# Topic: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

1. ## 3/4 or 6/8 ?

Can someone tell me what's the influence on music between a 3/4 time signature and a 6/8 one ?

Thanks.

2. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

I think of 6/8 (instead of 3/4) when the feel of the measure is 6 full beats that can't properly be subdivided in two 3/4 measures - like a blues song in 6/8 where the backbeat is on the 4th of 6. (e.g. "Steamroller Blues" or "Life by the Drop"). My guess is that it would be a similar thing for classical music. (minus the backbeat)

3. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

Originally Posted by LeBeginner
Can someone tell me what's the influence on music between a 3/4 time signature and a 6/8 one ?

Thanks.
3/4 is like > S-L-L
6/8 is like > S-L-L-s-L-L

S = Strong
s = less strong than S
L = Light

Also 3/4 is simple time signature but 6/8 is compact meaning that you think 3 notes per group instead of one note per beat in 3/4.

Did this help?

4. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

6/8 is mostly beat in two, 3/4 in three. While 6/8 does consist of two groups of three eighth notes, they're more like triplets in 2/4 than two measures of 3/4, so you'd beat it like it was 2/4. But 6/8 is just easier to write/read than triplets, especially when using dotted rhythms: (ex. dotted eighth - sixteenth - eighth)

Waltzes, for example, are in 6/8 and beat in two.

5. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

Right concept, wrong example. Waltzes are written in 3/4 (formerly also 3/8) and have three fast beats to a bar.

6. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

I could be totally wrong so correct me if so... and don't know if this will help so just throwin it out there.

I have been playing with a keyboard a lot lately, because GPO has Steinway in it, and I just discovered a common chord progression that i believe would require 6/8 because it is Arpeggiated (thanks Gary ) with 6 notes.

The song "Unchained Melody", if played in C, has the chords:

C, A & F descending, and then ascending to G and back to C.
(edit: changed the way i wrote that to make it clearer)

with each chord apeggiated with root, ascending to third, fifth, and root's next octave, then descending back to fifth and then back to third, making six notes so I'm pretty sure it would be in 6/8.

I was also pleasantly suprised to see that if you speed it up or slow it down and tinkle around with some righthanded high notes, you find a lot of those old 50s and 60s tunes are on that chord progression.

Hope that helps, and here is the lyrics if you don't recognize the name.
http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/sp.../unchdmel.html

and if you have iTunes you can type that name into it's search, play the Rightous Brothers' sample and count off one-two-three, four-five-six, while it is playing.

7. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

You're talking about a figure such as
ceg c'ge Ace aec FAc fca GBd gDB
(where the spaces represent groupings)?

If so, then yes, you could indeed notate in 6/8. You could also use 12/8, or triplets in a meter such as 2/4 or 4/4.

8. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

Originally Posted by marnen
You're talking about a figure such as
ceg c'ge Ace aec FAc fca GBd gDB
(where the spaces represent groupings)?

If so, then yes, you could indeed notate in 6/8. You could also use 12/8, or triplets in a meter such as 2/4 or 4/4.
Not sure if you are talking to me, but I edited it to make it clearer.

In iTunes about the tenth one down is a John Williams arrangement of that song, in the sample I didn't hear the chords, but it would be interesting to find his score and see what he used for it. He maybe used one of those you mention.

9. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

I was talking to you, and unfortunately your edit did nothing to make it clearer: I was asking about the rhythm of the figure, not the particular chord progression. I gather that I understood correctly, though.

10. ## Re: 3/4 or 6/8 ?

OK, i see now what you meant, i'm a noob and was unfamilar with those rhythm representations you posted. It's played softly and evenly, and no note has stronger accent than the others as near as i can tell.

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