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Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....

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GUEST,Duffy 15 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM
Noreen 15 Nov 03 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Duffy 15 Nov 03 - 11:46 AM
8_Pints 15 Nov 03 - 11:54 AM
Noreen 15 Nov 03 - 12:36 PM
Geoff the Duck 15 Nov 03 - 12:43 PM
Snuffy 15 Nov 03 - 07:58 PM
Barry T 16 Nov 03 - 12:44 AM
Leadfingers 16 Nov 03 - 07:30 AM
M.Ted 18 Nov 03 - 10:23 AM
GUEST, Mikefule 18 Nov 03 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM
Cluin 18 Nov 03 - 11:03 PM
GUEST, Mikefule 19 Nov 03 - 02:40 AM
GUEST,GUEST,monkey cat 30 May 09 - 07:15 PM
Sorcha 30 May 09 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,monkey cat 30 May 09 - 07:42 PM
Don Firth 30 May 09 - 07:46 PM
Jack Campin 30 May 09 - 07:56 PM
Les in Chorlton 31 May 09 - 03:21 AM
Stringsinger 31 May 09 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 31 May 09 - 07:07 AM
Les in Chorlton 31 May 09 - 07:16 AM
Sorcha 31 May 09 - 08:25 AM
Murray MacLeod 31 May 09 - 08:32 AM
SteveMansfield 31 May 09 - 11:36 AM
Don Firth 31 May 09 - 01:32 PM
Newport Boy 31 May 09 - 03:06 PM
Les in Chorlton 31 May 09 - 04:14 PM
Mary Humphreys 01 Jun 09 - 05:21 AM
greg stephens 01 Jun 09 - 07:37 AM
s&r 01 Jun 09 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Lock and Key 01 Jun 09 - 02:02 PM
SteveMansfield 02 Jun 09 - 03:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Jun 09 - 04:59 AM
Les in Chorlton 18 Mar 15 - 10:15 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 15 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,# 18 Mar 15 - 10:48 AM
Les in Chorlton 18 Mar 15 - 11:04 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 15 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,# 18 Mar 15 - 12:20 PM
Joe Offer 18 Mar 15 - 01:16 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 15 - 01:38 PM
Joe Offer 18 Mar 15 - 01:51 PM
Vic Smith 18 Mar 15 - 03:06 PM
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Joe Offer 19 Mar 15 - 02:06 AM
FreddyHeadey 19 Mar 15 - 04:34 AM
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GUEST,leeneia 19 Mar 15 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,# 19 Mar 15 - 09:43 AM
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Subject: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,Duffy
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM

Can anyone explain how you tell the difference between 2/4 and 4/4 time...? thanks....DK


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 11:43 AM

Listen to the stresses on the beats.
If it goes 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 it's 4/4 time,
if it goes 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 it's 2/4.

(vast simplification of course- does that help?)


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,Duffy
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 11:46 AM

Thanks, Noreen, i'll do a little listening....DK


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: 8_Pints
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 11:54 AM

A hornpipe is a 2/4 dance tune that usually has a chracteristic ending ......

A march is 4/4 time.

Regards,

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 12:36 PM

Ah, Bob, but hornpipes are sometimes written in 4/4 (see O'Neill's for many different ways of writing out hornpipes- but they're still hornpipes!) and some marches are written in 2/4, some in 2/2, some in 6/8...

Not a simple subject!


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 12:43 PM

A lot would depend on what sort of tune you are looking at, and why you wish to know.
For instance, a march is usually in 4/4 time, but a fast march can be in 2/4 or even 6/8 (where the emphasis is split into two groups of three notes).
Hornpipes and reels both get written in 2/4 (also written as a C with a vertical slash through it - 4/4 is COMMON TIME and 2/4 is HALF COMMON TIME), but the rhythm of a hornpipe is very different from that of the reel.
A lot of tunes are written to fit certain conventions of notation, but there will always be other ones which get written "against type", because the person doing the notation is being deliberately awkward, or trying to be "clever".
I hope some of this is of use to you.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Snuffy
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 07:58 PM

I always thought a hornpipe was actually a dotted 4/4, whereas a reel was really 2/2 but still written as 4/4


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Barry T
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 12:44 AM

You would probably be wise to avoid reference to the word march as representative of a particular time signature. As the name implies, the term's origin relates to tunes played for marching troops. The most common time signatures are 4/4, 2/4, 3/4 and 6/8. But you can add 9/8, 12/8, and 5/4 to the list.

