How do you count 32nd notes?

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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:25 pm

ksjazzguitar wrote:...I think you just feel them.


Yes, I don't think there's any other sensible way if it's 32nd notes. :D
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:43 pm

As Kevin and Denian say you have to learn to feel it.

Looking at Sor's Op29 #5 it's in 2/4 but I'd expect the allegro moderato is based on counting 4 beats to the bar so Kevin's counting eighth note beats is the way forward.

Looking at that study (as it's the one you mention) you're trying to count dotted 16th, 32nd, dotted 16th, 32nd (not "a group of 16/32/16/32 notes" as glassynails said) and counting the beats as 1/8s (subdivisions of eight as Kevin says) will make that easier. Get the feel of the rhythm by counting (in eights) 16th 16th 16th 16th, then 16th 32nd 32nd 16th 32nd 32nd, then finally dotted 16th, 32nd, dotted 16th

Looking through this study feeling the rhythm is really important - so later in the piece you can keep the steady pulse of pedal D 1/8s with your thumb whilst your fingers play the figures in 32nds, 16ths and triplets.



Am I the only one who's looked at the piece in question to help answer the original post?
Last edited by Brock on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:47 pm

Brock wrote:Am I the only one who's looked at the piece in question to help answer the original post?


No :)
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Nick Cutroneo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:14 pm

Brock wrote:Looking at Sor's Op29 #5 it's in 2/4 but I'd expect the allegro moderato is based on counting 4 beats to the bar so Kevin's counting eighth note beats is the way forward.


Looking at the piece, I still do not think the 8th is the beat. This reminds me of the issue within the 1st Theme/Vari of the Rossiniana No. 1. In the 2nd variation are 32nd notes. The time signature is in 2/4 (just like what we see in the sor). Even though I counted it in four (4/8) my foot was feeling it in 2/4. To me, this is an extremely important concept, because it isn't written in 4/8, its written in 2/4. Thus what Giuliani and in this case Sor have in mind is a meter with 2 pulses. If they wanted 4 pulses, the piece would have been written in 4/4 (As I'm pretty sure that 4/8 wasn't used back then) with the 8ths written as quarters, the 16ths written as 8ths, etc. Looking at the page, there is no signal to me saying that Sor wants a 4 pulsed measure, but rather 2 (as the given time signature suggests.

Now in terms of counting, dottened 16th/32nd note figures, granted, have a certain feel. At the same time, how much time does it take to sit down a count the thing? Yes you can go by feel. There's nothing wrong with that, however it is easy to make a dotted rhythm sound like a triplet rhythm, thus the way solve that issue is by counting. What I find interesting is why so many people are put off when someone tells them to count, but that's a debate for another time, and certainly not this thread.

As to Glassynails, in reference to this specific piece, this is how I'd instruct a student of mine to count it. I'd probably count it in 4 (using the 16th note syllables for the 32nd notes, the 8th note syllables for the 16th notes, and 1, 2, 3, 4 for your 8ths), however pulse my foot in 2 (on 1 and 3) so that the metrical accents are correct. Obviously working slowly at first to internalize the concept and "feel" of this rhythm. As the tempo becomes faster, you should still be able to count the rhythm.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby lagartija » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:33 pm

I just call the eighth note the beat and count it that way (so now 16ths are "1&2&...", and the 32nds are "1e&a2e&a...") But even complex rhythms, eventually you just recognize the patterns and "feel" them.


This is what I would do.... It is too early in my musical training to "recognize" and play the patterns without first counting them and writing that count if necessary below the notes (like the words to the song as some teacher on the forum has said in other posts on counting). If there is a dotted note, then it might be something like 1(+)2+...... I put the count when I am not playing in parenthesis so I know to say but not play. Works for me.... might help someone else. :idea:
Even if this counting was only for two measures and we went back to 1/8 notes, I would have that count in the measures with the 1/16 and 1/32 notes so I would get the rhythm between them precisely. Then when I had the rhythm of those measures, I could fit it back into the piece and put the emphasis on the appropriate note of the group.

