting together a program on how women cope and this is a gem! Allison ( with 2 Ls!)


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 07:48 AM

hi,

I just sing it. Never attempted to write this one down... much too awkward..... it is a great song though.

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 09:06 AM

Hi Alison!

This appears in the book A Bonnie Bunch of Roses as "Sylvie" and is written in 4/4.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 09:16 AM

Hi Dan,

I don't know..... it just doesn't seem to fit 4/4..... seems to be one of those tunes where they stick a bar with a funny number of beats in every so often to make it fit...... any chance of a GIf of the music?

Thanks

slainte

alison


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: SYLVIA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 01:07 PM

Hi, alison - Peter Kennedy's book has it in 3/2. It is kind of a strange tune, but I like it. Here 'tis:

SYLVIA

Sylvia, Sylvia, Sylvia one day
She dressed herself in men's array
With a loaded pistol down by her side
To rob her true-love
To rob her true-love
Sylvia did ride

As she rode up to him and she bid him stand
Stand and deliver all the gold that you have
Stand and deliver all your gold and store
Or else this moment
Or else this moment
Your life's no more

He delivered up all his gold and store
But yet, she said, there is one thing more
There's a diamond ring that I know you wear
Deliver it
Deliver it
And your life I'll spare

Now this diamond ring being a token, give o'er
This ring I'll keep or I'll lose my life
She was tender-hearted just like a dove
She rode away
She rode away
From her own true-love

Now as they were walking the garden green
He spied his watch hanging from her chain
He spied his watch hanging through her cloak
Which made her blush
Which made her blush
Like any rose

What makes you blush at such a silly thing?
I fain would have had your diamond ring
For 'twas I that robbed you on the plain
So take your watch
So take your watch
And gold again

Now why did you enter such a silly plot?
Suppose that pistol you did have shot
If you had shot me upon that plain
For ever after
For ever after
You'd be put to shame

I only did it for to know
Whether you were a true-lover or no
But now I've a contented mind
My heart and all
My heart and all
My dear, are thine

The match was made without delay
And soon they fixed the wedding day
And now they live in joy and content
In happiness
In happiness
Their days are spent

Source: Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, edited by Peter Kennedy. Kennedy says this song is usually classified as The Female Highwayman since the young lady's name varies from Sylvia to Sovie, Sovay, Shillo, Sally, Silvery, and so on; on broadside copies the title is sometimes given as Sylvia's Request and William's Denial.

DT #451 Laws N21

JRO

MIDI file: SYLVIA.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Sylvia
Text: By traditional
Copyright: From "Folksongs of Britain & Ireland," by Peter Kennedy
Key: G
TimeSig: 3/2 24 8
Start
0000 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 67 110 1008 0 67 000 0048 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 66 110 0336 0 66 000 0048 1 67 110 0096 0 67 000 0000 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 59 110 0528 0 59 000 0048 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0192 0 67 000 0000 1 66 110 0336 0 66 000 0048 1 64 110 0096 0 64 000 0000 1 63 110 0094 0 63 000 0002 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 59 110 0528 0 59 000 0048 1 67 110 0094 0 67 000 0002 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 71 110 0336 0 71 000 0048 1 71 110 0096 0 71 000 0000 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0256 0 67 000 0032 1 66 110 0094 0 66 000 0002 1 66 110 0528 0 66 000 0048 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 59 110 0160 0 59 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 66 110 0336 0 66 000 0048 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 64 110 0160 0 64 000 0032 1 71 110 0288 0 71 000 0000 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 66 110 0160 0 66 000 0032 1 64 110 0256 0 64 000 0032 1 63 110 0094 0 63 000 0002 1 64 110 1104 0 64 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Sylvia
M:3/2
Q:1/4=120
K:G
EG11|G2F4GFE2E2|B,6B,2B,2E2|G2F4E^DE2E2|B,6GAB2B2|
G2B4BAG3F|F6B,2B,2E2|G2F4E2E2E2|B3AG2F2E3^D|
E23/2||


