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How do you count rhythms?


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#1 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 20:56

It appears that I am in a minority! Instead of "one-and-two-and" etc, my old music teacher instructed us to count via rhythmic syllabification of the following words:

4 semiquavers (or quater beats): dou-ble run-ning
2 quavers (or half beats): run-ning
1 crochet (or beat): walk
minim: stand
triplet: gall-op-ping
dotted: al-gy
rest/up-beat: and

So that, for example, the ostinato figure in Holst's Mars from The Planets suite would be 'counted' as:

gall-op-ping walk walk run-ning walk etc.

Do you use similar counting methods? What are the limitations? Are there much better solutions?
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#2 Tenor Viol

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:16

I know people who do this using words like 'blackberry' to work out rhythms. I don't, but I think it's quite common to do it.
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#3 corenfa

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:23

I had to for groups of 5 and 7 while playing the Barber wind quintet. The words that I was taught to use were slightly rude but it also meant I've never forgotten it.
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#4 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:24

QUOTE(Tenor Viol @ Nov 27 2012, 10:16 PM) View Post

I know people who do this using words like 'blackberry' to work out rhythms. I don't, but I think it's quite common to do it.

Thanks, Tenor Viol. What method(s) do you use?
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#5 BerkshireMum

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:36

I think people tend to use the method they were first taught. I almost always use numbers, but I've heard many words used over the years, e.g. tea, tea, coffee, coffee for 2 crotchets followed by two sets of two quavers; aubergine or pineapple for triplets.

The funniest one I've heard was one my son was given when he had to play a group of seven in something: Slobodan Milosevic biggrin.gif

It doesn't really matter what method you use as long as the rhythms are played correctly.
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#6 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:38

QUOTE(corenfa @ Nov 27 2012, 10:23 PM) View Post

I had to for groups of 5 and 7 while playing the Barber wind quintet. The words that I was taught to use were slightly rude but it also meant I've never forgotten it.

Care to PM instead, to save everyone's blushes? lol
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#7 BillM

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 22:43

QUOTE(Ligneo Fistula @ Nov 27 2012, 08:56 PM) View Post

It appears that I am in a minority! Instead of "one-and-two-and" etc, my old music teacher instructed us to count via rhythmic syllabification of the following words:

4 semiquavers (or quater beats): dou-ble run-ning
2 quavers (or half beats): run-ning
1 crochet (or beat): walk
minim: stand
triplet: gall-op-ping
dotted: al-gy
rest/up-beat: and

So that, for example, the ostinato figure in Holst's Mars from The Planets suite would be 'counted' as:

gall-op-ping walk walk run-ning walk etc.

Do you use similar counting methods? What are the limitations? Are there much better solutions?


I was taught to use these vocalizations for rhythm expression.

Hole note Ta-a-a-a
1/2 note Ta-a
1/4 note Ta
1/8 note Te-te
1/16 note Te-ka Te-ka

Dotted 1/4 Ta-e

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#8 Cyrilla

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 23:16

I use ta, ti-ti, tikatika etc. - the rhythm names originally devised in 19th century France, adapted by Kodaly and still further adapted by Lois Choksy and others.

The names the OP quotes are really Dalcroze movement names and are only really efficacious when the children have MOVED to those rhythms and therefore understand why they are walk/jogging etc.

I'm afraid I have a complete aversion to 'tea/coffee/pineapple' etc...

smile.gif


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#9 linda.ff

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 23:29

QUOTE(Cyrilla @ Nov 27 2012, 11:16 PM) View Post

I use ta, ti-ti, tikatika etc. - the rhythm names originally devised in 19th century France, adapted by Kodaly and still further adapted by Lois Choksy and others.

The names the OP quotes are really Dalcroze movement names and are only really efficacious when the children have MOVED to those rhythms and therefore understand why they are walk/jogging etc.

I'm afraid I have a complete aversion to 'tea/coffee/pineapple' etc...

smile.gif

I don't mind words, but I don't like the tea-coffee bit because children so often don't make the two syllable even.,

One 5-year-old I teach has been doing ta, ta-aa, ta-aa-aa at school and she's very quick at rhythm. I don't teach, on the piano, words to start with, but I find them very useful once the basics have been established. Elephant and Woodpecker are FAR more easily distinguishable than ta-tiki and tiki-ta or whatever method. And caterpillars are brilliant.

