Odd Meter (Music Theory Lesson)

Odd Meter (Music Theory Lesson)

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An odd meter is a meter which contains both simple and compound beats.

The first odd meter that we will discuss is 5/8 time. It contains one simple beat and one compound.

The order of the beats does not matter. If the compound beat comes first, it is still 5/8 time.

Next, we will discuss odd meters with three total beats.

7/8 time contains two simple beats and one compound beat.

Again, the order of the beats does not matter.

The compound beat can even be positioned between two simple beats.

8/8 time contains two compound beats and one simple beat.

Sometimes, people confuse 8/8 with 4/4, since both have 8 eighth notes.

Notice that 4/4 groups the measure into four beats of two eighth notes (simple quadruple), while 8/8 groups it into three odd beats.

Our last odd meter has a total of four beats.

10/8 time has two compound beats and two simple beats.

11/8 time has three compound beats and one simple beat.

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