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Nice use of 5/4 time
22 April 2014
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Funny Paper
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In "Don't Let Me Down " -- during those verses where John is conspicuously doing his unctuous John voice, like "Nobody ever does me like she does" -- that measure is 5 beats instead of four, making that measure 5/4, whereas the rest of the song is standard 4/4.  My sense is that John's responsible for this bit of 5/4, as well the bit of 7/4 that nicely intrudes on the beginning of "All You Need Is Love ".

After all these years of having listened to this song, I only noticed it this morning when a friend sent me a tube of it just to ask me if I liked the Fender Rhodes style employed by Billy Preston (I don't -- it's too "watery" sounding for my taste).

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22 April 2014
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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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FP's BACK!!!!

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22 April 2014
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How do people tell the length of a measure by hearing?

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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22 April 2014
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Thanks IJSAF.

 

Annadog40, maybe some people are more musically expert than I am and can just tell by listening, but I literally sit there and count out the beats on my fingers while the song is playing -- when my hand is complete, I know a measure is 5/4.

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22 April 2014
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More of this here.

Really interesting, Ill have to listen for these now.

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22 April 2014
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Von Bontee
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Funny Paper said

After all these years of having listened to this song, I only noticed it this morning when a friend sent me a tube of it just to ask me if I liked the Fender Rhodes style employed by Billy Preston (I don't -- it's too "watery" sounding for my taste).

Yeah, I've always found that particular Rhodes kinda thin-sounding too. (Much prefer a Wurlitzer, as far as that goes.) Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea (and others!) were doing fabulous-sounding things with a Rhodes in Miles Davis' bands from 1968-1970, so maybe it was just that particular instrument. I like Billy's contributions to "One After 909 " and "Get Back " better, but still think they would've sounded better on a proper-sounding acoustic piano. (Or a nice buzzy Wurlitzer.)

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22 April 2014
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Funny Paper said
My sense is that John's responsible for this bit of 5/4, as well the bit of 7/4 that nicely intrudes on the beginning of "All You Need Is Love ".
 

Any venturing away from the "standard" 4/4, 3/4 time signatures of their earlier works is probably more due to their exposure to Indian music through George Harrison , after all, the first time I believe that 5/4 time is evident on a Beatles track is during the long instrumental middle section of 'Within You Without You '.  As for 'Don't Let Me Down ', here's an early demo of the song before the others joined in which showcases John's contributions to the song:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....1bQ4h6XkQA

 

Some of John's Esher Demos from Spring 1968 also show a departure from the standard time signatures, such as the chorus in 'The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill '...:-)

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22 April 2014
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This is fascinating to catch a glimpse of Lennon's songwriting process. Usually, a writer will come up with the chorus of the song, and work from there. But here we see that all John had was the opening line of the verse. That must have been an inspiring moment the first time John shouted "Don't let me down"… He would have mumbled to himself "Ooh… I like that"…  :)

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23 April 2014
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Mr. Kite said
More of this here.

Really interesting, Ill have to listen for these now.

Thanks to Mr. Kite for linking that old topic.  I couldn't find it when I tried before setting this room up.  It's so full of interesting info and ideas, I'll have to put off delving into it for later. (First thing I'll do is revisit "Here Comes The Sun " to test out that claim about the cluster of odd time signatures at a certain point.)

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23 April 2014
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Funny Paper said
(First thing I'll do is revisit "Here Comes The Sun " to test out that claim about the cluster of odd time signatures at a certain point.)

Here's a nice little video of George Martin & Dhani Harrison at Abbey Road , at the  2:21  mark towards the end of this clip Dhani explains the Indian time signature that his Father utilized to Sir George, he identifies the name of the signature but I have no idea of its spelling:

 

 

Most interesting to hear the lead guitar that George opted to leave out of the final mix...:-)

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24 April 2014
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Sorry, I didn't see anything in that video directly relevant to the topic....

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24 April 2014
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Funny Paper said
Sorry, I didn't see anything in that video directly relevant to the topic....

Well, maybe the video link wasn't working properly for you?  At the mark that I specified above, Dhani Harrison counts out the time signature used in the song (even provides its Indian name) that you wished to "test out that claim about odd time signatures" for.  The only thing not "directly relevant to the topic" of 'Nice use of 5/4 time', in my opinion, is the fact that this example appears to be a 'Nice use of 7/4 time' instead but come to think of it, didn't you also mention "7/4" in your original post as well?...:-)

24 April 2014
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Billy Rhythm said

Funny Paper said
Sorry, I didn't see anything in that video directly relevant to the topic....