Amazingly, the troops at this year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo marched to a medley of reels (2/2 in pipe music). Geez, now I'm confused! ;-)

Joking aside, I think Noreen is on the mark when she makes reference to the phrasing as the distinguishing characteristic.

- - -


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 07:30 AM

Think in terms of Stress. If you can say Rangers Celtic in time with the music it is definately in 4/4.And its a Ree; If Polka Polka fits better its in 2/4. If you find you are saying Liverpool Everton,this is a Jig in 6/8 and if you find its Liverpool Everton Manchester,Its one of these 9/8 Slip jig thingies. And DONT ask about 5/4 - Its Bloody Awful.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 10:23 AM

A time signature is a convenience for the reader--it just tells you how many beats to count to the measure and what the note value is for each beat--above and beyond that, there are conventions as to which time signature goes with which(as folks have mentioned above), but people break them or "re-invent" them all the time, both intentionally and unintentionally--It is perfectly possible to write a waltz in a 4/4 time signature(and it is done occasionally)--

The guideline generally has to do with this: every melody has an underlying beat or pulse(sometimes played outright, sometimes just implied)--and it also has a typical rhythmic phrase which also sometimes played outright, sometimes implied. The time signature depends on how many underlying beats it takes to complete the rhythmic phrase.

For instance, if the rhythmic phrase is: deedledeedle baba deedledeedle baba, 2/4 is probably a good choice, If it is Deedledeedle deedledeedle deedle baba, then 4/4 is probably a good choice--
(sorry for getting technical here)

It often is very murky though, because a lot of music is polyrhythmic, which is to say, there are a number of parts, each with a different pulse--one part may go "BumBum BumBum" another may go"buttabuttaButta ButtaButta ButtaButta ButtaButta" and another "ShoopShoop Shoobadoo"--In which case you just pick the time signature that is easiest to read, which is what is really about in the first place--


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 07:42 PM

In 2/4 and 4/4, the important thing is the 2/ or the 4/    .


The value at the bottom of the fraction is one of convenience. So 4/4 or 4/8 or 4/2 can all sound exactly the same. It's just that the composer chose a given value of note as the standard unit for that piece of score because it was a convenient size when writing out sections with lots of notes per beat or lots of beats per note.

In proper music, 2/4 time goes:
1,2|1,2|1,2|1,2|    or
1 & 2 &| 1& 2 & | 1 & 2 & | 1 & 2 & |

And 4/4 goes
1,2,3,4|1,2,3,4| etc. with the emphasis on the 1.

Thing is, that 4/4 often has a secondary emphasis on beat 3, and it's only a small step from that to going One and two and one and two and which is the same as 2/4.

So, the simple answer is it's one of emphasis. It's nothing to do with how many notes there are per bar, or the length or value of the notes, or the speed of the music.

Folk music wasn't composed deliberately to fit the strict rules of formal music, which is why it isn't always possible to be precise about whether a tune is 2/4 or 4/4. Similarly, 2/4 and 6/8 easily blur into each other, because 6/8 has two pulses per bar, and 2/4 has 2 beats per bar. When playing percussion, I often naturally drop into playing triplets behind a 2/4 hornpipe.

The easy way to tell the difference is to walk along, humming the tune (or, if you prefer, whistling it). Now, are you counting LEFT right LEFT right with your feet, or LEFT right left right LEFT right left right?

