Touhou jazz: The Rhythm and The Beat

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.

Post-post notes:
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.

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