Jump to content


Photo

A Question on Grouping Notes


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 harrylau

harrylau

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Member: 4673
    Joined: 12-September 05
  • Hong Kong

Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:16

As in the AB guide said, "the standard practice is to avoid ties where possible". Now I have a simple song (for vocalist) which contains a lot of off-beats, as shown below:

IPB Image

A is following the AB guide rule while B is easier to count the beats.

Which one is correct (or better), A or B? If B, do I need to beam the quavers in the third beat in bars 1,5 and 6?

Thank you for your help! smile.gif
  • 0

#2 CJB

CJB

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2012 posts
  • Member: 4076
    Joined: 05-July 05

Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:35

QUOTE(harrylau @ Jan 30 2012, 04:16 AM) View Post

As in the AB guide said, "the standard practice is to avoid ties where possible". Now I have a simple song (for vocalist) which contains a lot of off-beats, as shown below:


A is following the AB guide rule while B is easier to count the beats.

Which one is correct (or better), A or B? If B, do I need to beam the quavers in the third beat in bars 1,5 and 6?

Thank you for your help! smile.gif


Hmmm I think B is more 'correct' as it observes the showing the 1/2 bar rule of grouping. If I was being asked to play it I'd much prefer to see A as at least to me it is clearer. Regarding the beaming, I suspect the 'correct' answer is yes, but again to my eye it is more readable unbeamed.

I regularly find myself sightreading in concerts or playing with minimal rehearsals - if a composer/arranger can make the parts easy to read I always appreciate it.
  • 0

#3 briantrumpet

briantrumpet

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Member: 12403
    Joined: 24-June 07
  • Exeter

Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:40

QUOTE(CJB @ Jan 30 2012, 08:35 AM) View Post
Hmmm I think B is more 'correct' as it observes the showing the 1/2 bar rule of grouping. If I was being asked to play it I'd much prefer to see A as at least to me it is clearer. Regarding the beaming, I suspect the 'correct' answer is yes, but again to my eye it is more readable unbeamed.

I regularly find myself sightreading in concerts or playing with minimal rehearsals - if a composer/arranger can make the parts easy to read I always appreciate it.

B is indeed more correct for exactly that reason (you need to be able to see where the half-bar is), and is the reason I'd much rather be sight-reading from B (preferably with the 3rd beat quavers beamed). (For instance, at speed I simply can't sense a minim displaced by a quaver as in bar 1 - but being able to see the tied-over-ness onto the start of the second half of the bar tells me clearly where it finishes.) I too frequently find myself sight-reading 'on the gig' (as I was doing on Saturday night for an hour's-worth of big band) and when I analyse any reading errors on my part, my being unable to see the middle of the bar is one of the most frequent causes of misplayed rhythms.
  • 0

#4 Alicia Ocean

Alicia Ocean

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2371 posts
  • Member: 10842
    Joined: 21-April 07
  • Teacher of Piano and Flute

Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:48

I have a couple of pieces of music where a bar is repeated and each version of notation is used. (most weird). It's very hard to read where the beats are and so I draw in some extra notes and then tie them.

When teaching theory I always say to put a note on each beat and then tie out any that are not needed. It's necessary for the pupil to be able to recognise all systems but I like a secure one for the exams.
  • 0

#5 Neumer

Neumer

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 77838
    Joined: 13-October 09
  • Nottinghamshire

Posted 30 January 2012 - 20:41

As you say, B is more correct.

When I studied composition, most of the tutors agreed that if you have an awkward bar that can convey the meaning of your writing better to the performer, it's quite normal to stray from strict convention. Ease of performing being the important thing.

For me, I'd go for version B in bar 1 (clearer across the bar), then version A in bar 5, and version B again in bar 6. [odd bar numbering by the way]

Also, I suppose it's also important to think what it's being notated for. If formal educational purposes, check with a tutor for the policy on such an issue. For your own purposes, use common sense and discretion, keeping the performer in mind.

Hope this helps.

N
  • 0

#6 Czerny

Czerny

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4253 posts
  • Member: 21097
    Joined: 07-December 07

Posted 30 January 2012 - 20:50

QUOTE(briantrumpet @ Jan 30 2012, 09:40 AM) View Post

B is indeed more correct for exactly that reason (you need to be able to see where the half-bar is), and is the reason I'd much rather be sight-reading from B (preferably with the 3rd beat quavers beamed). (For instance, at speed I simply can't sense a minim displaced by a quaver as in bar 1 - but being able to see the tied-over-ness onto the start of the second half of the bar tells me clearly where it finishes.) I too frequently find myself sight-reading 'on the gig' (as I was doing on Saturday night for an hour's-worth of big band) and when I analyse any reading errors on my part, my being unable to see the middle of the bar is one of the most frequent causes of misplayed rhythms.

