## Odd Meters Vol.1

### Bruce Arnold

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In order to be prepared to read through any piece of music, the serious musician must be able to recognize, read and play rhythms fluidly. Unlike other books of this kind, the exercises given contain complex syncopations which approximate the experience of reading through a sophisticated jazz composition or a contemporary classical piece. This 100 page book will prepare the serious musician for a life of sight-reading rhythmically complex charts. This book applies both eighth and sixteenth note rhythms to odd meter combinations. All examples use one pitch, allowing the student to focus completely on time and rhythm on the instrument of their choice. All exercises can be downloaded from the internet to facilitate correct practice, and aid internalization. This book is a required text at New York Universities and Princeton University Music department.

EXCERPT 1

This books purpose it to help a student learn how to read and feel odd time signatures. There are some definite right and wrong ways to approach this goal. If you are a beginner at trying to read odd meters you will first need to subdivide a measure using the common denominator pulse unit. In Example One you can see that even though the time signature changes from 4/4 to 5/8 the common denominator is the eighth note pulse. Therefore when you are moving back and forth between a four and an eight meter you will need to feel an eighth note pulse. I recommend at first saying the pulse out loud to make sure you understand. When you count out loud you should use a 1 and, 2 and ..etc. to count a four metered measure and count up in numbers when you are in an eighth note meter. i.e. 3/8 would be 1,2,3. You can see in Example One that as you change from a four meter i.e. 4/4 to an 8th meter i.e. 5/8 you keep an eighth note pulse going in your head but change the names you are calling the basic pulse depending on the meter of the measure.

Example 2 shows how you might subdivide a measure where the eighth-note is the common denominator but the measures contain mostly sixteenth notes.

You can see in example 2 that feeling the pulse as sixteenths can make it easier to execute certain rhythms. You will find that reading examples 1-5 could be felt with an eighth note pulse while example 6-10 could be felt with a sixteenth note pulse.

Composers subdivide measures to help the performer see how they hear the internal accents of that measure. You will notice in Example One that 5/8 measure is felt in a group of two and a group of 3 eighth notes while the 3/8 measure in Example Two is felt as three separate and equal beats notwithstanding the natural accent the 1st beat of the measure would receive. When reading the examples found in this book, use these groupings to help you quickly see how a measure is felt and divided.

This method presented here of feeling a basic common denominator pulse will greatly help you in initially playing the examples. Of course you ultimate goal is to feel the pulse of the entire measure which is the original reason to have an odd meter. This is particularly true at fast tempos where it is much more natural and musical to feel the pulse of the measure as your primary beat. In order to do this you must develop a natural internal feel for the underlying common denominator pulse which comes with beginning to trust your internal clock and letting the basic pulse move to the background in your mind . This should eventually be taken further, to where you have an aural image of the rhythm before you play it with no conscious internal subdividing. This last level comes with practicing the examples contained in this book along with playing music in odd time signatures until it's a natural process. As you get more comfortable you should start to feel the time rather than count the time.....

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From the Publisher:

Practicing is more productive and far more fun when you have the help of a tireless friend; in this case your computer. These books are the first of their kind, using the internet as a teaching tool. All the written exercises provided have audio counterparts which can be downloaded from the Internet. Mr Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and these books are the result of seventeen years of experience. He has observed his student's most common musical problems, elicited their input, and the results are the Bruce Arnold Series of Music Workbooks, addressing both harmonic and rhythmic issues. These books are geared to the seriously dedicated musician, whether beginning or professional, and will provide a lifetime's worth of study and inspiration.

We are very excited about Mr. Arnold's innovative instruction series. We believe that this series of books will help more students and professional musicians to perfect their technique and reading skills through the use of an interactive "practice partner." We know of no other books to compare with them; they are truly a teaching method for the New Millennium!

From the Author:

This book gives a musician a chance to practice every rhythmic combination within one measure. By going through every combination a musician can isolate rhythms they have problems with and correct any mistakes.

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ISBN 10:  1890944580 ISBN 13:  9781890944582
Publisher: Muse Eek Publishing Company, 2001
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## 1.Odd Meters Vol.1

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