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[video:youtube]

 

Can you name the time signature?

Can you count it with accents? (Like everyone in the room is doing)

Extra points:

What is the chord progression?

What is the mode?

 

Do you like it? :)

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I like a challenge. This is really hard though - I had to listen a good number of times to get a sense of where 1 was.

 

I can count it as 1+2+3+4 1+2+3+4 1+2+3 1+2+3 1+2+3+4 1+2 1+2+3+4. Written differently it's 4/4 | 4/4 | 3/4 | 3/4 | 4/4 | 2/4 | 4/4.

 

It adds up to 24 beats per phrase.

 

Accents seem to be on 1 of each section but skipping the second 3/4 and the 2/4 if you divide it into two bars of 4/4, two of 3/4, one of 4/4, one of 2/4, and one of 4/4 per phrase, but due to the mixing of time signatures it has an odd pattern.

 

It seems to be in a modified Hijaz scale, but that's the wrong geographical area for that (Hijaz is from the middle east), so IDK.

 

Do I like it? Heck yeah! That's one complicated piece though in many ways!

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You could write it as alternating measures of 11/8 and 13/8 as well.

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I gave up. It's complicated immensely by the fact that the tempo is uneven. Start at the 1:00 mark when the anvil comes in. I started by counting 4 1/2...call it 9 if that makes you happier...but then the anvil tempo speeds up and it's...what? 5 1/2, maybe (call it 11), but at a faster pace. Now, clearly there's a structure to it because his percussion section hangs together, tight as can be. They know what they're doing and it's working. But...I suggest that it's largely because they're so sympatico that they remain loose and track the pianist's tempo.

 

There are members here who break out in hives if they don't have a click to work from. I strongly suggest they avoid this piece like the plague. For my part, I absolutely love it. Fluidity in tempo works for me. In the hands of a competent musician, it can convey emotion, as it does here (note that the overall tempo increases throughout, especially when the cane guys get to their feet, but it's already been accelerating before that).

 

For what it's worth, I hear heavy flamenco influences, though the piece would be a nightmare to dance to in a club.

 

Grey

I'm not interested in someone's ability to program. I'm interested in their ability to compose and play.

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Yes, it is a flamenco, and in fact, one of the standard forms. It is in 12.

 

From wikipedia:

 

Siguiriyas (Spanish pronunciation: [seÉ£iËɾiÊas]; also seguiriyas, siguerillas, siguirillas, seguidilla gitana, etc.) are a form of flamenco music in the cante jondo category. This deep, expressive style is among the most important in flamenco. Siguiriyas are normally played in the key of A Phrygian with each measure (the compás) consisting of 12 counts with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th beats as shown here:

 

[1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12

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Just gave it a quick listen, but.....once the tempo kicks in after the rubato, it's essentially all in 3/4 (as is typical for the genre), with shifting accents/phrasing that make it SEEM to be more complicated than it is.

 

Note too, that the playing in't perfectly precise at times, which can contribute to the confusion!

 

When you hear a strong downbeat, just count in 3, and you'll hear it. Typically, the song is structured in 8-bar (24 beats) sections.

 

Apologies if I didn't listen closely enough, and missed some mixed meters/exceptions to the above.

 

But, over-complicating it will make things seem, er, overly complicated! ;-D

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it's essentially all in 3/4 (as is typical for the genre), with shifting accents/phrasing that make it SEEM to be more complicated than it is.

The entire rhythmic sequence is in 12. So you certainly could see it as 3/4 with shifting accents, that will work. Whether that's the best way to count it, or the best way to feel it, or the best way to chart it, is less clear, but yes, you could see it as paired measures of 3/4 where every second measure has its accent moved from the "one" to the following "and."

 

Assuming each accent should be felt as a downbeat, the pattern is: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2

 

So that 3/4 counting would be: ONE and TWO and THREE and one AND two and THREE and.

 

Which seems almost easy, except that the chord changes or musical phrase beginnings don't always coincide with those initial ONEs. So the stuff being played over the main rhythm doesn't necessarily "align" which makes it harder to feel this as "simply" a syncopated three.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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To be sure, though, polyrhythmic and complex/additive meters are FAR more common as a musical practice, than the neat Western "Is this in 3 or 4" version of music. It was just the European self-congratulation over melody and tonality that started discounting these complex rhythms as somehow primitive or unsophisticated. For people who grow up in these traditions (which is, statistically speaking, most people), our little 1-2-3-4 sounds almost comically simple.
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Excellent, I compliment you on your analysis.

 

it's essentially all in 3/4 (as is typical for the genre), with shifting accents/phrasing that make it SEEM to be more complicated than it is.

The entire rhythmic sequence is in 12. So you certainly could see it as 3/4 with shifting accents, that will work. Whether that's the best way to count it, or the best way to feel it, or the best way to chart it, is less clear, but yes, you could see it as paired measures of 3/4 where every second measure has its accent moved from the "one" to the following "and."