Totally agree.
  • 0

#7 briantrumpet

briantrumpet

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Member: 12403
    Joined: 24-June 07
  • Exeter

Posted 30 January 2012 - 22:20

QUOTE(Czerny @ Jan 30 2012, 08:50 PM) View Post
Totally agree.

Come on! - this is the internet - I was hoping for a better fight than that.

Incidentally, to expand my comment about being able to sense the placement of a note within the bar (I'm not differentiating here between what it looks like on the page and the body feel of the same), this does, of course, rely on a whole bunch of skills:

Reading-wise: to be able to recognise small rhythmic cliche units, and to see how they relate to the bar unit and important pulses within the bar. (More advanced skill: to be able to read groups of cliches in sequence at speed.)

Body-wise: immediately being able to access the visually recognised cliches as a preformed aural/body unit, and to relate that to the groove/bar subdivisions.

(Incidentally, the reason I always give for not being allowed to put a minim rest in the middle of a 4/4 bar is that it is impossible to feel a rest as being syncopated, unlike a note.)

So .... this is all why it's important to follow the conventions - firstly, we need the fewest number of preformed notational units to express all the rhythmic cliches that we are hoping the player will play correctly first time; and secondly we need notation which does not disguise where important pulses within the bar are, so the eyes/body don't get conflicting messages. Oh, and then use the fewest bits of notation you can get away with (without transgressing on the previous two principles).

(Edit - apologies for the lack of acute accents over the e's in 'cliche'. Looks horrible, but this forum doesn't like accents - pah!)
  • 0

#8 harrylau

harrylau

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Member: 4673
    Joined: 12-September 05
  • Hong Kong

Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:36

This just seems to be a simple question, but your discussion (or even like a debate) made me learnt a lot!

Thank you all. smile.gif
  • 0

#9 HelenVJ

HelenVJ

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1186 posts
  • Member: 1265
    Joined: 03-May 04
  • South-East London ( OK - Penge)

Posted 01 February 2012 - 13:23

Personally, I would find A a lot easier to read, even if B is more strictly 'correct'. Also, I think the opening rest is a little fussy - it'd be quite OK just to start with the upbeat.
Apologies if that's confusing rather than helpful.
  • 0

#10 Czerny

Czerny

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4253 posts
  • Member: 21097
    Joined: 07-December 07

Posted 01 February 2012 - 14:49

QUOTE(briantrumpet @ Jan 30 2012, 10:20 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Czerny @ Jan 30 2012, 08:50 PM) View Post
Totally agree.

Come on! - this is the internet - I was hoping for a better fight than that.

laugh.gif

I find sight-reading syncopated rhythms much less straightforward when the middle of the bar is obscured.
  • 0

#11 briantrumpet

briantrumpet

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Member: 12403
    Joined: 24-June 07
  • Exeter

Posted 02 February 2012 - 00:00

QUOTE(Czerny @ Feb 1 2012, 02:49 PM) View Post
I find sight-reading syncopated rhythms much less straightforward when the middle of the bar is obscured.

I guess that that's what I was trying to say in lots more words.

If you sight read regularly in a big band context, you soon find out good/bad notation practice, as evidenced by the amount of misreading in the band (assuming they are good readers). It makes me cross when arrangers waste a band's time by not notating correctly, and although there are occasional alternatives for notating certain rhythms, most of the standard conventions are the best (or least worst) way of ensuring a band gets it right first time. Not obscuring the middle of the bar, as Czerny so succinctly puts it, is one of the important rules to remember, and is why A is neither correct nor helpful once you are used to the conventions. Big band arrangements sometimes go like the clappers (crotchet=240 is not uncommon), so speed of cliche recognition is paramount, and being able to see the middle of the bars both helps you to see the cliches and to know where they are placed.

There I go again ... lots of words to say something simple. Sorry.

QUOTE(HelenVJ @ Feb 1 2012, 01:23 PM) View Post
Also, I think the opening rest is a little fussy - it'd be quite OK just to start with the upbeat.

You'd only notate it like that (with rests) if the accompaniment started on the first beat of the nearly empty bar. Assuming that nothing happens in those rests, yes all the rests should be hidden, so you just have a pick-up quaver into the first full bar.
  • 0