I cannot yet feel subdivisions exactly. I'm sure that will come with practice, but for me, counting is a must..... or I am just guessing.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Les Backshall » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:21 pm

I was hoping to contribute something erudite to this thread but unfortunately, at my level of playing, you just don't count 32nd notes, because 32nd notes just don't count. :(

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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby glassynails » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:59 am

Thanks everyone. What I meant was how to count them "syllable-wise". Yes Denian, I know that a 32nd is 1/2 of a 16th, but thanks.

I guess, what I mean is a dotted 16th note as someone above mentioned. The dotted 16th note is 6/8 time would be similiar to counting 1 a2, etc.

In the 3rd measure of No.5 in Opus 29 there is a 16/32/16/32 note bundle for the first beat, that's what I'm talking about, I'm just trying to figure out a way to time it. Normally if these were 4 16th notes I would just count 1 e and a. I'm not concerned with names for syllables, who cares? I'm concerned with a way to time it using syllables.

here's the link again --> http://www.muslib.se/ebibliotek/boije/pdf/Boije%20477.pdf


For the first note (g) I play on the beat of course. Normally IF this was a 16th note (Bundle?) I would play the F# (2nd note) on (e), but of course I have to wait a little longer for a dotted 16th note (precisely a 32nd note longer before I strike the F#). So I guess as far as timing it out I could throw in an extra syllable like say (a). So I'll count the first and second notes as 1 e (a). So I play the (G) on 1 and then the F# on (a). Then, the 3rd note would come on (and). So, I count 1 e (a) and. Then I've got a figure out the rest. I'll do it.

:)
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby dogonjon » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:32 am

Since they go by to fast to name each note I count them da,da,da,da,da,da,da,da.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Robin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:08 am

glassynails wrote:Thanks everyone. What I meant was how to count them "syllable-wise". Yes Denian, I know that a 32nd is 1/2 of a 16th, but thanks.

I guess, what I mean is a dotted 16th note as someone above mentioned. The dotted 16th note is 6/8 time would be similiar to counting 1 a2, etc.

In the 3rd measure of No.5 in Opus 29 there is a 16/32/16/32 note bundle for the first beat, that's what I'm talking about, I'm just trying to figure out a way to time it. Normally if these were 4 16th notes I would just count 1 e and a. I'm not concerned with names for syllables, who cares? I'm concerned with a way to time it using syllables.

here's the link again --> http://www.muslib.se/ebibliotek/boije/pdf/Boije%20477.pdf


For the first note (g) I play on the beat of course. Normally IF this was a 16th note (Bundle?) I would play the F# (2nd note) on (e), but of course I have to wait a little longer for a dotted 16th note (precisely a 32nd note longer before I strike the F#). So I guess as far as timing it out I could throw in an extra syllable like say (a). So I'll count the first and second notes as 1 e (a). So I play the (G) on 1 and then the F# on (a). Then, the 3rd note would come on (and). So, I count 1 e (a) and. Then I've got a figure out the rest. I'll do it.

:)


If you notice, there are little number "5"s above each cluster of 32nd notes. The measure begins with an 1/8 note. Then there is an 1/8 note rest below the cluster of 5 32nd notes. This constitutes beat 1. The cluster of 32nd notes is starting on the "&" of beat 1 and lasts for half the beat. If you try to count it out as 32nd notes it doesn't add up because there would only be 4 32nd notes allowed to get to the 1/8 note on down of beat 2. I think the number "5"s above the clusters of 32nd notes are telling us to treat these similar to how you would treat a triplet only it would be a quintuplet. I would feel it as 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. I would probably say the word: "quin-tup-ple-et-a" when I came to the 32nd note clusters of 5. So, in measure 2 I would count: 1-quintupleta-2-&-3-&-4-&.

