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Thread: Song changes from 3/4 to 9/8, what happens to bar duration?

  1. #1
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    Song changes from 3/4 to 9/8, what happens to bar duration?

    January 26, 2016 12:31AM

    Hi all, my first post here.

    Recently I was given the music of a song that our choir is working on, and I was asked to make an arrangement as the backing for our performance.

    The song starts off in 3/4 timing but during the chorus it switches to 9/8, then back again to 3/4 later on.

    I understand that 9/8 is like playing each beat of a 3/4 bar in triplets. My concern is with the actual duration of each note(quaver) and consequently each bar. Some members of the choir maintain that the notes in the 9/8 section should be played with shorter durations so that the overall bar would last the same as in the 3/4 sections of the song(effectively played as 3 x triplets in each bar). Others seem to think that each note should still keep their original duration, resulting in each bar lasting 50% longer in real time(9 quavers = 4.5 crotchets = 150% of a 3/4 bar). I myself am tending to agree with the later but not 100% sure and would appreciate some clarification.

    Hope I have made myself clear here. Thankyou all in advance.

  2. #2
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    What happens is up to the performer. The two choices you gave, either quarter=quarter, or quarter=dotted_quarter are possible. The composer (or arranger) should provide information.

    If nothing is said, I'd probably go to a triplet feel (old quarter = new dotted_quarter).

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