If you can't tell one way or the other, or it slips from one to the other, fine. That's folk music. Look at Morris music in the famous Black Book for examples of tumnes where the time signature changes part way through phrases as the collectors strove (strived?) to fit folk music into formal notation.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM

Related to trouble with the 9/8 signiture.... which is requently taught as 3/4, the priamary difference ....as noted by Noreen is more than note/meter signiture.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 11:03 PM

So... a C in 2/4 time would be a bouncy C?


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 19 Nov 03 - 02:40 AM

Nothing wrong with a bouncy C, but is this the place to discuss them ;0)


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Subject: whats the diffrence
From: GUEST,GUEST,monkey cat
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:15 PM

i dont get it still what is the diffrence between 4/4 time and 2/4 time


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:22 PM

Well, one goes 1-2,1-2 the other goes 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. Either 2 beats to a measure or 4 beats....both quarter notes...quavers. What's so hard?


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,monkey cat
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:42 PM

ooooooooooooooooohhhhhh ok thanks Sorcha!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:46 PM

In 2/4, the first beat of each measure receives the stress.

1 - 2 | 1 - 2 | 1 - 2 | etc.

In 4/4, the first beat of each measure receives the main stress and the third beat is also stressed, but not as strongly as the first beat.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 | 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 | etc.

The difference can be quite subtle.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:56 PM

If you're playing with a conductor the difference is obvious: you get four rhythmic cues to the bar in 4/4 and only two in 2/2 or 2/4.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 31 May 09 - 03:21 AM

I think it might be useful if examples of 2/4 and 4/4 were given.

L in C


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 May 09 - 07:01 AM

The difference is rhythmic emphasis. A strong beat on ONE two, ONE two has a different
feel than ONE two three four, ONE two three four.

Some of the Sousa Marches are written in 2/4 and 6/8 in the time signature.

Early jazz (often called two beat) used a 2/4 time signature. The fox trot in the 30's emphasized a 4/4 or swing style rhythm.

I find it convenient to write out jazz solos in cut time (fast 4/4). The Earl Scruggs book correctly writes the note values in 2/4 since this is the main emphasis for bluegrass.

The "hornpipe" vrs. "reel" annotation is really vague. Both types of music can be written 2/4 or cut time (fast 4/4) and still retain the correct emphasis.

A lot has to do with how you ascribe the note value to the tune. An eighth note suggests a shorter value but doesn't necessarily have to be played that way. Four sixteenths in a bar of 2/4 is equivalent to four eighths in 4/4. The notation is a matter of convention.

I know it sounds as if though I'm contradicting myself here, but the true measure (no pun intended) is not the notes on the page but how they are interpreted. In cut time you can emphasize the first and the third beat equally which would suggest the same as 2/4.

Frank


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 31 May 09 - 07:07 AM

Just to befuddle the question.

There is a noted cultural difference between the accented (hand clapping) beats in the Black and White populations that is especially noticable in church services.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I will leave the explanation to the "Mudcat's Resident Black Ethnologist"


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 31 May 09 - 07:16 AM

Examples please from tunes that most of us know?

L in C


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Sorcha
Date: 31 May 09 - 08:25 AM

Then there is 4/4 on the 'back beat'. Some Shetland tunes for example, Biddy I'm Not Jesting, the emphasis is on beats 2 and 4 rather than 1 and 3.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 May 09 - 08:32 AM

I would love to know in which time signature June Tabor and Martin Simpson are playing Heather Down the Moor

5/4 ?, 9/8 ?, 11/16 ?

or maybe it's a metric size ...


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 31 May 09 - 11:36 AM

Examples ....

4/4?
Soldier's Joy
AFDF AFDF | A2 d2 d2 cB | AFDF AFDF | G2 E2 E2 FG | etc.
1 2 3 4    1 2 3 4    1 2 3 4    1 2 3 4

2/4?
John Ryan's polka
dd B/c/d/B/ | AF AF | dd B/c/d/B/ | AF ED
1 2          1 2    1 2          1 2

Try playing either of those with the opposite emphasis (e.g. John Ryan's with an exaggerated 1234 beat, or Soldier's Joy with an exaggerated 12 beat, and you'll (hopefully) get the difference ...


