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Old 05-14-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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Default Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Don't know if it's been raised here before, but I've always been amazed at the high proportion of songs written and released by Gord which are in 3/4 (waltz) time. IYCRMM has Saturday Clothes and Cobwebs And Dust (consecutively) and Your Love's Return. SSOL has Same Old Loverman and the first part of Cabaret. ODR has That Same Old Obsession. Sundown has Seven Island Suite. COTS has Bells Of The Evening, A Tree Too Weak To Stand and Fine As Fine Can Be. SD has The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald and I'm Not Supposed To Care (consecutively), The House You Live In and Too Many Clues In This Room. EW has Sweet Guinevere, If There's A Reason and If Children Had Wings. DSR has Sea Of Tranquility and On The High Seas. Shadows consecutively has All I'm After and Triangle (whose 'triangular' beat I suspect was no coincidence). Salute has Romance and Tattoo. WFY has Welcome To Try and Waiting For You. Harmony has the title track. And earlier albums include Leaves Of Grass, Pussy Willows Cat Tails, Affair On 8th Avenue and the middle part of Canadian Railroad Trilogy. I doubt if any other modern songwriter has had 30 songs published with 3/4 time.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Maybe his parents used to listen to Waltes a lot and he actually likes that kind of music.

I noticed they were rather waltz like. Some even close to being lullabys.

Since it's Gordon though,that makes it really cool.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

i love these kind of posts, Dave...most of these tunes make my late night playlist (yeah, i suppose you could call them jj lullabies)

i think that most folks muttering about in society are silently humming and moving their heads to and fro to songs that are in 3/4 time, it's inherent...i would add minstrel of the dawn even though i believe it's in 6/8
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

As I see it, I think that the reason for the music being done to a waltz type beat is because it seems to be a very relaxing & sothing feel to it. As for Wreck of the edmund Fitzgerald, it feels more like an old sea chanty. Of course, I'm no expert, but there you are.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

What are some of the songs written in 6/8 time?? Just so I can listen more closely. Thanks
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

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Originally Posted by seafarer62 View Post
What are some of the songs written in 6/8 time?? Just so I can listen more closely. Thanks
TWOTEF is an example. I remember seeing him in concert and he set the tempo with " 1 2 3 4 5 6 "
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

I think "Wreck" defies defenition and/or category. It stands alone.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:03 AM   #8
ANTHONY ROBERSON
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Forgive my ignorance, but what's the difference between 3/4 time and 6/8 time? Wouldn't the same effect had happened if Gord went "1, 2, 3, 1, 2 3"?

Are there examples (hopefully Lightfoot songs) that show the difference between 3/4 and 6/8?

This failure to see the difference probably stems from me being a math teacher, and figuring that 3/4 = 6/8! I need to get out of the classroom more!
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:47 AM   #9
charlene
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but what's the difference between 3/4 time and 6/8 time? Wouldn't the same effect had happened if Gord went "1, 2, 3, 1, 2 3"?

Are there examples (hopefully Lightfoot songs) that show the difference between 3/4 and 6/8?

This failure to see the difference probably stems from me being a math teacher, and figuring that 3/4 = 6/8! I need to get out of the classroom more!
I figure 6/8 is twice as fast..lol
I too was wondering the same thing..

char
not a math whiz nor a musician..
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:57 AM   #10
RM
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I figure 6/8 is twice as fast
That's it.

6/8 = 6 beats to the measure / 8th note gets 1 beat

3/4 = 3 beats to the measure / quarter note gets 1 beat

As far as examples, imagine if he sang TWOTEF with the same tempo as "Saturday Clothes". Heck, it would have been a 12 minute song.

Last edited by RM; 05-26-2009 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I figure 6/8 is twice as fast..lol
the counting is 2x as fast within each measure but since the eight note is half the duration of a quarter note, the overall duration of each measure will be the same...no effect on total song length

imo, it's all about where the "push" is ie. where the emphasis falls within the measure that determines whether you are in 3/4 time vs 6/8 time


3/4 - think of a waltz with the emphasis on the first beat (of 3)

6/8 - think of the emphasis on the 1st and 4th beat (of 6)
...the Wreck would lose it's feel if scored in 3/4 time...think of counting in two groups of three (123 456) instead of three groups of two (12 34 56)
...it's all about finding the lowest common denominator, meter-wise...clear as mud?
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
charlene
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

oh my - i was right?
haven't a clue what a measure is unless i'm baking and measuring..and my kids know THAT doesn't happen often.

we don't need any 12 minute songs altho some of that rap/hip/hop stuff seem like it's lasting twice as long.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

