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Meter of Prelude No. 10

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Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby MindenBlues on Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:29 pm

johnlink wrote:Remember that my arrangement has the guitar playing the fast descending melody, with the singers performing the chords underneath the fast melody and in answer to it. It won't be drastically slow. But of course 65 miles per hour would seem drastically slow to someone who is accustomed to travelling at 90 miles per hour, but try to tell that to the highway patrol.


I just listened to a professional recording of 28/10 (in this case Argerich). I am too lazy to stop Cortot's recording but his tempo does not differ much. Argerich plays the 54 quarters in 23 seconds, means about 141 BPM in average if I am right. You plan to do it in 76 BPM what is almost half speed. That IS very slow, if not drastically slow in comparison. Please note: I don't say that is right or wrong, it is only very different!

Your comparison with the highway patrol supposes that the slow mode version is the right one, because a patrol checks for doing things correctly, in that case not too fast. There is no patrol in our case, isn't it?

johnlink wrote:Although my tempo is slower than that of all the speed demons, I would not characterize it as slow motion, although it it slower than the lickety-split tempo that is typically taken. Your contrast of a "quarter note groove" with a "groove for a complete bar of 3 quarter notes" suggests that the typical practice is to play it in one, with the beat note being a dotted half. My understanding is that in 3/4 the quarter note is the beat note.


"Beat note beeing a dotted half": that is only half of the truth. More exactly it is beat note beeing a complete bar (that is in this case a dotted half). A bar has a special musical meaning, that is not only a dotted half for 3/4 time signature. That's why it is so important to have the complete time signature in mind, not only the single quarter notes (that means not only the lower but too the upper value of the time signature).

In this case I personally would count in complete bars (as "inner clock"), if I intend to play the piece in common speed (that means about 141/3 = 47 BPM for the complete bar), in order to not loose the connection of the phrases as given by the bars. This I do in all cases with lively tempi that way because it helps to play calm even if it is fast. To refer to your statement, I don't know whether it is typical practice, I only say it is mine in the case of lively tempi!

E.g. Prelude 28/17, in time signature 6/8 I now use a complete bar too as "inner clock". Before I took a half bar - the result of having the complete bar as groove base, to name it so, is better because it sounds more musical instead rigid. Can't explain it better, sorry. My result of counting 28/17 with half bars you can hear at http://www.PianoSociety.com, however I will rerecord with "inner counting" for complete bar (not necessarily faster, don't get me wrong here!), because it simply sounds better. All professional recordings I heard for 28/17 do it the latter way.

I second Pete's statement, I am curious too, why do you want to alter a perfectly good meter? Don't you like the overall groove given by the bars? Really like to change the groove from 2/4 to 3/4 metrum on those bars where 3/4 is more obviously (we spoke already about those bars) and back again throughout the piece? Does that really make musical sense?
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Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:46 pm

MindenBlues wrote:I second Pete's statement, I am curious too, why do you want to alter a perfectly good meter?

See my answer to Pete.
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Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby MindenBlues on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:22 pm

johnlink wrote:See my answer to Pete.


I saw your answer to Pete obviously, since my statement came after your answer to Pete.

However you did not say something new unfortunately, instead pointing to your inital statement. So no new arguments why you want to alter the meter. That's why I needed to repeat the question.

And nothing you have to reply on my statement before, John?
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Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:36 pm

MindenBlues wrote:
johnlink wrote:See my answer to Pete.


I saw your answer to Pete obviously, since my statement came after your answer to Pete.

However you did not say something new unfortunately, instead pointing to your inital statement. So no new arguments why you want to alter the meter. That's why I needed to repeat the question.

And I must repeat my answer:

...my opinion is that the meter of Prelude No. 10 is not 3/4 as indicated in the score, but rather 2/4. I may be correct or I may be mistaken in my opinion about the meter, but for me the issue has nothing to do with my intention and everything to do with the nature of the prelude itself

So you see that I do not wish to change the meter. I think that the meter is 2/4 even though the time signature is 3/4. I think that Chopin made a mistake in writing 3/4.

And nothing you have to reply on my statement before, John?

I will later today.
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Postby PJF on Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:43 am

Chopin knew what he was doing. The time signature is 3/4 because he wrote it that way. This piece doesn't fit a 2/4 meter. But if you wish to make an arrangement, that's great! However, it wouldn't be Chopin.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

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