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Author Topic: What key/time signature is this song in?  (Read 81389 times)

TheZeldaPianist275

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2013, 12:44:33 AM »

Bubbles is right, time sigs are definitely the easiest part.  There are only a couple songs that I've had trouble with, but now I can hear 7/8.  Be sure to pm me if you have trouble, Fire.

SlowPokemon

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2013, 02:24:31 AM »

I think key signatures and time signatures are equally easy.

As far as time signatures go:

2/4 is when the phrases are short, etc. (i.e. "Ground Theme" from New Super Mario Bros. Wii)
4/4 is normal, 4 beats per measures music (i.e. "Ground Theme" from Super Mario Bros.)
3/4 is used when the piece is a waltz of some sort, or as Bubbles put it, strong-weak-weak (with the accent on every third note) (i.e. "Underwater Theme" from Super Mario Bros.)

Now for the alternatives to swing tempos:
6/8 is basically 3/4 with the accents on every three EIGHTH notes. Used often for marches and the like (i.e. "Title Screen" from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team)
12/8 is basically 6/8 doubled because the phrases are longer (i.e. "The Great Don Paolo" from Professor Layton and the Curious Village, "Team Skull" from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness)
9/8 is basically 6/8 but used as more of a waltz, with repeating phrases of three dotted quarter notes which are in turn made up of three eighth notes (i.e. "Sootopolis City" from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire)

Hope that helps.

Edit: Oh and then you have the random ones in 5/8 or 7/8 (I believe "Eterna Forest" from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is in 5/8 and I can't think of any video game song in 7/8 atm)
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Bubbles

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2013, 02:37:46 AM »

I think I remember someone saying the Title Theme of OOT was in 7/8? Only the first few measures or something
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SlowPokemon

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2013, 02:38:36 AM »

No. That one's in 4/4.
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TheZeldaPianist275

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2013, 02:54:26 AM »

I think I remember someone saying the Title Theme of OOT was in 7/8? Only the first few measures or something

Oh, that'd be the staff roll.  :P

SlowPokemon

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2013, 02:58:34 AM »

THAT'S THE ONE I WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER
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FireArrow

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2013, 03:34:09 AM »

Oh wow, thanks guys! I guess I'll use this thread what it's meant for...

What time signature is this song in? Currently, I have the intro at 4/4 and the rest at 12/8 (when the 8th notes come in.) 6/8 would probably make more sense, but then I need to tie a note over a measure, which doesn't feel right to me.

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Olimar12345

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2013, 04:40:04 AM »

@fire: that whole song is in 4/4

@Slow: I'm going to have to disagree with you on your time signatures regarding the eight in the denominator.

6/8 is more closely related to 2/4, as they both have two strong beats. 6/8 would be counted:
ONE - two - three - FOUR - five - six, and 2/4 would be counted: ONE - and - TWO - and.

12/8 is like 4/4 if triplets got the beat, plus they're both conducted the same way.

9/8 in most cases gets the 12/8 treatment, and is conducted like 3/4 with triplets.
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2013, 07:05:54 AM »

How can time signatures be hard, everyone knows how to count right?

The /8 time signatures are basically indicating that there is three eights per beat.
In 6/8 there are two beats - so it works like a 2/4 with tuplet eights.
In 12/8 there are four beats - so it works like a 4/4 with tuplet eights.
In 9/8 there are three beats - so it works like a 3/4 with tuplet eights.

A lot of people suck at reading these time sigs, so I usually assign a "swing"-expression to the /4 time sigs instead, for readability reasons.
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SlowPokemon

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2013, 12:32:56 PM »

@fire: that whole song is in 4/4

@Slow: I'm going to have to disagree with you on your time signatures regarding the eight in the denominator.

6/8 is more closely related to 2/4, as they both have two strong beats. 6/8 would be counted:
ONE - two - three - FOUR - five - six, and 2/4 would be counted: ONE - and - TWO - and.

12/8 is like 4/4 if triplets got the beat, plus they're both conducted the same way.

9/8 in most cases gets the 12/8 treatment, and is conducted like 3/4 with triplets.

How is this different from what I said?
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2013, 02:13:44 PM »

Well, Slow, your explanation wouldn't have gotten any points if you wrote it in my teacher's tests:

You more or less said that:
6/8 is like 3/4, but that the third eight in every measure is stressed.
And that in 12/8 is like 6/4 with the eights stressed the same way.
And the same with 9/8

I don't think that is an explanation many people would understand(?), as you now are implying that there are 3, 4 (and 1,5) beats per measure in these time signatures. That is not true.
There are three quarters, but not three beats - because - the beats aren't quarters anymore, they're dotted quarters.
The /8 time signatures are basically indicating that there is three eights per beat.
In 6/8 there are two beats - so it works like a 2/4 with tuplet eights.
In 12/8 there are four beats - so it works like a 4/4 with tuplet eights.
In 9/8 there are three beats - so it works like a 3/4 with tuplet eights.

