Welcome students (what?) to today’s music lesson (wait, we have lessons?) and today we’re going to learn how to count (what is this, elementary school?).
Every song has a rhythm and every rhythm has a beat. Ever clapped to the beat? You know a song’s rhythm! Most songs have 4 beats. Just pick any pop song and count. One-two-three-four one-two-three-four. Some songs have 3 beats. Just pick any waltz and count. One-two-three one-two-three.
So now we can count songs in 4 and 3 beats, hooray. These are the most popular rhythms and I estimate about 95% of all western and modern songs written are in this measure. Nothing wrong with that.
But here’s where the fun begins.
What about songs in 7 beats or in 5? 11? 13?
This is why I love the song I posted above. From 00:00 – 00:30 it has 3 beats. From 00:30 – 01:38 it has 4 beats. Nothing too out of the ordinary so far. The original holds this switch too. But from 01:39 it starts of with 7 beats and lasts a short while until 02:10 hits.
And that is all it takes to make this song memorable to me.
–Queen – ‘We Will Rock You’ A song you probably know with 4 beats. 1-2-3-4, stomp-stomp-clap-pause.
– The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five (1961) You definitely know the melody of this one, now you know what the title stands for. This might be a bit tough to recognize however.