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 May 09 - 01:32 PM

The story has been told about a couple of different conductors, but the main vote is for Arturo Toscanini, who was excellent with most music, but who had occasional trouble with some of the more modern compositions.

The orchestra rehearsal was going badly. A large section of the modern piece they were scheduled to play on their upcoming program was in 5/4, and they just didn't seem to be able to get the hang of it. Especially the conductor.

They broke for lunch. And the fellow who told the story originally said that he was sitting in the rehearsal hall, listening, and noted that in the afternoon, suddenly everything seemed to be going smoothly. They were getting it.

He noticed that the conductor seemed to be muttering to himself as he conducted. So he crept up beside the conductor and listened. The conductor was chanting the name of a Russian composer over and over:

"Rimsky-Korsakov-Rimsky-Korsakov-Rimsky-Korsakov-Rimsky-Korsakov. . . "

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Newport Boy
Date: 31 May 09 - 03:06 PM

An excellent example of 5/4 is "There is an Alehouse" on Mary Humphreys & Anahata's CD "Cold Fen" - actually, I think it may be 5/8, but they sound the same.

It's a beautiful performance.

Phil


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 31 May 09 - 04:14 PM

Thanks sfmans, that explains things better than all the others put together.

Anymore examples from people who pass this way?

L in C


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 05:21 AM

Thank you Phil ( Newport Boy) for those kind words.
For anyone interested in unusual time signatures in English music,There is an Alehouse was only one of many songs collected in Cottenham, Cambridgeshire by Ella Bull from their family servants and friends. A large proportion of the songs were in 5/4 time. Ella, a keen amateur musician intended to publish the tunes and songs via Lucy Broadwood of the English Folk Song Society, but was perplexed by the time signatures, so held up publication until she could be certain of getting it right. Ella tried to put them into the straight-jacket of orthodox time signatures such as 4/4, but was never satisfied with her attempts. It was Percy Merrick who came to her aid and suggested that they be written in 5/4 time, which, of course, solved all the problems. Her comment was " When I begain writing out tunes I did not know that 5/4 time was still extant".
Unsurprisingly, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who visited Charlotte Dann, one of Ella's sources, had no trouble at all in writing down the 5/4 tunes she sang including, There is an Alehouse.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 07:37 AM

What people should be always aware of when discussing this kind of thing in relation to folk music, is that notation is notation. It is not music. And therefore it is not always a meaningful question to say "What is the difference between 2/4 and 4/4?". You cannot, for example, say Soldier's Joy is in 2/4, or Soldier's Joy is in 4/4. You could write the tune out in either, as people have done over the last two centuries. But the way I play Soldiers Joy is the way I play Soldiers Joy, it is not affected in the least by how I might choose to write the tune on a bit of paper. So if you imagine that the choice of 2/4 or 4/4 implies any suggestion as to how the music might be played, you would probably be imagining wrong. The only practical difference in this case is that in 2/4 the fast notes are written as semi-quavers, and in 4/4 they would be written as quavers.
(These remarks apply only to 2/4 v 4/4. There are, of course, real structural differences between 3/4 and 6/8 and 5/4 and so on).


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 11:35 AM

2/2 is two beats to the bar, each beat being a minim. It is known as cut time, cut common time, and alla breve. Although there may be four crotchets in a cut time bar, it isn't 4/4 (common time). A lot of confusion arises when the crotchet is described as one beat.

Stu


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,Lock and Key
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:02 PM

You can HEAR the various times on this site. Hope it helps.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 03:16 AM

So if you imagine that the choice of 2/4 or 4/4 implies any suggestion as to how the music might be played, you would probably be imagining wrong. The only practical difference in this case is that in 2/4 the fast notes are written as semi-quavers, and in 4/4 they would be written as quavers.

Actually I'd disagree with that Greg. The choice of 4/4 rather than 2/4 is doing precisely that, in that is is indicating whether there are an underlying 4 beats to the bar or 2.

