6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

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glassynails
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6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby glassynails » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:59 pm

Hi.

I think of 6/8 time like this: 1 - ta - ta 2 - ta - ta, 2 accented beats to a measure and kinda fast and dance like. But you can also count 6/8 - 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6. Now, 6/4 time is 1 2 3 4 5 6 also. What's the diff? The accent??


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Stav Mushkat

Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Stav Mushkat » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:21 pm

6/8 feels like 2 triolas. Something like this:
Image

Don't know what about 6/4...

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serl
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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby serl » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:41 pm

In 6/8 you have 6 eighth notes per bar, in 6/4 you have 6 quarter notes per bar. There's no difference when you count, it's anyway 1,2,3,4,5,6, but in the first case you have 1 eighth note per beat, not a quarter note, so if you have, for example, a piece in 6/8 time written in all 16th notes, you actually play them like 8th (i.e. 2 notes per beat, which is 8th). Hope that makes sense :roll:
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Alicia
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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Alicia » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:33 pm

6/8 is two triplet beats to a bar. It goes "Diddledy Diddledy".
6/4 is usually slower, and a straight six beats to a bar with an emphasis on the first beat and then the others being of equal value.
_..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__

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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Nick Cutroneo » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:06 am

There's actually no REAL difference between 6/8 and 6/4 other then the unit of pulses and beats within the measure.

The NATURAL accents in both 6/8 and 6/4 are 2 beats that are subdivided by 3. This is the definition of a complex meter (a meter where you can divide the top number by three).

Now with that said, there is a tempo issue to be concerned about, usually 6/8 is a faster meter then 6/4. Also another factor is how composers use the time signatures. This comes with how you beam the 8th notes in 6/8 (instead of doing the typical 3+3, you can do 2+4, or 2+1+3 or anything of the like). The same with 6/4, you can feel the pulse with the usually grouping of 3 feel, OR the composer can choose to go against that by adding in accents to change the groupings of notes.

It's quite complicated when you get down to it. I took a whole semester long class on rhythm and how to work with time signatures. Perhaps the best class I took in grad school.
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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby glassynails » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:46 am

Thanks all. I'm beginning to understand that the difference between signatures lies in the intended "feel" more oe less, and maybe where to sort of accent. Like someone said. 6/8 has more of a triplet Da - dee - dee , Da - dee - dee feel and 6/4 might have more of a ONE - * * * * * , ONE * * * * * feel.

:)
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Stav Mushkat

Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Stav Mushkat » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:20 pm

You got it :D

camilo

Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby camilo » Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:55 pm

this is very complicated for me :ride:
I have to practise my rhythm

Louise Wilson

Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Louise Wilson » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:09 am

The difference between 6/8 and 6/4 time is the grouping of the notes. Yes, 6/8 is 6 quavers, and 6/4 is 6 crotchets, but in 6/8 time the quavers are arranged in groups of three (compound duple time). In 6/4 time, the crotchets are arranged in 3 groups of two (simple triple time). So, in 6/8 time the bar subdivides into 2 beats, and in 6/4 time, the bar subdivides into 3 beats. Much music is in 6/8 time, and for a good presentation of 6/4 time, look at Guardame las Vacas, by Luis de Narvaez.

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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Noadman » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:35 am

That's an excellent example Louise. As it happens Guardame Las Vacas appears in F. Noad's The Renaissance Guitar with a 3/2 signature, which simply proves your point that it is to be counted in triple time. Also the selection immediately preceding this in his book is Greensleeves in 6/8 time.

:bravo:

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Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby danbidouch » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:58 pm

I am not an expert at this but I always thought that the top digit (6) = the number of beats in a measure and the bottom digit (8 or 4) = the lenght of each beat within that measure. I noticed (mostly in spanish music), that the beats are sometime regrouped within a piece to give a feeling of alternation between 2 long beats followed by 3 shorter beats as in a "guagira" or the "canarios" by Gaspar Sanz.
Arithmetically speaking, 6 can be divided by 2 or 3, so i think that any 6/8, or 6/4 measure may theoretically contain groups of 2 beats or 3 beats, depending on the musical message.
This is all a bit confusing isn't it?

Louise Wilson

Re: 6/8 time vs. 6/4 time

Postby Louise Wilson » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:56 pm

Hi Danbidouch
Canarios by Gaspar Sanz, in my edition, show very strictly how the 6/8 time is divided as 'compound duple'. Compound refers to the main beat being a dotted crotchet, ie a crotchet with a quaver. There are two dotted crotchets per bar - hence 'duple'. The clear duple nature is shown in the second complete bar, where in the bass there is a crotchet (D) followed by a separate quaver (D) , then tied to a dotted quaver (D) , rather than a crotchet followed by a minum.


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