 

Assuming each accent should be felt as a downbeat, the pattern is: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2

 

So that 3/4 counting would be: ONE and TWO and THREE and one AND two and THREE and.

 

Which seems almost easy, except that the chord changes or musical phrase beginnings don't always coincide with those initial ONEs. So the stuff being played over the main rhythm doesn't necessarily "align" which makes it harder to feel this as "simply" a syncopated three.

 

From wikipedia:

 

Siguiriyas (Spanish pronunciation: [seÉ£iËɾiÊas]; also seguiriyas, siguerillas, siguirillas, seguidilla gitana, etc.) are a form of flamenco music in the cante jondo category. This deep, expressive style is among the most important in flamenco. Siguiriyas are normally played in the key of A Phrygian with each measure (the compás) consisting of 12 counts with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th beats as shown here:

 

[1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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Assuming each accent should be felt as a downbeat, the pattern is: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2

Something else I noticed... If you were to play those five "segments" except start on the third one, you'd have: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2

 

That's exactly the same 12 beat pattern, just with a different start point. And it becomes West Side Story's "I'd like to be in America."

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yes, it is a flamenco, and in fact, one of the standard forms. It is in 12.

 

From wikipedia:

 

Siguiriyas (Spanish pronunciation: [seÉ£iËɾiÊas]; also seguiriyas, siguerillas, siguirillas, seguidilla gitana, etc.) are a form of flamenco music in the cante jondo category. This deep, expressive style is among the most important in flamenco. Siguiriyas are normally played in the key of A Phrygian with each measure (the compás) consisting of 12 counts with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th beats as shown here:

 

[1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12

 

 

From wikipedia:

 

Siguiriyas (Spanish pronunciation: [seÉ£iËɾiÊas]; also seguiriyas, siguerillas, siguirillas, seguidilla gitana, etc.) are a form of flamenco music in the cante jondo category. This deep, expressive style is among the most important in flamenco. Siguiriyas are normally played in the key of A Phrygian with each measure (the compás) consisting of 12 counts with emphasis on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th beats as shown here:

 

[1] 2 [3] 4 [5] 6 7 [8] 9 10 [11] 12

 

Someone should post the Wikipedia entry on Siguiruyas and settle this once and for all.

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Thanks for all the great replies. I'm learning the flamenco rhythms currently. Here is the best introduction to this beat I've seen:

[video:youtube]

 

Here is a wonderful discussion of the Flamenco Scale:

[video:youtube]

 

Many thousands of non-latins, let alone non-spaniards have learned the 12 beat forms of Flamenco, as adults. But usually not keyboardists. Enthusiasts and guitarists from all over Europe. There are more flamenco academies in Japan than Spain.

 

I knew nothing about it really, except having seen Paco de Lucia on TV back in the day etc. To maintain my music immersion late in life, but avoid repetitive injury by over practice on keyboard (so far I have), I did the crazy thing of starting Guitar (and other things). Good guitars can now be had for under $200, and I have around 8 now. Acoustic, electric, and now Nylon, which is alot easier on both right and left fingertips.

 

I was bouncing around learning the fingerboard and making #11ths, from various lead sheets, but my strumming was beyond primitive, so I stumbled into flamenco. After 10 or 12 flamenco strumming videos, you are never at a loss for strums to perfect!

 

I feel like a 64 year old released from a desert island life to discover Blues/Folk/Jazz for the first time. Flamenco is that compelling and contains shoulders which can support an incredible variety of spin-offs from the "pure" form. It took me several weeks to even understand what the H is flamenco. They sing, but there are not really any "pat" songs. Instead there are a bunch of very particular styles, the core of which everybody knows, each with it's own rhythm, tempos and idosyncracies. There is a ton of improvisation from a core venacular.

 

The two fundamental progressions are Am/G/F/E and Dm/C/Bb/A the last chord being the tonic. For the scale you are best to watch the video above but the way I like to practice right now is E/F/G#/A/B/C/D, which gives a very potent flavor, and sets it a part from a church mode. The real thing is more complex.

 

On the guitar they generally just use these two keys, with many exotic chord flavors, and move the capo for further modulation. That's the part which makes it way more simple to learn than Jazz in terms of harmony "mechanically". The guitar as you all know, does not adapt to all keys like a keyboard, which is not to say all keys are equal on the keyboard: Tatum showed us the keyboard has some particularily "fast" keys. But the guitar is far more mixed in ease of play between keys.

 

This genre is on fire, right now. With the rise of various electronics even in Latin genres, to my eye and ear Flamenco is the most vibrant, living acoustic genre on earth at the moment. They are nuts about it in China. It is under serious academic scrutiny in American Universities, and all sorts of recent revelations have been made. There are purists and "nuevo flamenco" which has a bunch of flavors.

 

Novelty fires inspiration, it's now shown in many studies, and a flamenco search on youtube brings very novel results, for me :)

 

Paco gave license to....evolution in flamenco. He remains the god of the genre, loved by all sides.

