Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Musings on Music

Dance & Music - they go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, and Forrest and Jenny. While not impossible, it's difficult to dance without music, and personally, I enjoy a performance more when there's music, as opposed to dance-esque miming on a stage. Which leads me to believe that classically trained dancers, and especially dance teachers, would have a good understanding of music. They don't have to know which notes are in a minor 7th chord, or the meaning of the word "hemiola," but I do expect them to know basics about tempo and time signature.

Which brings me to my rant of the day. You see, cher readers, I fancy myself a bit of a musician. Started piano at a very young age, went to school on music scholarship, and still play at the ripe old age of 32. So it kills me, KILLS ME, when my teachers refer to all music you can waltz (balancé) to as 3/4 time. IT'S NOT ALL 3/4 TIME!

For those of you who don't know how to read music, each piece has a specific meter, indicated by the time signature. The time signature indicates how many beats (think "counts") are in each measure of music, and which note in the measure is worth 1 count. See this great Wiki page for more info on meter, and this great article on time signatures. So, you can balancé to a 3/4 piece, but you can also balancé to a 12/8 piece, or even a 4/4 piece if triplets are used.

Yes, it's a minor thing, but come on - in an artform that makes such a huge deal out of terminology, wouldn't it make sense they should be just as exacting about their musical terms? Or maybe it's just me....grumble grumble grumble....

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