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different time signatures in duet

MandyH

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is it common to have the sax playing in a different time signature from the accompanying piano?

I am scanning Saxo-Rhapsody by Eric Coates into Sibelius to create the piano backing to play along with, when I came across this (see image)
From the previous bar, both parts were in 12/8, but the sax has moved into 4/4, with (apparently) the piano staying in 12/8.
I know you would normally count 12/8 in 4, so the 2 pieces will play together, but doesn't the sax move after the piano on that very last semi-quaver in the bar?
I am just trying to work out if this is what was intended, and indeed how to play it.
scan0031.jpg
 

Nick Wyver

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I suppose it depends on how much of a pedant you want to be. There are timing issues in the second bar too but they're a bit easier to deal with. I guess, almost inevitably, the semiquaver is going end up being the same length as a (triplet) quaver in the piano part. I'm sure I used to have the score for this but I can't find it and I can't remember what the rest of it does.
 

Jay

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Wow! After the piano in the first bar, before the piano in the next.....is that what Coates intended? I suppose if he hadn't, he would have written both in 12/8 and had them move together?
 

MandyH

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scan0032.jpg
I've just discovered this later in the piece...sax in 12/8, piano in 4/4
They had both been in 12/8 for about 70 bars.

I'm guessing that this is intentional.
 

Nick Wyver

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Look at the speed. It's going to make bugger all difference whether you play it as a semiquaver or a triplet quaver. Writing the second bar in 12/8 would be more problematic - you'd have to write duplets.
I think it's all about ease of reading/writing.
 

jbtsax

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These are examples of "polyrhythms". The trick is to not try to figure it out. Just play your part, don't listen to the accompaniment, and make the accompanist play in time with you. >:)
 

BigMartin

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A similar rhythm occurs in Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, but at a much slower tempo. In that case the semiquaver is definitiely after the triplet, like a kind of stumble.
 

kevgermany

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Looks as if it's meant as a grace note, but before the bar line. So it's leading into your A and the piano's C, a bit of contrast to the piano's opening at the beginning of the bar.
 

Pete Thomas

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Looks as if it's meant as a grace note, but before the bar line.

That's likely to be the effect, but i don't understand why he didn't write it as a grace note.

My take on this is that I would play it in the way I think it sounds best, but I might not have such a cavalier attitude if Eric himself was sitting in the audience.

Cue video opportunity, one of my very favourite tunes:

 
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Tenor Viol

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The Vaughan Williams Folk Song Suite in one movement has the strings in 4/4 and the wind in 12/8 i.e. 2s against 3s. I was playing Chabrier's Espana last week in Thursday orchestra and the strings are in 2/4 in one place and the wind and brass are in 3/8 and gradually switch to 2/4. The conductor just has to conduct it as 1 in a bar. It can be a train wreck...
 

aldevis

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I love seeing it written!

Here is a jazz example. Check the 4/4 soloing on 6/8
If you have time to spend, work out the tempo map.
 

MandyH

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I am having enough trouble playing at that speed anyway....especially when I get to the 4-tuplets and 5-tuplets at 200, and let's not discuss the 7-tuplets nor the 13-tuplet that comes later - thrown fingers at notes and hope for best, landing on the first note of the next beat, that's my approach!
 

MandyH

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No, This is an alto piece.

I will also be playing a Telemann Sonata, and Amy Quate's Light of Sothis on Alto.

I am playing the Eric Satie Prelude & Finale on Bari, and Paul Harvey's Concert solo no 5 on Bari
 

jbtsax

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I am having enough trouble playing at that speed anyway....especially when I get to the 4-tuplets and 5-tuplets at 200, and let's not discuss the 7-tuplets nor the 13-tuplet that comes later - thrown fingers at notes and hope for best, landing on the first note of the next beat, that's my approach!
I was taught to mentally separate odd numbered sequences of notes into groups. For example 7 would be 3 + 4, or 4 + 3. It seems to help in performance thinking about them in that way---for me at least.
 

aldevis

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At my theory exam (I was 16) I had to solfege a quintuplet in four.
But until I started listening to Zappa and stop counting, I din't start grasping irregular groups.
 
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