 

[video:youtube]

 

The living tradition:

[video:youtube]

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The fact that it's a pattern of 12 but it doesn't start on the one would seem to explain why, as I said, "chord changes or musical phrase beginnings don't always coincide" with the "beginning" of that 12 beat pattern.

 

For some reason, I'm imagining a King Crimson flamenco album.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I think you are right, and where you start the count differs between the 12 beat styles. There are a couple 4/4 flavors and some less complex three beat ones too (check me). The enthusiasts can clap all these with very particular patterns and they roam around Spain in the wee hours to find "authentic" flamenco clubs---they acutally are clubs-associations, not normal bars.

 

This is a very interesting lecture about what flamenco actually is:

[video:youtube]

 

and......

Here is a fantastic podcast about african influence in Flamenco

 

Plus BBC radio show "Flamenco: Darkness and Light" a bit older than the above discussions, but still quite good:

Darkness and Light

 

There are quite a few surprise influences, not least Napoleon, and possibly the cakewalk. The guitar was not a part until the 19th century. Some styles bounced back with African influence from Cuba. The scale itself is very similar to those used in some Egyptian folk styles. Flat 9 is the two :)

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"Latins."

 

Oh yeah,

Oslo

[video:youtube]

 

Istanbul:

[video:youtube]

 

The french, or maybe the French, naturally, love it:

[video:youtube]

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Also, check out the different movies from director Tony Gatlif, also.

In particular, Latcho Drom musically follows the history of the gitan people from Rajasthan to Andalusia.

 

Maurizio

 

Thank You so much, Maurizo. I will respect one of Tony's big themes and let Romani speak for themselves:

 

[video:youtube]

 

Dr Gelbart concludes the video on the subject of Flamenco. I found it a very entertaining and informed presentation, and was embarrassed I did not really know the term "manouche"! I hope Django will forgive that. Dr Gelbart also reminds me I need to order a Hohner Panther! She is a very good singer also.....

 

My take so far is the Romani are/were like a musicianal caste (no negative connotation intended) where performance training was intregal from young ages, and a tradition of highly skilled articulations and modulation evolved which could be applied to local non-roma traditions to create new forms both appealling to "the market" and more complex and nuanced than the folk styles they encountered, Flamenco perhaps an outstanding example. These skills were prized and developed as a survival strategy and they certainly worked, at least for some families. This is one facet of a complex, enduring culture.

 

I'm pretty sure this is the movie which Dr Gilbert calls "Gypsys go to Heaven", with stereotypes enforced by superb music and cinematography like only the Russians can do---there I go again ;) and english subtitles:

[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/udkz19ISbZs

 

Without your comment Maurizo, I might have never encountered Gelbart, or this movie which I'm watching now for the first time. Sincere Thanks.

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I know Petra! She's terrific.

 

My own background is in ethnomusicology; I did my dissertation fieldwork in Ghana, where my wife and I played in the royal drumming ensemble of an indigenous chief. As MathOfInsects points out, polyrhythms and complex meters are pretty common outside of Western music, and many are notated in 12 because they are rhythmically ambiguous to Western ears: often, they seem to be both duple and triple. This was true of the music we studied, which is a talking drum tradition of the Akan people. It is called fontomfrom, and when I first began playing it as a student in Toronto, it could be profoundly disorienting: If you sat in the "rhythm section" (the group of smaller drums that supports the larger ones), you might at first be certain that your part was in 3; but if you listened to your neighbor, you might start wondering whether it was in 4. That was part of what made it so much fun: it was like sitting in a rhythmic kaleidoscope, and your perspective kept shifting depending upon whom you listened to.

 

Interestingly, some suggest that at least some African musicians are not oriented towards downbeats or indeed metric frameworks of strong vs week beats at all, but instead find their place strictly in relation to other parts within an ensemble. In music that is metrically ambiguous, this makes sense; you might not be able to rely on a downbeat, but you can always recognize where your patters starts/ends in relation to at least one other part. (In West African drum ensemble music, this is often the bell pattern.)

 

Oh, and did someone already mention Chano Dominguez? Great flamenco/jazz pianist! Lots of Youtube videos; this one is nice:

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Wonderful post Lyon! Thank you!!

 

[video:youtube]

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This is all fascinating background. I would offer from direct experience that "authentic" flamenco (non-tourist) is something that ought to be fully appreciated up close and in person.

 

Over 20 years ago, I was dragged around Madrid by a bunch of locals in search of the real deal. The club we ended up was a crowded dive, and we bought a table right at the stage level. As the night progressed, it was all a jam session -- freestyle musicians and dancers interacting. Each dancer would get up and do a solo, and meter and tempo would flow dynamically in response to the dancer's moves. They'd try and top each other with show-off moves. It was pretty durn mesmerizing to watch, as they obviously had all performed together a bunch.

 

Now I have this urge to listen to some Gypsy Kings ...

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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