I know that you already know this Slow, so I'm not trying to play smart-ass over you, but I think this is what Olimar meant.
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Brassman388

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2013, 03:17:21 PM »

I think Slow was more going for how the meter was divided rather than the actual feel of where the beats fell.

For example: the explanation of the relationship between 6/8 and 3/4. They both contain 6 eighth notes, it's just the beat on 6/8 falls on every 3 eighth notes, where as with 3/4, it falls on every 2 eighth notes.

The only one I didn't understand was the last one explaining the 9/8.
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Olimar12345

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2013, 05:55:52 PM »

The /8 time signatures are basically indicating that there is three eights per beat.

That's not true. Sure, that may fit a few situations, but anything/8 simply indicates that the 8th note gets the beat. How they're grouped is determined based on the relationship of strong-to-weak beats, as determined by the composer. For example: 7/8 can't be put in groups of three's, simply because seven isn't divisible by three. Another interesting example is 9/8. Though it may seem "Standard" to group 9/8 as three sets of three eighth notes, it isn't set in stone that you have to. I have seen pieces where 9/8 was interpreted as 2+3+2+2. (Though, I myself would write it as 5/8+2/4).

How can time signatures be hard, everyone knows how to count right?

Be careful how you word this. Remember, this isn't the "Show off you're knowledge of theory" topic, it's the "Help those who don't fully understand it yet" topic.
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FireArrow

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2013, 07:59:08 PM »

How can time signatures be hard, everyone knows how to count right?

The /8 time signatures are basically indicating that there is three eights per beat.
In 6/8 there are two beats - so it works like a 2/4 with tuplet eights.
In 12/8 there are four beats - so it works like a 4/4 with tuplet eights.
In 9/8 there are three beats - so it works like a 3/4 with tuplet eights.

The problem is I'm REALLY bad at counting (music wise.) I've always had trouble sight reading becuase I mess up the timing of notes, and my biggest obstacle in arranging by ear is figuring out note durations. I know, it's pathetic.

Your explanation for the time signatures really made something click in my head thouh. I don't know why I didn't see that before, but it makes sense to me now. Now I just need to practice.  :P

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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2013, 09:36:52 PM »

Be careful how you word this. Remember, this isn't the "Show off you're knowledge of theory" topic, it's the "Help those who don't fully understand it yet" topic.
So when I say "I can count" you look at that like showing off? There is a reason why I compared it to counting - because it is basically counting.
That's not true. Sure, that may fit a few situations, but anything/8 simply indicates that the 8th note gets the beat.
well, no, that wouldn't make sense - because then there would in 9/8 be 9 beats where the eights are the beats, or I am I misunderstanding this sentence?
But I think the reason you say this is because you are thinking about the irregular time sigs as well - just read further:

Quote
How they're grouped is determined based on the relationship of strong-to-weak beats, as determined by the composer. For example: 7/8 can't be put in groups of three's, simply because seven isn't divisible by three. Another interesting example is 9/8. Though it may seem "Standard" to group 9/8 as three sets of three eighth notes, it isn't set in stone that you have to. I have seen pieces where 9/8 was interpreted as 2+3+2+2. (Though, I myself would write it as 5/8+2/4).
That is actually irrelevant, believe it or not.
All time signatures can be grouped under either "basic time signatures" or "irregular time signatures" <-- those are the Norwegian music theory terms, they probably aren't too different from whatever you would call them.
All /8 and /4 time signatures are under "basic time signatures". No time signature can be both irregular and basic.
7/8 doesn't count as one of the /8 time signatures - it is under "irregular time signatures", and in the cases where 9/8 is used as an irrelevant time signature, like 2+3+2+2, it doesn't count as a /8 time sig either, but like 7/8; an irregular one.
I mean you could even make 4/4 an irregular time signature if you want, like 1+2+1 or something silly like that - but then it wouldn't count as a basic time signature anymore, hence it can't be grouped under the /4 time signatures.

The /8 time signatures only include 6/8, 12/8 and 9/8 (and 3/8 and 15/8) when not used irregularly.
Anything else falls under irregular time signatures, and you don't count those in with these basic time signatures.

So as I said, a /8 time signature (which means that it is one of the basic time signatures, and not an irregular one) indicates that there are three eights per beat.


The problem is I'm REALLY bad at counting (music wise.) I've always had trouble sight reading becuase I mess up the timing of notes, and my biggest obstacle in arranging by ear is figuring out note durations. I know, it's pathetic.

Your explanation for the time signatures really made something click in my head thouh. I don't know why I didn't see that before, but it makes sense to me now. Now I just need to practice.  :P
What I found out to really help, is to study some examples - find some pieces, perhaps at this site like I did, that basically are in these rather hard time signatures (or even the rather easy ones - if you need that too), and just experiment with them, and try to understand "why is that eight there?", "what happens if the third eight isn't there", etc.
I remember I learned a lot about the /8 time signatures after Dahans made his "Dewford Town" arrangement from "Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald". Actually, I think that is what triggered me to start learning about the /8 signatures!
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