I stand by my notation of Soldiers Joy in 4/4 but my other example above, John Ryan's, perhaps better illustrates the point I was trying to make - play John Ryan's with four beats to the bar and the whole feel of the tune is different to playing the same tune with two beats to the bar.

The notation of a trad/folk melody is only the beginning of a fully-rounded performance of that tune, with ornamentation and maybe a few subtle variations second time round, supplied by the experience, skill, and taste of the performer. In that respect the 'dots on the page' are closer to an aide-memoire or a snapshot than a full performing score. I've said it before, and I'll no doubt say it again, that the real art of playing trad tunes from the dots is in playing all the stuff *between* the dots. But one part of the basic framework of a tune that the dots can provide very easily is an indication of the underlying pulse, and that comes from the choice of time signature.


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 04:59 AM

Thanks Lock & Key looks most useful.

Again, much good advice sfmans. I guess it's worth remembering that these are essentially dance tunes and that has significance in terms of how the accents and rhythms work?

L in C


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Subject: Time signatures
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 10:15 AM

As a relative newcomer to playing off the dots I am endlessly confused by time signatures. With a bit of help and luck I can play most simple dance tunes regardless of the TS. 3/4, 6/8 and even the mighty 9/8 are 'clear' to me. I can play simple tunes in 2/2, 2/4 and 4/4 but I do not understand the difference and how to respond to that difference when I play a tune.

Once I have learned a tune I generally play from memory so it only matters at the digging out and learning stages.

Can anyone explain in simple word the difference between 2/2, 2/4 and 4/4 or direct me to a site that might help?


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Subject: RE: Time signatures
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 10:21 AM

For people like us, 2/4 is a polka. Think I'll Tell Me Ma. 2/2 sounds like someone having a laugh. 4/4 covers lots of things with four in a bar, but think reels.


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Subject: RE: Time signatures
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 10:48 AM

The following thread might help, Les.

thread.cfm?threadid=64469#1054146


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Subject: RE: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 11:04 AM

I don't think the site locks and keys gives is still working


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Subject: RE: Time signatures
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 11:48 AM

The top number tells you how many beats (or points of emphasis) there are in each bar. The bottom number tells you how the beats are written.

If the bottom number is 2 then the beats are written as minims or 1/2 notes, if the bottom number is 4 then the beats are written as crotchets or 1/4 notes and if the bottom number is 8 then they are written as quavers or 1/8 notes.

So a bar of 4/4 has four beats and a bar of 2/4 has two beats even though they both contain the same value of notes.

It's not simplified by the fact that some people play 4/4 like 2/4 and vice versa and compound tempos like 6/8 3/8 and 9/8 play each triplet as a single beat.

The truth is the time signature for folk tunes is not something to worry too much about. If you can play the tune you are fine.


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Subject: RE: Time signatures
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 12:20 PM

http://www.infiniteguitar.com/metronome.php

That should help, Les. Takes a minute to figure out and then Bob's yer uncle.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 01:16 PM

That's a great tool, #!
We have a gifted choir director who's able to get us old choir people to catch onto such things while she's directing. She doesn't just move her hands to direct - she dances with her whole body. But when she's not with us, the understanding fades. The metronome # found helps my understanding a lot, although I'm not sure that I'm a firm believer yet that there's a whole hell of a lot of difference between 2/2 and 2/4 and 4/4. Maybe we could say 2/2 is like dribbling a basketball, and 4/4 like marching [hut, 2, 3, 4], but 2/4?
-Joe-

I combined the two threads. I hope that makes more sense of things. -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 01:38 PM

I think that 2/4, as "employed" in our Irish polkas, etc., is pretty distinct from the other #/4s.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 01:51 PM

Yeah, Steve, but I'm looking for a memorable, stick-in-your-head sound that would make it clear. Hmmmm. Maybe:
    Dummkopf, Dummkopf, Dummkopf, Dummkopf

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:06 PM

At this confusing point in the thread, I'd just like to muddy the waters even further:-

A lot of traditional music has Common Time (A large 'C') in the tempo signature part. I know that this is a sort of 4/4 time but no-one has ever been able to satisfactorily explain the difference to me.