It's even more interesting to notice that over some of the 32nd note groups of 5, there is a single slur marking over all 5 notes and over some there are two slur markings desginating a group of 2 and a group of 3. If this is Sor's editing, he may be treating us to a secondary underlying rhythm (a hypermeter? not sure if this is the right term). It's also interesting that the 32nd note clusters are consistently falling on the & of beat 1 and then later, he adds them to the & of beat 3, functioning as ornaments. Pretty cool writing!

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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby paulcroft » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:56 am

Robin, you're looking at a different piece. The one in question is actually "Estudio 17" from opus.29, "Douze etudes pour la Guitars"
[pour servir de suite aux douze premiere.] In other words it's a second group of twelve studies by Sor. It didn't help of course,
in finding the correct piece, that the note values were initially decribed incorrectly.

As to the question I do largely see it as an irrelevance: if you feel technically able to play this study you should also feel musically able to do so
and it's a standard note-grouping: the dotted rhythm pretty much speaks for itself. If you, for example, count the five notes of that pattern as
"ONE-and-then-a two" that could work; but for it to be accurate you still need to have a general "feel" [as others have pointed out]
for a correctly dotted rhythm, that doesn't turn into a lazy triplet. I think it's possible to over-complicate these things.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby paulcroft » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:16 am

Two other observations: How you count is far more important than precisely what you count. You could, for example, say
"one[-e-and]-a-two[-e-and-]a-one" or "ONE[-e-and-]a-two[-e-and-]a-ONE". In both cases you're playing on "one/a-two/a-one."
They're the same syllables but with a different metric feel and it's that last word that's important. The syllables are not a panacea.

Secondly, the five-note pattern in question is identical to bar six of the much better known theme of Sor's Mozart Variations, even down to the
acciaccatura on the first note. I've lost count of the number of recorded/performed versions of this piece where the first dotted pair of notes
were played accurately but the second descended into a vague triplet. The greater the number of repeated dotted patterns,
at speed, then the greater the discipline needed to maintain their strict, rhythmic accuracy.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby rojarosguitar » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:36 am

ksjazzguitar wrote:
I think you just feel them...

More precisely, you feel the basic time unit (something like en eight) and see to it, the four of the 32 fit equally long into a felt eight (or first counted, if you need it, until you feel it). As has been stated, rhythm is allways an integrated pattern, an though it can be anayzed, finally it has to be felt in its specificity. Only then playing it actually becomes music.

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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Robin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:48 am

PaulCroft wrote:Robin, you're looking at a different piece. The one in question is actually "Estudio 17" from opus.29, "Douze etudes pour la Guitars"
[pour servir de suite aux douze premiere.] In other words it's a second group of twelve studies by Sor. It didn't help of course,
in finding the correct piece, that the note values were initially decribed incorrectly


oops. Nevermind....

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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby paulcroft » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:58 am

Robin wrote:
oops. Nevermind....

Robin


That's not quite the abject apology I was hoping for Robin.
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Re: How do you count 32nd notes?

Postby Robin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:37 pm

PaulCroft wrote:
Robin wrote:
oops. Nevermind....

Robin


That's not quite the abject apology I was hoping for Robin.


Well, before the mob arrives to stone me, I'd like to observe (as others here have) that the way 32nd notes are counted has much to do with the underlying rhythmic structure and the function of those notes within the context of the piece in question. I think in the one I inadvertently looked at (#2) and study #5 (the one in question) the 32nd notes are functioning as ornaments. I would even consider the argument that in study #5 the 32nd notes could be looked at more as "pick ups" to the dotted 1/8 note that [edit:follows it] rather than end of the beat the dotted 1/8 initiates. I'm only speculating since I have not played either of these pieces and have probably never heard them. I'm just going by what I see on paper.

The most important lesson I learned about 32nd notes came through the study of the second movement (Adagio) of Haydn's Em piano sonata. Here the 32nd note rules--the melody ebbs and flows throughout this piece on a sea of 32nd notes. There are, of course, 16ths, 32nd note triplets and dotted 1/8notes but the 32nd notes carry beautiful melismas in this passionate piece. My piano teacher promised that after that piece, I would never worry about 32nd notes again--and I don't.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the reverend is here to give me my last rites.....

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