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 09:02 PM

It's probably the A.L. Lloyd version of Sovay you're referring to. That's the one that has what sounds like a Balkan rhythm. The easiest way to deal with Balkan rhythms like that is to break them down into 2s and 3s. Eventually, you'll see where the 2s and 3s repeat, and you'll add up all the 2s and 3s and discover that they total 7 or 9 or 11 or 33 or whatever. Those are the complex compound rhythms that Balkan music is famous for. But remember that the time signatures are justa tool for notation. Many folks in the Balkan regions don't think 1-2 1-2 1-2-3; instead they think, short, short, long.


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 11:12 PM

Hi

That's the one Charlie, thanks... yes it does sound Balkan. I find it much easier to play things like 7/8 etc. if I don't count... just gets too confusing.

slainte

alison


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Subject: Tune Add: SOLVAY
From: alison
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 11:29 PM

Hi,

Ignore the fact that it says it's in 4/4 I just played it in that way. It's slightly different from the one in the database....... should give you the idea. Your tune was nice Joe, but I prefer this one.

MIDI file: SOVAY.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: Sovay
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Key: G
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0240 1 67 034 0238 0 67 034 0002 1 66 026 0238 0 66 026 0002 1 67 040 0238 0 67 040 0002 1 64 032 0478 0 64 032 0002 1 67 037 0478 0 67 037 0002 1 64 027 0238 0 64 027 0002 1 66 030 0238 0 66 030 0002 1 67 037 0238 0 67 037 0002 1 66 028 0478 0 66 028 0002 1 67 038 0238 0 67 038 0002 1 64 032 0238 0 64 032 0002 1 64 029 0238 0 64 029 0002 1 66 042 0456 0 66 042 0019 1 62 032 0463 1 59 035 0015 0 62 032 0193 1 61 035 0030 0 59 035 0208 0 61 035 0067 1 62 037 0224 1 64 042 0014 0 62 037 0453 0 64 042 0018 1 67 027 0115 1 69 031 0003 0 67 027 0084 1 71 046 0031 0 69 031 0247 1 67 040 0031 0 71 046 0207 0 67 040 0002 1 69 034 0458 1 71 029 0031 0 69 034 0177 1 67 038 0030 0 71 029 0230 0 67 038 0034 1 64 031 0238 0 64 031 0002 1 64 032 0238 0 64 032 0002 1 62 046 0704 1 59 030 0014 0 62 046 0224 0 59 030 0018 1 64 019 0238 0 64 019 0002 1 64 065 0238 0 64 065 0002 1 67 048 0478 0 67 048 0002 1 64 048 0320 0 64 048 0018 1 64 042 0140 0 64 042 0002 1 64 042 0238 0 64 042 0002 1 64 037 0238 0 64 037 0002 1 71 052 0478 0 71 052 0002 1 71 027 0238 0 71 027 0002 1 69 046 0238 0 69 046 0002 1 67 042 0238 0 67 042 0002 1 66 027 0238 0 66 027 0002 1 64 050 0958 0 64 050 0242 1 67 034 0238 0 67 034 0002 1 66 026 0238 0 66 026 0002 1 67 040 0238 0 67 040 0002 1 64 032 0478 0 64 032 0002 1 67 037 0478 0 67 037 0002 1 64 027 0238 0 64 027 0002 1 66 030 0238 0 66 030 0002 1 67 037 0238 0 67 037 0002 1 66 028 0478 0 66 028 0002 1 67 038 0238 0 67 038 0002 1 64 032 0238 0 64 032 0002 1 64 029 0238 0 64 029 0002 1 66 042 0456 0 66 042 0019 1 62 032 0463 1 59 035 0015 0 62 032 0193 1 61 035 0030 0 59 035 0208 0 61 035 0067 1 62 037 0224 1 64 042 0014 0 62 037 0453 0 64 042 0018 1 67 027 0115 1 69 031 0003 0 67 027 0084 1 71 046 0031 0 69 031 0247 1 67 040 0031 0 71 046 0207 0 67 040 0002 1 69 034 0458 1 71 029 0031 0 69 034 0177 1 67 038 0030 0 71 029 0230 0 67 038 0034 1 64 031 0238 0 64 031 0002 1 64 032 0238 0 64 032 0002 1 62 046 0704 1 59 030 0014 0 62 046 0224 0 59 030 0018 1 64 019 0238 0 64 019 0002 1 64 065 0238 0 64 065 0002 1 67 048 0478 0 67 048 0002 1 64 048 0320 0 64 048 0018 1 64 042 0140 0 64 042 0002 1 64 042 0238 0 64 042 0002 1 64 037 0238 0 64 037 0002 1 71 052 0478 0 71 052 0002 1 71 027 0238 0 71 027 0002 1 69 046 0238 0 69 046 0002 1 67 042 0238 0 67 042 0002 1 66 027 0238 0 66 027 0002 1 64 050 0958 0 64 050
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Sovay
M:4/4
Q:1/4=100
K:G
G2FGE2G2|EFGF2GEE|F2D2B,3/4^C5/4DE|-EG/2A/4B5/4GA2B3/4G5/4|
EED3B,EE|G2E3/2E/2EEB2|BAGFE4|-EGFGE2G2|EFGF2GEE|
F2D2B,3/4^C5/4DE|-EG/2A/4B5/4GA2B3/4G5/4|
EED3B,EE|G2E3/2E/2EEB2|BAGFE4||

