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Re: OT West African/African Diaspora rhythms: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 12/8

OK so what's a sub pulse?

Antony Hequet
scuba diver

----- Original Message ----
From: andy butler <akbutler@tiscali.co.uk>
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Sent: Mon, September 13, 2010 1:15:25 PM
Subject: Re: OT West African/African Diaspora rhythms: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 12/8

Rick Walker wrote:
>  Andy Butler asked
> "Any examples to illustrate? "
> to my observation:
> "In this case,   it can be a more flexible map to write 8th notes with 
>over the top of them.
> Yes,  specifically go listen to the tunes that swing from the Neville 
> Other examples, though generated entirely by drum machines are the 
> from Garage/Two Step, the UK dance musics.
> Andy said:
> "Maybe this relates to the Eastern European notion
> of "short" and "long" dance steps. "
> Actually, no, that's not what I'm referring to at all.
> Almost entirely,   short dance steps are in phrases of 2 sub pulse and 
>dance steps are
> phrases of 3 sub pulses.

I'd be thinking that "almost entirely" covers swing as well.
A uk dance genre seems as tightly defined as to be a single composition.

Neville Bros on Spotify
...and the Meters?

I'm indeed squirming at the generalisation about ethnic music :-)
Quite a lot of it simply doesn't relate to the recent Western
grid time idea.

It's a broad generalisation to say that swing *is* played at 67%.

So, we have 2 different note lengths normally at a ratio of
2:1 but on occasion known to become more equal, particularly as the tempo 

> Andy also said:
> "Actually the drummer I play with has been criticised at college because 
>swing wasn't bang on 66.7%.
> ( don't worry, I was able to re-assure him) "

> What's important here for your drummer, probably, was that he could only 
> where he played..................

I don't think so, if he was hearing triplet swing he'd lock into into it.
We're well practised at staying on the same riff and making the music 
vary by changing the feel (with me on bass).
I think the college guy simply believed that swing had to be triplet.

> I've found that when playing 56%-60% swing that it's really helpful to 
> in your fills  (playing only two notes coherent with the swing 
>whereas when you play 64%70% swing that if feels better to play ternary 
>8th notes)

:-) makes sense
It's nice to put theory to it.
Have to admit I do that stuff purely by ear,
so probably not very reliable.

I wonder if using a percentage is the best way to quantify?
Probably it does very well as long as the tempo doesn't vary.
( I'm not a fan of fixed tempo as such)

It would be equally interesting, perhaps, to have the swing settable as a 
amount of time, either as a delay from the
50% point, or an advance from the 67%.

> Andy said,
> "neither "4/4 swing" nor "12/8" tells the whole story
> in every situation."
> Actually from my experience 

So logical to conclude your experience doesn't cover "every situation".

>  I find 12/8 to be far to bland an unspecific a map in those musics 
>because it doesn't indicate any 'feel' or point out how the dancers 

ok, I think this is the point you missed (and edited out more than once)

"4/4 swing" is just hopeless as a notation if the music *combines*
swung and straights.
..and it's not exactly brilliant for notating the second beat of a triplet.

here's an example (from the late eighties iirc)
(with a straight 8 variation in the tune near the end of the clip,
after the bit that really is in 4/4)

I have the scribbled score before me now, marked "4/4 swing feel" at the
top of the page (thus conveying *all* the info that writing in 4/4 swing
would convey) but written in 6/8.

As *all* Western notation tends to conceptually attach the offbeat to
the on-beat preceding it rather than the on-beat following it it's never 
to be my ideal system. I don't see it as defining the feel, just an aid to 
learning the tune.

andy butler