Wednesday, July 21, 2004

It's The New Math!

Shmuel Klaver writes in response to the Kurt Bjorling quote in the previous post and points out that three plus three equals six, not five.
LET'S ALL ADD, SHAll WE: 1,2,3,1,2,3 -Sorry, but I hear 6 beat phrase, which explains why this rhythm is commonly called- by EVERYBODY-a slow 6/8. Remember, class: RESTS are counted but not played."
Sure you COULD look at it as 5 beats- providing you change the downbeat every measure.
My impression was that Bjorling is thinking in five beat units, NOT in 5/8 time signature. Kurt’s a clarinet player, and I imagine that playing five beat phrases over the 3/8 rhythm would make for some nice polyrhythms.

Incidentally, all of the klezmer people I know would notate the “zhok” in 3/8, not 6/8. Many of them would play two-bar patterns over the music, though.