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Originally Posted by charlene View Post
oh my - i was right?
I'm not sure anymore. jj confused me.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
charlene
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

me too.. if i had an iota of musical talent it would make sense..maybe.
Hey JJ - you can come out here, bring a geetar and demonstrate what you're talking about..maybe demonstrate it on the piano..then have a dip in the pool.

you can come too ron..
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

try again...it's about simple (3/4) versus compound (6/8) time signatures

when i talked of 'pushes' i was meaning pulses...in a compound time signature there is a primary pulse on the first beat and then a lesser but distinct pulse on the fourth beat ....it's like you're counting in two sets of three

rm brought up a good example...in Saturday Clothes you can hear the simple 3/4 time...waltz feel, umm pah pah

whereas in the Wreck it's got that secondary pulse halfway through each measure 123 456 ....i hear this sort of compound time in Minstrel od the Dawn also

try scoring that intent using 3/4 time....you would need to use 1/8 notes and maybe even get into 1/16ths

i am no timing expert, my head has it figured out but i sloppily convey it to my hands!


rm, does this make sense?:

IF 1/8note + 1/8note = 1/4note

then it takes as long to count out six 1/8notes as it does to count three 1/4 notes, no?

some expert may chime in...i could be out in left field altogether....just like the Jays

i remember a similar 'pulse' discussion when friends were talking of 9/8 time...a fave early Genesis song segment is a prime example..the pulse/emphasis in that case was on the 1 2 and 3 below ...it's pretty infectious

|1 - 2 - - 3 - - -|

...in short, "it's quicker" is the least verbose answer
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #16
charlene
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

are you coming over or not?
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:41 PM   #17
RM
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

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Originally Posted by jj View Post
rm, does this make sense?:

IF 1/8note + 1/8note = 1/4note

then it takes as long to count out six 1/8notes as it does to count three 1/4 notes, no?

some expert may chime in...i could be out in left field altogether....just like the Jays
Yeah I understand. I guess I'll just have to once again stand corrected. (It may be time to invest in some corrective shoes)

Must be an aural illusion. It sure sounds twice as fast.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:36 AM   #18
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Very interesting feedback, people. By the way, I was wrong about "Too Many Clues In This Room". It's not in 3/4 or 6/8 time.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:22 AM   #19
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Then again, now that I've actually listened to "Too Many Clues In This Room", I'd say the first few bars are in 3/4 time and the remainder in 4/4 time. Several of Gord's songs switch between 3/4 and 4/4 time, including "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" and "Cabaret".
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
Forgive my ignorance, but what's the difference between 3/4 time and 6/8 time? Wouldn't the same effect had happened if Gord went "1, 2, 3, 1, 2 3"?

Are there examples (hopefully Lightfoot songs) that show the difference between 3/4 and 6/8?

This failure to see the difference probably stems from me being a math teacher, and figuring that 3/4 = 6/8! I need to get out of the classroom more!
I'm with you on that, and I'm no math wiz! Like you, I can't see the differance either. Of course, I also don't know a thing about music either. Oh well.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:27 AM   #21
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

does this help? (different time as well as key signatures here)... you can score 6/8 tune in 3/4 but you'd need twice as many measures to effectively convey the compound pulse feel of the Wreck... the tempo is noted as Slowly/Moderately Slow", 68 beats per minute

there must be a trained musician member who can elaborate/articulate this further

btw, found a clip of that 9/8 section I was referring to...fun
YouTube - 9/8 Solo (Genesis)
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:45 AM   #22
jj
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave, Melbourne,Australia View Post
Several of Gord's songs switch between 3/4 and 4/4 time
yeah, good observation Dave...and we rhythmically challenged guys love those ones especially...white men cant count

char, 2 thumbs up...and seeing rm in his Arizona swim trunks will be bonus
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

I'll be back at the end of June..the pool is already open.
hope to see ya in july or august.
bring yer trunks..
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:12 PM   #24
Oh, Linda
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

Maybe our fine musician in the group, DawnsMinstrel, could help us all understand a bit?
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:00 AM   #25
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Default Re: Many of Gord's songs in 3/4 (waltz) time

I wrote a long-winded rather pedantic answer to this (as if I'm qualified!) but by the time I was done I had somehow been automatically logged out of the forum and so it was lost in cyberspace. I don't have the gumption to rewrite the whole thing so I'll just point out that in 6/8 time, in addition to the "ONE two three, ONE, two, three" rhythm that one perceives in the music, there is also an overlying "ONE two, ONE, two" rhythm that one also perceives and corresponds either to the difference in degree of emphasis placed on the ONE beat and the FOUR beat of the sequence "ONE two three FOUR five six," or to the shifting of one's focus in such as way as to perceive the triplets of eighth notes that frequently appear in 6/8 tunes as individual entities of their own - something like perceiving whole words instead of letters when reading.
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