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Time Sig, Black Dog

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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

Funny thing- I have two Led Zeppelin books, both containing this song.

Last night, I sat down to try to learn it. (Had tried about a year ago, when it was WAY out of my league, and gave up. Now, I think I can do it.)

The strange thing I noticed is that in the two books I have, while the main riff is the same (same notes, same timing), it's written in different time signatures.

Specifically- in one book, it's all in 4-4 (four measures). I like that, cause it's how I count most everything, even when I shouldn't. :oops:

In the other book, it's written as a measure of 2-4, two measures of 4-4, and finally a measure of 5-4.

Since the first one starts with a beat and a half of rest, and the second one starts with half a beat of rest, both work out to a 14 1/2 beat riff, written, in both cases, in quarters and eighths. I swear, they are note for note identical!

So...why in the world would anybody write it changing time signature every few seconds, if they didn't have to?

Is there something in here I'm not seeing? Maybe with other instruments...I don't know.

Thanks,
Ande


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

In standard notation there are often several ways to achieve the same goal... in this case, the goal is to show the accented beats, and they're oddly spaced. If you're playing the "ONE" beat with more emphasis, writing the piece out as 2/4, 4/4, 4/4, 5/4 helps you put the accents in the right place.

You can do the same thing in 4/4 by using accent marks (with some limitations I won't get into here)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

Thanks. THat makes sense- It occurs to me that I really don't see where the accented notes are too clearly reading music. On that piece, I can hear them easy enough, so it doesn't matter much to me how they're shown in writing. Would matter more if I were truly sightreading an unknown piece-

Best,
Ande


   
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