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Grey Wolf
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 05:37 AM

Martin Carthy, quoting A L Lloyd mentions that Sovay is "a beautiful illustration of his and others' notion that all English folk music is cast in the time signature of one beat in a bar"

Wolf


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 04:02 AM

Frank Purslow, in The Wanton Seed (E.F.D.S., 1968) had this to say about Sovay:

A much printed song on broadsides where the heroine's name is usually Sophie or Sylvie; in later copies there is an additional first verse which adds absolutely nothing to the story.  The song is currently rather popular at the folk-song clubs and I would like to point out that the tune is not -as I recently heard an earnest young singer explain- in 7/4 time: the three notes at the beginning of 2nd and 4th complete bars are triplets, i.e. three notes in the time of two.  Apart from one notable exception, Riding Down To Portsmouth, the rhythm of 7-in-a-bar does not exist in English folk song.  It is just possible that the original timing of the tune was in 9/8, although I don't think so.  I would say that the song is a typical product of the 18th century pleasure gardens.

The version given in The Wanton Seed (from the Hammond & Gardiner collection, noted in Dorset in 1904) has substantially the same tune -in 3/2- as the one usually heard on modern recordings, though the triplets Purslow refers to have now disappeared; this is probably due to A.L. Lloyd, from whom almost everybody currently singing the song got their version at one remove or more: "In a couple of places I've added a pinch of spice to the rhythm", he said.  

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:22 AM

As a dyed in the wool Balkan and odd meter fanatic, I will point out that odd meters seem to have been common in folk and dance music of the Middle Ages, only to be evened-out in the composed court music that started what we now think of as classical music--the "slow"(1-2-3) part that Charlie described above tended to get turned into triplets--

You can make quite an amusing game out of retro-Balkanizing melodies such as jigs and hornpipes and other melodies that use triplets and simply playing the triplet figure as if it were three counts--generally, the feel will work out nicely in 7/8--

Some tunes, such as the melody associated with "Seventeen Come Sunday" sound so typically Balkan that it is almost impossible to resist making some otherwise completely unfounded prounoucement about their origins and age--

"Sovay" works really nicely in 7/8, but works just fine when you play the odd figure as triplets, as also mentioned above--


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:36 AM

transferred from another thread

slainte

alison


Subject: RE: Tunes in 9/8 why are they harder to play?
From: Kudzuman - PM
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:17 PM

Try 13/8 sometime. That's a booger!! I just notated out "Sovay" or "Newry Town" which a friend heard me do and said, "Oh, that's in 13/8 and seems to be grouped 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,1,2,3,4,5,6. Seemed to be about right on. That was a rough one to get just right, but I finally figured it out. Just listen and make the tune part of yourself and the timing will come after awhile. I played "Sovay" for years before knowing the timing. Love it and it can be yours!


Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:57 AM

Why????? Change threads Alison?????


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 02:02 AM

The answer is easy GUEST.

Alison is jealous.

The 9/8 signiture thread was specific and recieved over three times the hits in six DAYS...than Alison's amiguous thread recieved in six YEARS.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: GUEST,Me
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 02:54 AM

On the ABCs above. I recommend one use the L:1/n specification explicitly after the Q:1/n=jkl, so you determine the default note length. Without it ABC players will automatically determine the default note length they will use for the tune, but not all of them will automatically determine the same default note length. In Joe Offer's for instance the default note length is 1/12, and in Allison's it's 1/8.


Regional differences in singing styles can affect the timing although the melody really stays the same. In South East England there's a tendency to hold the first note in each measure a little longer than for normal in, say, 4/4, so the tune gets stretched to 5/4, a typical measure then being half, quarter, quarter, quarter. Elsewhere the 2nd stressed note in the measure is also stretched to get 6/4, = half, quarter, half, quarter, and this can then be retimed to 3/2 = quarter, eighth, quarter, eighth. The same melody can then give rather different sounding tunes.


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 05:39 AM

Tunes dont have time signatures, really. It's performances of tunes that do. If the question in this thread means "what rhythm does martin carthy sing the song in?" then it can be answered.
It is probably reasonable to say that tunes of this nature when they existed as dance tunes played by several instruments were 3/2 tunes. Detach them from their dance or instrumental ensemble function, and make them vehicles for narrative unaccompanied songs, and they loosen up. Then rearrange them for 1960's style folk revival guitar accompaniment, and they may become Balkanise into 7/8 or whatever, according to the tastes of the performer. The tune hasnt got a set time signature. That's a choice for you to make. It's a bit like like all those questions "What are the chords for such and such".Their is no set answer: you can say "Bob Dylan plays this sequence", or you can say "Stephen Foster actually wrote this sequence",or you can say "the chords are whatever you choose". All equally valid answers. And the same with the time signature for Sovay.


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: alison
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:01 AM

sorry to disappoint Gargoyle..... just thought I'd include it here as it was relevant... same as I'd cross-reference other related threads

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:22 AM

I see that the first post here was posted in 1998, so I guess it's not a surprise that the questioner has given up on getting the answer.

I saved the tune in the Digitrad into Noteworthy, and it's in 4/4. I tried fooling with it a bit, calling the first note a pick-up and seeing what happened when it was changed to 3/4. Nothing much was improved. I still think the first note is supposed to be a pick-up note.

The song has got a kind of timing that we aren't used to. For example, eighth note - quarter note - eighth note. This kind of timing occurs in really old music, such as the troubador songs from 13th (or was it 12th) century France. Think Guillaume Machaut here.
I'm in a hurry, so sorry if my scholarship isn't right on the button.


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Subject: RE: Time signature?????
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:18 PM

An interesting quote I would like to throw in is from an Old book of traditional songs 'Before Tin Pan Alley put a musical straight jacket on the peoples ears' songs were sung in all sorts of timings.
If you remember that traditionally songs were sung unaccompanied and
instruments were only used for dance or church music,the voice is far more versatile than any instrument.
IF you wish to put accompaniment to a song that was originally only done as a vocal piece,that is YOUR problem,so just get to be a better musician.
And please dont take this as an insult-there are a lot of songs I would not attempt to accompany myself.


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