One of the most used sources for English dance tunes at the moment is the very fine Hardcore English which has a long section of tunes Tunes in Common Time. Right these will all be marked with the 'common time' large 'C', won't they? Well, no, In fact none are marked in common time; they are all marked in 4/4...... apart, of course, from the ones that are marked in 2/4.

Then again, a lot of traditional tune manuscripts are tempo marked with a large 'C' with a vertical line through it or Alla Breve. Now I know this is a form of 2/2 but again what the difference is has never been satisfactorily explained to me.

I hope this post helps to make things less clear.
I think what has been written in this thread makes a strong case for learning the tunes that you want to play by ear.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:12 PM

I nearly said that right at the beginning, Vic, but I thought I was too nice...


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 03:15 PM

http://piano.about.com/od/musicaltermsa1/g/GL_common-time.htm

See if that helps, Vic.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Vic Smith
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 04:33 PM

Thank you Guest is the key of G (or E minor) The explanation on that website was straightforward and as much as I need to know. I really liked the fact that Common time (is) also "imperfect time". I think that means that all my playing is in common time!

I also enjoyed reading how this came about - that its origins are a bit more divine in nature. Wow! Intriguing. Read on, Vic. the complete circle and the number 3 were regarded as perfect – the circle because of its infinite line, and 3 because it represented the Holy Trinity. This led to triple meter (also called "perfect time").... while imperfect time – a type of quadruple meter – was written using an incomplete, "imperfect" circle.

Right that's it. No more waltzes, mazurkas or 3/2 hornpipes for me in case I accidentally start a new heresy.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 04:49 PM

LOL The new beginnings of rock and roll :-)


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 06:21 PM

I've made a MIDI which duplicates what my piano teacher taught me. She played the famous theme from Beethoven's 9th, first in 4/4 and then in 2/4 time. The difference in the accompaniment is what you notice first. In the 2/4 version, there is a strong 'ONE-two ONE-two' sound, with the first beat loud and the second softer.

In 4/4, the first beat is the loudest, then three are softer. You can make the third beat somewhat louder, if you wish, but that's for another day.

I'll have the MIDI play in 4/4, then there will be a pause, then it will play in 2/4. I'm sending it to JOe for posting.

I believe 2/2 is like 2/4, only slower. Will have to check on that.

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:51 PM

There are a lot of 2/4 pipe marches in Scottish music, so yes, you would walk one step for each beat. On the other hand ... To start off without an intro and do a "count-in" , I would usually say 1-2 - 1234 ( the 1234 being 4 quavers) - it gives the band a better idea of desired speed than 1-2- 1-2-

As an aside, there are pipe marches in 6/8, 9/8 and even one I know of in 5/4! I heard someone say you couldn't possibly march to it: of course you can - LRLRL then RLRLR.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 02:06 AM

MIDI from Leeneia posted. See link in her post. My Chromebook won't play MIDI files. Please, somebody test this, or tell me how to get a Chromebook to play MIDIs. -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 04:34 AM

Tattle Bogle's 5/4 : Cullen Bay ?
Great bit of drumming too. Lost me.
more drumming


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 04:43 AM

Yes, Cullen Bay. What lost you? One step to each tap of the lead piper's foot. (Or what he was doing before they started playing. ) so quite a quick march.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 05:21 AM

:-) I'm OK with the LRLRL RLRLR
it was the side drum -the pattern of the rolls.
I'll take another listen later.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 09:37 AM

There was a few hours delay before the MIDI (click to play) appeared in my post above. Have a listen, especially to the guitar part.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 09:43 AM

Excellent, leeneia.


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Mar 15 - 11:00 AM

Midi won't play in Mac either (missing plug-in). Will try on Windows laptop later.

Aha, the drums have it, Freddy!


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM

Thanks folks, I will re-read all the posts and see how that helps - I feel sure it will


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Subject: RE: Time Signatures: 2/4 or 4/4 time....
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Mar 15 - 10:19 AM

I'm glad you like it, #.


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