Thursday, May 7, 2015

Writing Music in Non-Traditional times (5/5 etc.)


Writing Music in Non-Traditional times (5/5 etc.)

The bottom number in a time signature gives you the base note length. This is 1/B, where B is the bottom number. For a common time, 4/4 this is a 1/4 a quarter note, and 6/8, it is 1/8, and eighth note.

While quarter and 8th notes exist in notation, a 1/5 or fifth note does not.

A measure of 5/5 music would have 5 5th notes in it.

Rather than make a new note for each Xth note, one can repurpose traditional notation.

This works for every “in-between space” between the traditional notes, 4th/8th/16th/32nd

B is the bottom number. 1/B gets one beat. So 4/5 time has 4 beats per measure, each measure is 4 5th notes long. in 8/5 time, this has 4 beats per measure, and each measure is 8 5th notes long. in 10/5 time, each measure is 2 “Time True Whole Notes” or two “5/5th notes”

Whole Note - 4/B -  4 over the bottom number, so a measure of 5/5 would have a “4/5th note and a 1/5th note, although a 4/5th note is not “whole” in the sense that a 4/4 note is a whole note, this allows us to use existing notation. to get a True “Whole note of Five-Fifths time, one would do 5 fifth notes, and this would be notated as a 4/5ths note and a 1/5th note, or it would appear to be a whole note tied to a quarter note, but in x/5 time, a quarter note is actually a 1/5 note, it just looks like a quarter note. This is to make it easier for a musician to keep time.

B is bottom number
Dotted Whole - 150% length of whole note, 6/5ths note in 8/5 times
Whole note- 4/B
Dotted half-  150% Half note length, so a 3/5ths note in 4/5 time.
Half Note- 2/B

Quarter note- 1/B - This is the base note for the notation, until one has a B that is greater than or equal to a traditional note, if B is greater than 8, but less than 16, one can use the written note for a traditional 8th note as any note form an 8th note to  1/15 note or 15th note.

8th Note- 1/ 2B ~ what looks like an 8th note in 4/5 time is actually a 10th note, 1/10.

16th note- 1 / 4B ~What looks like a 16th note in 4/5 time is actually a 20th note.

32nd note - 1/8B ~what looks like a 32nd note in 4/5 time is actually a 40th note.

The reason to use traditional note appearances for non-traditional time, is that since a base note is still one beat, then a musician can count the time, and read the music, and it isn’t any different than reading traditional music, the whole note still gets 4 beats, the quarter note, one beat.

This also applies to rest, so what appears to be a whole rest in X/5 time (e.g. 4/5 time) is actually a 4/5th rest, and to rest a whole measure in 5/5 time, one would appear to have a whole rest and a quarter rest.

If one wants to have multiple simultaneous time signatures in a piece, this can be done.

A measure in 4/4 time is composed of 4 notes, in order with lengths  1/8 ; 1/8 ; 1/4 ; 1/2

This same measure, were it seen in 5/5 time, would look different but sound the same.

The quarter note, it 25% of a measure, so the 1/5 note, being 20% of the measure, is not the same amount of time as the quarter note, regardless of looking the same.

The Quarter note would be a 1/5th note tied to a 1/20th note (0.2 + 0.05 = 0.25); in 5/5 time this would appear as a quarter tied to a 16th note.

would be a 2/5th note tied to a 1/10th note  (0.4 + 0.1 = 0.5) : in 5/5 time, this would appear as a half tied to an 8th note.

The 1/8 note would be a 1/10th note tied to a 1/40 note in 5/5 time (0.1 + 0.25 = 0.125); in 5/5 time this would appear as a 8th note tied to a 32nd note.

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