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Beginner How do you swing semiquavers?

BigMartin

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On the basis of "there are no stupid questions, only stupid people" ;}:

I realise this is more of an academic than a practical question (I just wish I could play accurately enough for the answer to make a difference!), but I would like to know what I'm aiming for at least in principle. Also, I used to be a mathematician, and my mind just runs this way.

Suppose we're playing a piece with a "swing" rhythm, and we're interpreting quavers as a triplet figure, so we subdivide crotchets in a 2:1 ratio. How do we play semiquavers?

a) Divide each quaver evenly, so a crotchet becomes 2:2:1:1

b) Divide each quaver into another triplet, so we get 4:2:2:1

c) Make the ratio of each note to the next be constant while keeping the 3rd semi in the same place that the second quaver was (hope that makes sense). I think this one involves solving a cubic equation which I have no intention of doing (even I'm not that sad).

d) None of the above.

Any suggestions (apart from "you should get out more")?

Cheers

Martin
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Evenly. As you would with any other sort of music. Swing only affects quavers (ok, there are occasional bits of weird notation where semis are swung instead, but it's unusual). This is, of course, assuming whoever notated the stuff knew what they were doing.
 

TomMapfumo

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5,219
You should get............... gosh, I'm getting as bad at reading posts as Beckmeistersinger...........................;}

Night night!
Tom:cool:
 

TomMapfumo

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Hi Becks!

Well I do have recordings of all Wagner operas, and have seen them all at Covent Garden, apart from the opera in question - not mythological enough for your celtic bro' .........;}
It's all North European Jazz, at the end of the day!:w00t::shocked:

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
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Andante cantabile

Senior Member
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695
Hi Becks!

Well I do have recordings of all Wagner operas, and have see them all at Covent Garden, apart from the opera in question - not mythological enough for your celtic bro' .........;}
It's all North European Jazz, at the end of the day!:w00t::shocked:

Kind regards
Tom:cool:


Well, Tom, yes, I am flabbergasted. I have listened to all of them, and I have seen some of them (Parsifal and the Meistersinger are my favourites). We are a long way from swinging semiquavers, but your message was worth getting.
 

TomMapfumo

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5,219
On the subject of swinging semi quavers - I would have thought that it was quite difficult to do unless the piece was quite slow. A piece I am currently playing is at 85 bpm and is swung - on 6 occasions there are semi quaver climbs C - D - F - A - C - Eb, which I tend to play as if I am going upstairs - before resuming a more overtly swinging quaver approach. At best I would imagine that we are in the land of personal preference. Mine is that it is similar to playing triplets so that there is a contrast, if anything.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:

p.s. I'm a Parsifal fan too.........;}
 
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Nick Wyver

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At best I would imagine that we are i the land of personal preference.

Yeah, but also in thrall to what has gone before. I reckon you'd be hard put to find a recording of someone swinging quavers and semis in the same piece. Still, there's always a first time...
 

saxnik

Member
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381
Yeah, but also in thrall to what has gone before. I reckon you'd be hard put to find a recording of someone swinging quavers and semis in the same piece...

.... Unless the score temporarily goes double-time...! Billie's recording of That Old Devil springs to mind.

Nick
 

BigMartin

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3,908
Thanks for the comments, folks. Looks like 2:2:1:1 has the majority verdict.

As it happens, I like Wagner, too (well, his music anyway!). THere was a nice concert performance of Die Meistersinger at this year's proms(saw it on the telly)

Cheers,

Martin.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
As it happens, I like Wagner, too (well, his music anyway!). THere was a nice concert performance of Die Meistersinger at this year's proms(saw it on the telly)

I listened to it on ABC-FM. You mean the performance by the Welsh Opera with Bryn Terfel, don't you.

I always remember how good Wagner was in the TV series "Maverick".

As usual, OG, a good stab at it, but unfortunately not even a distant relative.

And apologies to those who came to this thread to seek enlightenment on how to swing semiquavers.
 

Justin Chune

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3,031
Clarinetist Artie Shaw gave it as his opinion that Swing quavers were neither 2-1 or 3-1 but "somewhere" in between.

Jim.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
But in a big band, say, there'd have to be some kind of standardisation, I presume.

Not really - in a big band it's more a case of Follow the Leader.
Different bands swing things to different degrees. Like Nick says, it depends on the speed. The best explanation of swing I've ever been given was the bouncing ball analogy; if you're playing a slow piece the swing rhythm is similar to bouncing a basketball or similar from about chest high, first quaver of the pair is when the ball bounces, second when your hand pushes it down again. As the music gets faster, your "hand" gets closer to the floor, and the gap between bounce and push gets more even.
This explanation works better in person, hope it made sense!

Usually semi-quavers don't swing, if you wanted a 2:2:1:1 pattern you'd have to notate it as a triplet bracket over quaver : quaver : pair of semiquavers. The exception would be double-time for the whole band, which would either be written as such or if only temporary might be scored as dotted-semi/demisemiquaver pairs.

Cheers,

Nick
 
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johnboy

Senior Member
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1,179
Now as to the secondary topic, my favorite Wagnerist was Otto Klempere. For me the1962 recordings (the Klemperer legacy (Overtures and Preludes)), nocks all others into a cocked hat.
Another "Maverick" Wagnerist was one Adolf Hitler!
Thank God there weren't two of him!!!!!
 

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