Musical notation and timing help

  1. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,536
    Gold Member

    I'm trying to vindicate myself in a music discussion.

    In watching Jesus Christ Superstar the other day, I concluded that some of the music is played in 4/7 timing. That is, some of the music actually has 7 seven beats to the bar. (It is definitely not 7 beats plus a rest, so just don't even think about suggesting it).

    There, are several, but one example is the movement called 'The Temple'. you can find it here, listed as piece 2-5. You can also see that the artist has corrobrated my claim by documenting his chords in the notation as having 7 beats.

    What I want is something that demonstrates the timing notation clearly, anything I can present to my detractors. Yes, I can go buy the sheet music, either dead-tree format or online, but either way, it would cost (and it's only a gentleman's bet).

    I'm hoping someone here can help me more expediently.
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Its distracting to count out loud, but if you learn to conduct, you can do it -

    7/4 is conducted as a measure of 4 followed by a measure of 3. You'll be able to hear the downbeats at the start of each (full) measure coinciding with your conducting.
  4. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,084
    Science Advisor

    Right on the money Russ. Take it from a life long band geek.
  5. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,536
    Gold Member

    I can most definitely count out the seven beats to the tune of the song, though it takes a bit of practice.

    My question is, how is this notated? My detractors insist that there is no such thing as a bar with seven notes. That you would merely use a four-note bar, or eight note bar, letting the extra note fall into the next bar, kleaving rhythm and bars out of sync.
  6. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,536
    Gold Member

    Thanks. But I don't see what that link does for me.

    Oh. OH! There it is at the bottom! It actually says 7/4 time! And 'Money', a much better known song!

    That sets me on the right path, but I'm still not sure that list in and of itself will convince my detractors. I guess I"ll need to find some actual sheet music.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2005
  7. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,149
    Gold Member

    Not at all. I think what he's refering to is probably a type of polyrythm, but thats not relevant to this situation. It would deffinately be written as an ordinary bar with seven beats and time signature 7/4.

    An example of music written in 7/4:

    If you'd like to find some music with odd time signatures, look into Tool, particularly tracks from "Lateralus"
    Many orchestral pieces often change time signatures frequently also, and though they may be predominantly 4/4, 6/8 etc. several will have the odd passage or few bars with an odd time signature in
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2005
  8. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    How do you think I came up with that? :wink:

    Rush also does some odd time signatures - I think some in 7.
  9. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,084
    Science Advisor

    There are plenty more out there that are even more confusing. For example, in Benjamin Britten's "Young Persons Guid to the Orchestra" He has half of the orchestra playing in essentially 4/4 while the other half is playing in 3/4 until it all comes back together again. Try tapping your foot to that part!
  10. matthyaouw

    matthyaouw 1,149
    Gold Member

    That reminds me of a drum soloing tip I was once given-
    I was told to try playing a relatively simple 16 beat pattern with the right hand, and a 15 beat pattern with the left over and over, giving the impression of something more complicated than it really is (though still terribly hard to play)
  11. Yes. "Tom Sawyer" gets some of its odd sound that made it so unique when it first hit, from using strange time signatures.

    Basically you just note it at the start of the measure as 7/4 and then note it again if it changes back to, say, 4/4.
  12. The way I've most commonly seen 7/4 is a measure of seven with a dotted line seperating it into four and three, the piece that comes to my mind is the Finale of Stravinsky's Firebird.
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