Saturday, February 24, 2007

5/4 time signature

Well, I'm at home today -- didn't get to attend our State Sacred Harp Singing Convention -- and so I'm mulling over music just a little bit. Since I knew I wouldn't be going to College Station, I went to a seven-shape singing convention in Jacksonville, Texas.

As we (really, they) were breezing through one song in 4/4 time, we ran up against 3 or 4 measures labeled 5/4?? Most everyone seemed to be familiar with it, or else didn't care.

Whoever heard of a 5/4 time signature?


Anonymous said...

What songs had the 5/4 time? I'd like to see them.
I think it was back in the 1950s there was an avante-garde jazz pianist that experimented with some oddball meters like 8/5, 9/5, and the like. Evidently it didn't catch on.


R. L. Vaughn said...

Bro. Morris, I'm sorry to say that I don't know. It was just one song. The convention used 5 of the little paperback shape note song books and I had not seen any of them before and don't have one myself. I can probably find out from Eld. Barnwell Anderson there in Jacksonville. I'm sending him some booklets and I'll ask.

Will Fitzgerald said...

List of musical works in unusual time signatures: 5/4 time -- Isn't the Internet an amazing collection of things?

amity said...

How would you beat it, I wonder?

How about like a five-pointed star?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Will, thanks for the list.

Amity, I don't know if this is a particular way that is taught. Just trying an experiment here at home -- down, left, up, right, up seems to work fairly well to me.

RSR said...

I don't recall running across 5/4 time, but I have sung pieces in 5/8 time. Took some getting used to.

R. L. Vaughn said...

LOTS of getting used to, I'm guessing!