minstrel: 12/8 time signature
warden_2 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 2 10:04:15 PST 2006
Greetings to the list!
I have a question regarding time signatures in music.
I was listening to some Scot Joplin rag time a while ago while looking
at the sheet music and noticed that the syncopation is written as
triplets, in other words, a quarter note and an eighth note combined as
a triplet for one beat.
Recently I heard a medieval song called "Da Que Deus Mamou" by Alfonso
X, which has the same syncopated rhythm (although slower). It was
written in 12/8 time with alternating quarter notes and eighth notes for
the fast part and dotted quarter notes for the slow part. If I tap my
foot really fast, I can do 12 beats to the measure, but I realized that
rhythm is actually 4 triplets per measure. The natural foot tapping mode
is 4 beats per measure with the dotted quarter note getting one beat.
So my question, is how best to describe this. There doesn't seem to be
a convention for this type of time signature except to write it as 12/8,
which doesn't reflect one beat for the dotted quarter note. The
alternative is to write it out as triplets so that the quarter note gets
Any thoughts or comments appreciated!
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