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Topic: If 6 was 9

  1. #1

    If 6 was 9

    Hi friends.

    I see sometimes is a good practice hanging out at Garritan forum about musical matters, not just puns and jokes.

    I'm banging my head against a wall (read: orchestrating) notating a melody I can't say is to be written / read in 3, 6 or 9.

    Is there a "golden rule" to follow?

    Thank you for your help.

    (Puns and jokes on my crass ignorance about are always welcome, of course )
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  2. #2

    Re: If 6 was 9

    I'm pretty sure there's no golden rule, and it's up to you to put it in what you want. I usually try to feel where the strong beats of the melody are and then put it in the time sig which won't put unnecessary strong beats into it. For example, if I had a 6 note phrase, and didn't want the 4th note to be strong, I would want it in 6, not 3.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    NW Illinois

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Also consider your harmonic progression. If it changes harmonically every 6 notes, it'd be best in 6/8. (or 2/4 with triplets)

  4. #4
    Senior Member caher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Somehow, this comes to mind:

  5. #5

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Consider the note groupings. If the piece is to be conducted, consider conducting patterns.

    Considering conducting patterns is a good idea anyway - it may provide an easy way for the players to count certain passages (with or without a conductor). Pattern recognition is the name of the game in getting sight readings done quickly, as well as minimizing rehearsal/studio time (which costs $$$). This is a good habit to develop.

    "Walk" the piece. Stand up and walk around the room, the backyard, or the block walking to the rhythm of the piece. You may be surprised how quickly it will resolve itself into patterns. Many people do this, including myself, and it works.

    Best of luck. Clearest communication of patterns is the goal.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark View Post
    Consider the note groupings. If the piece is to be conducted, consider conducting patterns.
    This is probably the most important consideration when choosing a meter. The conductor must be able to conduct the music as smoothly as possible. I've written some comps that are intentionally quirky because it's the character that I wanted to convey. But I always think of the conductor, the guy who's gotta wave that stick and get the orchestra through it without having a psychotic episode.

    Another way to determine the best meter is to just write the composition from beginning to end and then go back and try to get a feel for what would be the simplest meter to play in. As with key signatures, you don't want to make your composition more difficult to play than necessary, a pitfall that most composers will encounter at least once. We all want to enjoy total freedom of creativity with few or no boundaries, but unless we are the soloist or conductor, we have to think of the folks who will bring our ideas to life. Hope that helps.
    "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." -Steven Wright, comedian

  7. #7

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Another consideration is money, if you are getting paid for it. I have known several composers/arrangers who have written in 2/2 simply because if makes twice as many bars when they were getting paid by the bar, although they all said that it was because they didn't like to see all the extra black on the page that would be created by 8th note tails and 16th note tails. They got twice as much money and the musicians, who were not professionals, were constantly being confused by half notes that should sound like quarter notes and quarter notes that should sound like 8th notes.

    Dickens got paid by the word, so he managed to stretch a simple 5 word phrase in to an entire sentence, or paragraph or even a chapter, and likely even and entire novel. Seemed to work for him.

    The other consideration would be to decide what is the easiest to read. Certainly if you were to write in groups of 3, and there were endless ties over the barline, it might be best to write in ,6, 9, or 12.


  8. #8

    Re: If 6 was 9

    Dear friends.
    This is to reassure you I'm aware of your answers, but I'm facing the illness that's driving my Mom to death.
    I want to thank you all for your tips: now I have more walls to bang my head against, and feel like a deer in front of the lights of a running lorry.
    See you soon.
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

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