Well, maybe the video link wasn't working properly for you?  At the mark that I specified above, Dhani Harrison counts out the time signature used in the song (even provides its Indian name) that you wished to "test out that claim about odd time signatures" for.  The only thing not "directly relevant to the topic" of 'Nice use of 5/4 time', in my opinion, is the fact that this example appears to be a 'Nice use of 7/4 time' instead but come to think of it, didn't you also mention "7/4" in your original post as well?...:-)

Ah sorry, I didn't listen to the very end.  Interesting.  How is that Indian word he said spelled?  That episode in Here Comes The Sun counts out to eleven beats (3 x 3 + 2) injected into a 4/4 context, so it's really 11/4 for each of those measures.

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24 April 2014
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Bungalow Bob
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Billy Rhythm said

 

Here's a nice little video of George Martin & Dhani Harrison at Abbey Road , at the  2:21  mark towards the end of this clip Dhani explains the Indian time signature that his Father utilized to Sir George, he identifies the name of the signature but I have no idea of its spelling:

That Indian polyrhythmic technique is called a tihai. it consists of three equal repetitions of a rhythmic pattern, followed by two equal rests, adding up to the time signature that sounds weird to Western ears. My guess is that this a lesson that George learned about Indian music from Ravi Shankar, and he finally found a passage of his music where he could work it in. It sounds wonderfully exotic.

On the other hand, I'm glad cooler heads prevailed, and that jarring guitar work was edited out. It's fascinating to hear it now, but I think it just clutters up the song.

24 April 2014
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Bungalow Bob said 

That Indian polyrhythmic technique is called a tihai. it consists of three equal repetitions of a rhythmic pattern, followed by two equal rests, adding up to the time signature that sounds weird to Western ears. My guess is that this a lesson that George learned about Indian music from Ravi Shankar, and he finally found a passage of his music where he could work it in. It sounds wonderfully exotic.
 

Ringo goes into a little more detail on the time signature for 'Here Comes The Sun ' during this clip from 'Living In The Material World ':

 

 

Ringo calls it "7 and a half time" here, haha...:-)

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27 April 2014
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Funny Paper said
In "Don't Let Me Down " -- during those verses where John is conspicuously doing his unctuous John voice, like "Nobody ever does me like she does" -- that measure is 5 beats instead of four, making that measure 5/4, whereas the rest of the song is standard 4/4.  My sense is that John's responsible for this bit of 5/4, as well the bit of 7/4 that nicely intrudes on the beginning of "All You Need Is Love ".

After all these years of having listened to this song, I only noticed it this morning when a friend sent me a tube of it just to ask me if I liked the Fender Rhodes style employed by Billy Preston (I don't -- it's too "watery" sounding for my taste).

I found this bit of info in the wiki entry for the song All You Need Is Love :

The main verse pattern contains a total of 29 beats, split into two 7/4 measures, a single bar of 8/4, followed by a one bar return of 7/4 before repeating the pattern. The chorus, however, maintains a steady 4/4 beat with the exception of the last bar of 6/4 (on the lyric 'love is all you need').

The article mentions Strawberry Fields Forever and  We Can Work It Out as two other examples of their playing games with time.

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13 September 2014
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I know some will say that this comment is out of topic, but I liked John's early demo of Don't Let Me Down more than the final version. Some very nice modulations there. OK, you guys go back to your time signatures now. 

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

13 September 2014
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Oudis said
I know some will say that this comment is out of topic, but I liked John's early demo of Don't Let Me Down more than the final version. Some very nice modulations there. OK, you guys go back to your time signatures now. 

Is that the version on (what my copy is called) Anthology 2000?  Paul gets a few words wrong at 2:34, and John gives a 4 count into the song?  If so, I like John's voice even if some of the high notes were iffy, the soul that went into them made up for that...and I think John was given a tad more volume in the mix (as well as no reverb) so his true voice stands out more (and we all know what an incredible "un-studioed" John could do with his vocal chords!).  I also like that version in that Billy and George played a soft, slow reverb almost like a very slow resonating organ.  Ringo was defiitnely there but totally unobtrusive.  Not sure if John played rhythm, diidn't hear it if he did.  Well anyway if that's not the version then never mind a-hard-days-night-george-10 

And one thing I learned early on here was to check the date of the last post.  In this case it was April, which is just about recent enough to perhaps restart the thread.  But sometimes I would get to reading a 2 year old thread and respond to something and even had a moderator mention to me (jokingly) that I should check the last post date to gauge if anyone would care a-hard-days-night-george-10

Finally, congrats on reaching Abbey Road !

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13 September 2014
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Oudis probably means the actual guitar demo recorded at the end of '68.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....1bQ4h6XkQA

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13 September 2014
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@meanmistermustard, @Matt Busby:

Yes, I meant the guitar demo recorded in 1968, the one posted by Billy Rhythm (@Billy Rhythm: thanks!); it’s not a “finished” song if by finished you mean a two-part or three-part song, but its melody flows beautifully and it has very nice and unexpected melody/chord changes. I like it waaaay better…

Matt:  Have I reached Abbey Road ?! I hadn’t realized it until you said so! Thank you, and thanks to all forum members for putting up with me for so long…

Oudis

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

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