3-3-2 or 4 in a bar - Curious Question

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Columbo, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Here is an interesting one. Obviously I am taking my band on the Talisman for the Area. I conducted another band last noght who are also competing with the same test piece. Now I can't say either way, but its interesting to look at interpretations. Question - those of you who are playing Talisman, are you playing 3-3-2 in 8/8 bars or is your main man conducting 8/8 bar in 4. You don't have to say who you are, just curious. I won't be changing what I am doing at this stage (Wouldn't dare!). Its interesting though to see how the music flows differently and changes the pattern of the melody. Rightly or Wrongly, I couldn't really say. Its a matter of taste.
  2. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Surely it depends on the groupings? They should dictate the beat and therefore the correct feel to the music.
  3. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Our MD is doing it 3-3-2, so like a 3/3 pattern but with a quick 3rd beat! Makes sense to us and sounds alright from my point of view. I think the people playing the accompanying pattern would find it hard to do in 4 because a natural emphasis should be put on the first quaver in each group.
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    You telling or asking? LOL!! You are correct of course. I shall air my views when all replies are in. Very interesting already though!
  5. EbEwan

    EbEwan Member

    Our MD is doing it as 3-3-2 as well...never having waggled a stick I don't know, but surely that makes more sense when you have the switches between 8/8 and 9/8. Plus, if you do 8/8 in 4 surely that then means you have to do the 12/8 bars in 6...
  6. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    I mean he's conducting like a 3/4 pattern, with a quick 3rd beat.

    If Frank Hughes wanted it to be in 4/4, he'd have written it in 4/4.
  7. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    I'm not sure if this is the section you are referring to (having never played the piece), but i saw this on kapitol's website:

    This is set in irregular time of 8/8 – two compound beats and a simple beats. The first movement sets the scene of the Crusades and Richard the Lionheart.

    Hope that helps
  8. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

  9. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Have a look at the first melody, and then tell me it's in 8/8.
  10. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Forgive me, but I don't understand your point? Please explain.
  11. boagy

    boagy Member

    Interesting, I would consider that since the composer has written the pattern 3+3+2 then that is how it should be conducted. To conduct 2+2+2+2 places the natural flow of the music in completely the wrong places. It is naturally easier to place a 'strong' beat on the beat rather than the off beat. In my experience, to explain 2+2+2+2 to a band would take longer to comprehend and 'mark up' on parts (providing they have a pencil between them) than just cracking on with it in 3+3+2. You are giving them a beat pattern (2+2+2+2) that is not indicated on the part by the way the quavers are grouped. The MD in question must have his/her reasons for conducting this way and for that band is the correct way but it would not be my personal choice. :-?
  12. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    If I explained that would spoil the fun!
  13. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    In which case, a pointless post i feel. Its only a friendly discussion. We're not trying to be clever or contraversial. Come on mate, explain. Its of no help or detrement to anyone, just an opinion.
  14. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    Jason, in my opinion the answer to the question must rest on the feel of the music i.e. where you want the pulse to be. I have not seen the piece, but if you wish to obtain a 3-3-2 style in the music, the band will find it difficult to obtain if you are conducting a straight 4/4.

    As I said, I have not read the score but are the quavers actually written in pairs or are they grouped 3-3-2?

    Whichever way is the directive as to how it should be conducted.

    If I can help at all p.m. me and I will give you a ring.
  15. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Hi Dave. Thanks for that. I always appreciate your input, however it wasn't a question on what I should do as I am comfortable with what I am already doing and the progress we are making. I found the different views interesting although most seem to be of the same opinion. Personally, I don't believe its difficult to work out, however some conductors feel the need to be different for that reason alone. My priority as I'm sure yours is, is what you do for the comfort of your band. Good lucjk at the Area Dave and I'll join you for a pint , no doubt!
  16. Euphgit

    Euphgit Member

    4/4 is just wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong
  17. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    I think this is the most important point. I'm not doing The Talisman so can't comment on that piece particularly, but making sure the band understands what is happening has to be top of the list whether it is in 8/8 or any other irregular pattern. If the conductor has asked for 3+3+2, then that is obviously the way he wants the piece to feel. Conducting straight crotchet beats doesn't take away the feel of that as long as the emphasis is still placed in the right place (as i say i don't know the piece so can't comment specifically on it).

    There is a piece i have used in the past called Patterns by Edward Gregson which has a lot of 8/8, 7/8, etc. and the composer has asked for similar groupings in the 8/8 bars. When i first got it out (and this was with a youth band) even though i said quaver=quaver throughout, getting over those 8/8 bars (written 3+3+2) was a nighmare as their natural instinct was to play triplets. I conducted in 4 for some time so they got used to the feel of the music and eventually conducted in the written pattern, but i did what had to be done so that the players understood it.

    As stated above, i suppose the best way to conduct it is however it works for your band, regardless of the 'correct' way. The question we should ask is would you jeopardise your performance by conducting in the 'correct' way if some of your players didn't quite 'get' what you were doing, or vice versa?
  18. QAD

    QAD Member

    I personally think it doesn't matter what you beat it in as long as the players play according to their groupings.
    Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was once asked by a very experienced professional conductor how on earth to beat one of his multi measure compositions that he wrote for the Fires of London - the repsonse was 'have you tried it in four'
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Not being familiar with the piece I can only make a general point on the 8:8/4:4 thing.

    I've seen 3-3-2 written both as 4:4 and as 8:8 and it depends a lot as to what's going on underneath the lead as to how it's best thought of in groups. For example, a lot of rock music contains rhythms of 3s and 2s across barlines, but the driving force underneath it is (almost) invariably in four.

    When this is the case, I generally think is better to think of the music in four, with the second group of three quavers being a syncopation, and therefore requiring the necessary emphasis to bring it out. As someone alluded to before - the method of conducting doesn;t change the rhythmic "feel" of the music at all.

    Also if the 3+3+2 rhythm is surrounded by 5:8 or 7:8 it's sometimes apallingly difficult to differentiate between the odd-numbered bars and the even numbered 8:8.
  20. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Cat amongst the pigeons QAD. Cheers. This is warming up now. Come on, we appreciate all experiences and comments.

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