Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Question on "double-time" notation


vicsant

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Hope someone can help with this :-)

 

I am transcribing this worship song "Who Am I" for our music ministry band. It's in

 

4/4, with a bpm of about 75.

 

There is a very interesing 12-bar musical bridge towards the end with varying time

 

signatures which I initially couldn't figure out because I was still counting at 75 bpm.

 

When I tried counting at twice the tempo (i.e, 150 bpm), it was easy to figure out the

 

time signature changes as: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 4/4, 3/4, 4/4, 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 4/4, 4/4.

 

So here's my question:

 

Would I be following correct notation standards if I still notate the bridge in quarter

 

time, with instructions that this bridge is to be played at "double-time" (i.e., twice

 

the song tempo)?

 

Best regards,

 

Vic

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Yes, write "double time" and be sure to indicate: quarter note = 150

When it goes back to 75 bpm indicate:

"Original Tempo"

and also indicate: quarter note = 75

 

Just draw the symbol for the quater note, don't spell out the words "quarter note"

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jazz+:

Yes, write "double time" and be sure to indicate: quarter note = 150

When it goes back to 75 bpm indicate:

"Original Tempo"

and also indicate: quarter note = 75

 

Just draw the symbol for the quater note, don't spell out the words "quarter note"

Thanks Jazz+.

 

Btw, does the Italian phrase " a tempo", mean the same as "original tempo", or is there another phrase for it. Likewise, is there an equivalent Italian phrase that means "double time"?

 

Just wondering...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you keep the tempo and just change quarter notes to eighth notes (and so on)? Just cut all of the note values in half. Your only problem might be measure length(s).

 

I don't ever recall any written music with a doubled tempo inserted. Could be, but I've never seen it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Prague:

Can you keep the tempo and just change quarter notes to eighth notes (and so on)? Just cut all of the note values in half. Your only problem might be measure length(s).

 

I don't ever recall any written music with a doubled tempo inserted. Could be, but I've never seen it.

I thought about doing it this way. So 2/4 would come out as 4/8, and 3/4 would be written as 6/8, and 4/4 would be written as 8/8. But as I use Finale for notation, Finale won't give you a time signature of 4/8 or 8/8.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not quite. If you have 8 quarter notes in two measures (4/4), you can write it as 8 eighth notes in one measure (still 4/4). The tempo stays the same.

 

Your measure lengths may be odd, though. I don't know the music, but adjust your measures for the phrasing. I'd have to hear it to really help.

 

A trick: a beat-and-a-half can be written as 3/8.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by vicsant:

Btw, does the Italian phrase " a tempo", mean the same as "original tempo", or is there another phrase for it. Likewise, is there an equivalent Italian phrase that means "double time"?

 

Just wondering...

The Italian for "original tempo" is "tempo primo".

"A tempo" just means, resume playing in tempo after a fermata, ad ad lib episode, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VIc,

 

Is there an MP3 of Who Am I posted anywhere? Among other things, I create notation for a worship music company, and while there are multiple time signatures in some songs, they are usually inserted sparingly, and tempo changes are rare as well. I'd like to give that song a listen...

Composer/Performer at Roger Hooper Music

Product Trainer at CASIO

www.rogerhooper.com

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Roger Hooper:

VIc,

 

Is there an MP3 of Who Am I posted anywhere? Among other things, I create notation for a worship music company, and while there are multiple time signatures in some songs, they are usually inserted sparingly, and tempo changes are rare as well. I'd like to give that song a listen...

Hi Roger,

 

The song "Who Am I" is by the band Casting Crowns. Don't know if there is an MP3 available.

 

Best regards,

 

Vic

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vic,

 

I listened to an excerpt at Amazon. I think the tempo is 135. In notating stuff, I have found that listening to the hihat and other rhythm instruments help to dictate the time signature. At 130BPM, the piano part would have a lot of 8th notes, the hihat would be 8ths, etc. At 75, there would be 16ths and 32nds, the resulting sheet would be real dense looking. Even though it seems to be in a slow 2 feel, the drummer I think is in the 135 groove, with 8ths on the hat (or ride) and the snare on 3. The excerpt didn't have the bridge, but probably you want to do a measure of 5/4, not 2 followed by 3; it will make it easier to follow with its simplicity of form.

 

The best,

Roger

Composer/Performer at Roger Hooper Music

Product Trainer at CASIO

www.rogerhooper.com

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Herbie Tyner:

On some charts, I've seen double time indicated with the 'cut time' symbol (capital C with a vertical slash through it). I think that only works if the original time sig is 4/4, though, and if the double-time sig is 2/4. This wouldn't work in your case, because of the constantly varying time sigs in your bridge.

Cut time would not do what he wanted as it changes the rythm but not the quarter notes per minute.

 

The ones I am most familiar with go from quartal time to triple time and the quarter notes per minute stay the same (so the beats drop by half)

 

Not sure if this is what you are seeing. It sounds like it to me.

 

If so, notate it as eighth notes. The key is whether eighth notes accurately reflect the rythm. Having mixed bars of 2/8 and 3/8, 6/8 etc is not uncommon - for example, I think Malcolm Arnold's "Four Scottish Dances" (if I remmeber correctly) suite has passages done like this. It will take a bit of rehearsal to get right and the conductor needs to be very clear to help the performers follow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...