treeboxterry wrote:To answer your question that I've quoted - I finish my cycle at 5 because, clearly, at the end of 5 - his next downbeat is a new chord. He gives five downbeats to one chord - and four downbeats to the next chord.
Actually, if I am doing it correctly, and I think I am, after five is not a new chord, instead little joe is hitting the higher strings of his guitar and providing an accent yes, but a new chord no.
treeboxterry wrote:If I were expressing the feel and time of this little groove to other musicians who walked in to play it... I would not tell them to think 18 beats. I can hear how one could superimpose that - but it ignores the relaxed sense of the piece.
I agree, I would definitely not tell some musicians that it's an 18 bar phrase. I was just trying to point out why your method of counting lined up at the beginning of the cycle.
treeboxterry wrote:I believe that the swing and feel of Joe's guitar - especially if you consider the last note of his single notes transition to be 1, and the first chord he hits after that last note to be 2 - suggests 5 and 4, regardless of how five has been historically represented.
Well, if we think "regardless of how 5 has been historically represented" then there is no point to anything we are saying. When someone asks "what time sig is this in?" what we are doing is giving an answer entirely based on how rhythms have been historically represented. If not then we would have 15 different examples (sort of like in this thread
) That is the the main purpose of music theory and notation etc. To quantify past examples so that we may use, understand, and appreciate them. When someone asks what time signature something is in, it is a very specific theoretical question. And especially in a pop example like this, there is a very clear specific answer.
What I feel some people are not hearing is, there are 3 chords. They are played with exactly the same rhythm. That rhythm is a classic 4/4 rhythm. You just have to trust me. To ignore the fact that there are 3 chords played with identical rhythm, and not to group them into some sort of logical grouping is just stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the 300 years of musical history that have come before. And when we talk about theory that's what we do. We base our ideas on some well tested methods of aural observation. I'm all for writing your own musical lexicon and changing the game, but in lieu of that...we have the rules given to us.
treeboxterry wrote:I think that the key here is the word "cycle", which you and I both used. I've listened to a lot of Indian music, Gamelan and jazz - so I'm very aware of the use of cycles and irregular patterns in music. And I believe that young musicians, or those who don't have formal training (at least yet) can express music in a spontaneous outburst of feeling - using that original spark of creativity can often result in unusual, even uncomfortable cycles for some listeners.
In the past, as a sort of pseudo-jazz player I used to show up with a new tune to show to the band... and somebody would inevitably ask how I came up with that strange time thing. I didn't get there by imposing a concept on something - I got there by feeling a groove or cycle. Later on, we would figure out how to express it in a time signature if necessary.
I love all that, we definitely listen to some of the same stuff bro. As someone who played in a javanese gamelan ensemble, I can attest to the fact that they do hear things in a different way, the here longer forms for sure, especially the gong who sometimes waits ages before striking again. But little joe isn't playing gamelan, and in our system we have very strong signposts to help dictate rhythm and meter.
treeboxterry wrote:Did you ever listen to "River Man", by Nick Drake? It's on his 'Five Leaves Left" album. It's a beautiful example of 5/4...without the usual bump. I would recommend that you listen to it if you have not.
If I have a favorite band - it's Radiohead. I am very familiar with the two examples you mentioned. I do hear 10 in "right place" and 5 in "15 step". Yes, maybe it's not the usual bump either... but I would bet that if you asked Thom Yorke if he was thinking in 10 or 5 for either of those tunes - he would probably respond...hmmmmm.. let's see...
I am a nick drake fanatic. As well as radiohead. Actually in my opinion, "River Man", "Take 5" and "15 step" all exhibit the bump I mean to convey in 5/4. "Bump" isn't very clear so I'll elaborate. The classic way to play 5/4 is in a grouping of 3 then 2. Then with a slight accent, whether through dynamics, melodically or harmonically, on the 4 and 5.
[1 2 3] [4 5
Nowhere does little joe do that. Now that's not to say that it's definitive, but it's a good starting point. But anyways, those above songs, as well as mission impossible theme, and some jesus christ superstar tunes, all employ that cliche. Which is what I call the bump. "everything in it's right place" however is not in any odd meter. although the beat total is 10, it's divided up into to 4+4+2.
treeboxterry wrote:I know that as an academic, one must learn to define, place, and categorize in order to bring order to things that may be vague or ambiguous. It's a valuable, irreplaceable skill that we all recognize. Sometimes though, we just have to quiet our mind's critical overview, and feel, in order to understand something in a different way. I'm not saying that either approach is superior. They can both lead to the same understanding.
This is often an argument people who haven't studied music theory speak from. And while it has, maybe, some validity, it is kind of strange, because I once knew less and then I learned a bunch. I have been in both places. The person who has not has only been in one. And my mind is much more quiet now. My "critical overview", and command of theory is due to my undying love and lifelong dedication to music. So I don't know how I can really "feel" anymore than that. The "quiet mind" of Zen Buddhism you reference, is achieved in monks from countless hours of study and discipline and immersion in their art.
I am indie rock free jazz freak, definitely not an academic in the classic sense, and I can tell you that I enjoy the visceral aspects of music more than anything. You'll just again have to trust me, from over here on the other side. I feel infinitely more with music now than when I was ignorant to it's workings.