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9/8 time signature 
 

9/8 time signature

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9/8 time signature    17:14 on Monday, August 07, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Penny
(218 points)

I've rescently started getting into music written 9/8. But it's confusing. How do you count that time signature and is the second measure supposed to start in the middle of a beat instead of on the beat? Thats what i've been getting.

In 4/4 I count eighth notes- 1+2+3+4+
but...
In 6/8 i count eighth notes- 123456

is that right?

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Re: 9/8 time signature    17:17 on Monday, August 07, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Flutist06
(1545 points)

Think of it as a 6/8 bar with another triplet added in. It will have 3 beats, each consisting of one triplet (1+uh 2+uh 3+uh). It could also be counted as 9 separate beats (123456789).

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Re: 9/8 time signature    17:33 on Monday, August 07, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Flutist06
(1545 points)

And no, the second measure will not start in the middle of the beat. 9/8 uses the eighth note or the dotted quarter as the basic unit, rather than the quarter, so unless you see half of an eighth note (a 16th, or perhaps a dotted eighth) in there somewhere (making it 8.5/8), it will not start on the "and" of the beat.

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Re: 9/8 time signature    18:19 on Monday, August 07, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Pickled
(123 points)

>>It will have 3 beats, each consisting of one triplet (1+uh 2+uh 3+uh). It could also be counted as 9 separate beats (123456789)<<

That's how I do it--generaly the 3 beats (2 beats for 6/8 time), thinking "1-and-uh" in my brain the first couple times I play a piece, or slow it down and do the full count if it's a tricky rhythm or music that uses a lot of ink.

For the first poster: 3/8, 6/8, and 9/8 time are a totally different counting structure from 2/4, 3/4, 4/4. While the note values still relate to each other the same way (i.e. an eighth note = 2 sixteenth notes, etc), you change your method of counting so that an eighth note is worth a full beat, rather than a quarter note. You need to divorce your brain from what you're used to, and try not to relate the two the way you're doing. I recommend you try a full count at first, when you're learning the piece (1&-2&-3&...9&). Use the quasi-triplet counting method once you speed up the piece, if necessary, since it cuts down on the number of times you're having to tap your toe up and down (which, if you're a full-foot tapper, can become almost jig-like in a fast piece in x/8 time).

-Judy

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Re: 9/8 time signature    21:42 on Monday, August 07, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Sweet_16_Notes
(40 points)

9/8 means 9 8th notes in a bar, right. so i put the 8th notes in groups of 3s - triplets. thre are three groups of 3s in this time signature, right. i would count each beat as 'l&a', 2&a' and 3&a' or 123 456 789. But that depends on the tempo



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Re: 9/8 time signature    09:51 on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Penny
(218 points)

I understand that part, but when Im playing in 9/8 the second measure starts with my foot up instead of down and it's confusing.

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Re: 9/8 time signature    10:26 on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Pickled
(123 points)

>>I understand that part, but when Im playing in 9/8 the second measure starts with my foot up instead of down and it's confusing.
<<

Can you explain exactly how you're counting a measure? If you're counting 9 *full beats per measure, then you wouldn't be cutting a beat in half. And, if you're counting it in triplets, as described, then 3 triplets = 9 beats (3 x 3 = 9), and you're still ending evenly on the upbeat, with a new beat (foot going down) starting at the beginning of the next measure.

The only way I can think of that you'd be "splitting a beat" as you described would be if you were still trying to count as you do in 4/4 time, with a half beat = eighth note. That's simply not the case with x/8 music. 9/8 doesn't equal "4-1/2 beats per measure." Or, are you counting the triplets, with one triplet beat equaling one foot movement (i.e. 1&a = down-up-down)? If so, then you basically need to mentally divide the foot movement into thirds--one down-up foot movement equals 3 beats. If you're having trouble doing that right now, then counting 9 full beats (down-up = 1&, with 9 beats to the measure) would be the best way to start.

--Judy

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Re: 9/8 time signature    00:21 on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

think in 3, or 1

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Re: 9/8 time signature    07:58 on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Patrick
(1743 points)

depends on the speed of the piece, she is probably confused counting up to nine each time, same problem some have with 12/8 time

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Re: 9/8 time signature    18:24 on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Summers
(54 points)

that is a tuff time sig. i feel your pain. i also agree with patrick, i like to think in 3, or 1.

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Re: 9/8 time signature    11:35 on Thursday, August 10, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Penny
(218 points)

Yeah, I realized what I was doing wrong. When I saw "one eighth note gets a beat" I thought it was saying that half a beat in x/4 counts as a full beat in x/8 time. It worked for 6/8 but when I got to 9/8 it didn't work because it was an odd number. but it's fixed now. THanks for the help.

   

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