Time Signature for Gobbledigook

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tzvibish
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Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby tzvibish » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:26 pm UTC

This is driving me insane. There are some epic polyrhythms here, and I can't wrap my (usually rhythmically competent) head around this.

Can anyone dissect the polyrhythms for me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHMYMvgNAZE
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KrazyerKate
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby KrazyerKate » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:59 am UTC

I'm not sure the word for this, but it sounds sort of like you've got the guitar strumming in 4/4 and the drums in 3/4 or 6/8, at least for the riff where nobody's singing.

When I tap along the drum part with one hand and the guitar with the other it looks like this:

one two and three, one two and three...
where drums beat the one, two, and three, and the guitar strums on one and and.

And the verse sounds like this:

one two and one two and...
where the drums hit one and two, and the guitar strums on and.

then there's what sounds like a prechorus that's in just regular old 4/4, with the guitar strumming a single time every four or eight beats.

Definitely a neat song. I've been kinda teaching myself rhythms recently and this sort of music with odd beats and signatures really gets my brain going.

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tzvibish
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby tzvibish » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:31 pm UTC

Ok, as far as i can tell, there are 3 distinct parts to this song.

part 1: just the strings over drums (sometimes with lalalalalalalalalalalalala over it)

Assuming the drums are following a 4/4 rhythm, each strum is on the third beat, which resolves the rhythm every 12th beat (3 measures of 4, 4 measures of 3). If you count the total strums (24) and the total beats (36) in that part, you get a nice 2:3 ratio, which works out.

part ii: verse (the part with words)

This is the part that's abusing me. I don't think there's actually a polyrhythm here. It's 9 strums over 16 beats, which doesn't come out to anything sane. I might just call this 4/4, with retarded syncopation.

part iii: bridge into chorus (words followed with lalalalalas)

This is simple (relatively). Three bars of 4/4, followed by one bar of 5/4.

Anyone with more insight?
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Arnvidr
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby Arnvidr » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

Without trying to actually remember the syncopation of the first singing part (haven't listened to this album for a while), it felt not that difficult when imagining that part as 3 4/4 bars and one 6/4. What is throwing me off a lot is that the vocals/guitar doesn't start on the the beat in the first bar, but on the second eight.

bosonicyouth
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby bosonicyouth » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:42 pm UTC

Going to count everything in terms of the stompy beat from the time it first comes in.

Intro: 7 strum progression, 2 strums every 3 beats. repeat 3 times, then 3 more strums (36 beats total)
Verse (x2): 18 beats, singing starts half a beat in
8 beat interlude
(Intro)
(Verse)
16 beat interlude
Bridge (x4) 18beats
(Intro)
(Verse)
16 beat interlude
(Bridge)
(Intro, sung version with two extra progressions)

whew!

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Sean Quixote
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby Sean Quixote » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

Ha! I knew that surely I couldn't be the only one totally baffled by this song. :mrgreen:

I tried counting out the beats in just the chorus and I can't even remember if I came up with 24/2 or 36/4, and I'm not currently in the mood to give it another try, but hell, who knows maybe it's 72/8. I, like the OP, like to think of myself as rhythmically competent, but I get pretty easily confused whenever I start debating with myself what the denominator in the time signature should be -- because isn't that kind of a subjective question? But anyway, if I weren't an idiot I'd be able to keep sight of the fact that the "overall" numerator that describes the entire rhythm is going to be either the LCM or the GCF of all the time signatures used... right?

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SirMustapha
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Re: Time Signature for Gobbledigook

Postby SirMustapha » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:39 am UTC

You're not thinking that the whole song needs to have one and exactly one time signature, right? I always took that song as having bars with varying lengths, and it makes sense like that; it's much easier and more logical to follow the song in terms of the length of the phrases instead, and the time signatures is merely a consequence of that. But it seems like the most common pattern in the song is: 8/4 followed by 10/4, which happens both in the verses and in the choruses.


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