This, ladies and gents is where we have the edge over the American names. "Semiquavers" and "quavers" fit into the beats easily, and I'm so used to singing along with my children "mi-i-inim. "Sixteenth notes" just doesn't fit four quick ones.

If you've eer used A Dozen A Day book 2, I find the first exercise is what separates the sheep from the goats when I inherit a pupil at that stage. Oh, how rarely they can play it! My latest one had had the OK from her last teacher for playing up and down in crotchets, then just a little faster for the quavers and a little faster still for the semiquavers. ohmy.gif

I start from the semiquavers. Caterpillar Caterpillar. I point out that you will need to think "caterpillar" for each of the crotchets. And what of the quavers? Ever tried to medicate a feline? Even those who haven't got a cat have heard how hard it is, and they just love going from Caterpillar to cat-pill-cat-pill laugh.gif
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#10 maggiemay

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 23:47

(quote) Elephant and Woodpecker are FAR more easily distinguishable than ta-tiki and tiki-ta or whatever method.

Why ?
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#11 Roseau

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:17

QUOTE(maggiemay @ Nov 28 2012, 12:47 AM) View Post

(quote) Elephant and Woodpecker are FAR more easily distinguishable than ta-tiki and tiki-ta or whatever method.

Why ?

Possibly for dyslexic children? My daughter found the Kodaly names very confusing as they were all too similar.

I don't usually use words but when there are triplets and quavers in the same bar immediately after each other I find the French words "deux croches, triolet" to be helpful.

For anything more than triplets, my teacher suggested just counting the number of notes in my head. I don't understand why this should work (since I couldn't say "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven" (for example) out loud fast enough to fit it into a single beat) but it does.
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#12 [email protected]

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:45

I've never used Kodaly patterns (although I find the idea very interesting) because I've never really learnt them myself and so don't feel comfortable even with the basics. (I'd like to do a course one day . . . )

I don't like words either as it's easy to get confused and there's a lot of difference in how people (especailly children) pronounce certain words. It's also true that i teach in two languages, including French which has no lexical stress whatsoever so each syllable has equal weight and length (leaving aside regional dialects) and so 'woodpecker' (or the French equivalent) would not work.

On a basic level, I find the note names quite useful (and often shout 'mi-nim' when they miss the second beat). Equally, 'tri-o-let' fits a triplet rhythm in a pleasing way.

But in general I just try and get them to feel the beat and to break each beat down progressively. i.e. start with crotchets (no matter what's written), break the appropriate crotchet into two quavers and play like that, then break the appropriate quaver into two semiquavers.

Sometimes counting helps (and I like counting) but, for many, just feeling the beat is enough, counting is actually a distraction.


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#13 lingle

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:06

"I use ta, ti-ti, tikatika etc. - the rhythm names originally devised in 19th century France, adapted by Kodaly and still further adapted by Lois Choksy and others. The names the OP quotes are really Dalcroze movement names and are only really efficacious when the children have MOVED to those rhythms and therefore understand why they are walk/jogging etc. I'm afraid I have a complete aversion to 'tea/coffee/pineapple' etc..."

so that's where those come from! I find these baffling but expect that if a child was immersed in Kodaly method they'd be great. I suppose I'm saying the same about these as you are saying about the Dalcroze movement names..... why are you averse to tea/coffee etc?

Loving the caterpillar approach linda.

I was struggling with my orchestra to do "O Come All Ye Faithful" until they said "Oh you mean why are we waiting?" then they got it immediately.

My biggest problem with all these though is that what children in the playground pretend they're playing is "smoke on the water". Which does not lend itself to any of these methods. But somehow they can all do it perfectly ...... I believe there is research indicating that playground games tend to use quite rhythms that don't lend themselves to crotchet/quaver/dotted crotchet notation..... rhythms that we would designate as "complex" but which obviously aren't because they're what children do naturally.....
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#14 linda.ff

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:51

QUOTE(BillM @ Nov 27 2012, 10:43 PM) View Post

Hole note Ta-a-a-a

It's called that because it's got a hole in the middle, isn't it? biggrin.gif
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#15 ChrisC

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:53

For groups of 7, I remember being told to use "Gina Lollobrigida" smile.gif

Chris
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