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szvarga

 

Posts: 48
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

flamenco guitar notation 

Since I started to study flamenco guitar playing rather lately, and additionally I have little time to practice daily, I always lookig for an efficient way to use this short time.

Including notation. I can read tabulature and classical guitar score, but these aren't helping me to learn flamenco. As a beginner, there are two things for me to struggle with. To follow the compas, and to separate the ornamentations to see precisely, which notes are on the beat of the compas, and which notes are not. The tabs and scores aren't help me because of the accurate marking of note rhythm values. It is o.k. for a Chopin or a Debussy piece, where the goal is the exact rhythmic notation accuracy, but in flamenco it's just confuses me.

So, I tried to make a system to notate flamenco guitar pieces in a way that is helping me more than tabs or scores. Here's a little example, a solea from Vicente Amigo called Cordoba (which is the first piece I want to learn:)) I use a simple Excell sheet for that. The darker gray lines indicates the downbeats of the compas, the lighter ones are the upbeats. Then I see the compass clearly. The numbers and signes are simple tab notations. The smaller numbers in brackets indicates the ornamentations. This helps me a lot to see where the melody notes and where the embellishments are.

I'm very curious about your opinions:)

Sz



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 17 2019 20:51:47
 
Ricardo

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Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

It works once the reader gets used to it. However we can toss your version onto the pile of many others that use various systems of rhythmic notation, some better than others. For example I take issue with certain aspects of Alain Faucher rhythmic notation... however once I get used to it I find his work to be the most accurate by far. In the end nothing beats the traditional flamenco system of “by ear” along with foot tap.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 17 2019 23:02:41
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

What do you think of this notation? (EDIT: Now fixed per Ricardo's comment below)

I did this as an experiment in Lilypond, with added custom flamenco symbols.



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 17 2019 23:59:28
 
flyeogh

Posts: 456
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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

Kitarist that for me is perfect. It has everything I need and presented in great clarity.

Sv I like the vertical tones. However I want consistency, so unless your notation has some amazing advantage, and becomes generally accepted, I'd not want to go there.

I guess I could add the tones with marker pens to my standard notation.

On compas my guy in Jerez is basically "he plays it, I listen, I feel it, I play it" (bit like Ricardo suggests - I start tapping my feet, I get palmas going to get the compas, I try to get it in my head, I try to play it). When I asked about what we call notes (doh, re, mi .... or C, D, E......) he said "who cares what you call them". And when I asked do we count from 1 or 12 he said much the same. Who cares.

For sure when I get home I study the videos of him playing and try to tab it. But doubt anyone would understand my scribbled tab. Not even me a week later.

Then I look at the materials I've accumulated and I see on the web. If the notation is not obvious I move on.

For sure I understand a full time pro performing a known published piece needs to take great care. For sure if there are a load of music students just begging (it seems to me) for him to miss-place one note. But maybe that is more common in the classical guitar world.

But tx for the marker pen idea.

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 8:43:41
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

ORIGINAL: flyeogh
Sv I like the vertical tones. However I want consistency, [...] I guess I could add the tones with marker pens to my standard notation.


I don't understand what you are referring to. What vertical tones - are you referring to the tab? Also, why are the tones not consistent? Also, what is "Sv"?

EDIT: Got it. Never mind.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 17:33:42
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11074
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

However I want consistency, so unless your notation has some amazing advantage, and becomes generally accepted, I'd not want to go there.


His notion is quite typical actually... Canizares for example also used the chord symbols (vertical tones?)as kitarist did for his version of Fuente y caudal. The issues about inconsistency arise mainly in bulerias which is constantly in flux in terms of feeling, though it relates directly to solea in terms of math and form. Transcribers that understand the feeling are often floating in ambiguity and need to make choices to best represent the feeling on paper.... I go by the foot tap of the specific individual. In other words if the foot changes, so should the meter.

My personal problem w kitarist’s sevillanas are all the rasgueados. It should be either i up ami down in place of all the xami patterns, or i up ai in place of all the ami patterns.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 17:33:51
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

My personal problem w kitarist’s sevillanas are all the rasgueados. It should be either i up ami down in place of all the xami patterns, or i up ai in place of all the ami patterns.


Oh nice, thank you; I get what you are saying and will correct it. This was just an example of flamenco notation that I posted without thinking about the contents itself; in terms of veracity I might have made a mistake last year when notating it in Lilypond based on one take of what my teacher did.

EDIT: Now fixed (changed the xami to i up, ami down) - image replaced above. Hopefully the change reflects what you meant.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 17:43:22
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

ORIGINAL: flyeogh

Sv I like the vertical tones. However I want consistency, so unless your notation has some amazing advantage, and becomes generally accepted, I'd not want to go there.

I guess I could add the tones with marker pens to my standard notation.




OK, I think I deciphered it

1. "Sv" is a reference to "Sz" (i.e. Szvarga) - the original poster;
2. "Vertical tones" means the shaded columns/vertical posts in Sz's notation;
3. Therefore the consistency comments are also about that notation, not mine.
4. GAH!!

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 18:33:26
 
flyeogh

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Sorry Kitarist but now you are with my confusing mind

I find your Sevillanas intuitive. It has all the detail. I can see from the musical notes (tadpoles) on the music notation the subtleties. But the tab gets over my inability to read that music notation when it is unsupported by tab.

What I would say to Sz is if it ain't bust, don't fix it

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 18:42:49
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

ORIGINAL: flyeogh
What I would say to Sz is if it ain't bust, don't fix it


I got the impression from his/her post that Sz simply may not have discovered yet what flamenco notations exist out there and what symbols have gained some popularity, and was trying to build his/her own from scratch.

I didn't really explain the notation I was using as I was hoping it is mostly self-evident. Before deciding what to use for what gesture, I did look through many existing versions and instances of flamenco notation and decided what makes most sense and is mostly very well accepted already.

Like that up and down arrows for rasgueado strikes with different fingers (with the convention that what looks like an "up" arrow on the paper is actually a down-stroke as you look at your guitar); the "x" for pinky (could have been "c" too); the little square symbol to indicate golpe below the high e string with the a finger.

I also introduced the double arrow to indicate a more forceful rasgueado strike (usually with "i" or "p" and I think never as part of a multi-finger rasgueado pattern). I haven't really seen it much but it makes sense to me. And the strikes in a rasgueado beyond the first one are notated as just stems - makes it less cluttered and easier to grasp the rasgueado pattern - that I've seen done and I adopted it for these reasons.

Also there are other symbols not used in that image. I do have a different symbol - I think a triangle -for a golpe above the low-E string - and I would place it below the staff in-between it and the tab notation; the rolled chord (typically with "p") is just the usual longish wiggly arrow also used in classical I believe.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 19:09:45
 
Beni2

 

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

The issues about inconsistency arise mainly in bulerias which is constantly in flux in terms of feeling, though it relates directly to solea in terms of math and form.


First, I disagree about Faucher. He is incorrect often and there seems to be a good reason. If he transcribes 100% accurately he cannot file copyrights on the transcription. If he displaces notes and phrases, then, when someone transcribes exactly the way he has, he has legal recourse. (Where are the copyright lawyers on here?). Check out his version of mensaje and try to play along with Vicente. Most of the piece is correct but you will find a few displaced phrasings.

Second, there is a discussion now about how to handle the transcription of solea going on between flamencologists/musicologists. Should 12 or 1 be the first beat? Should the meter reflect compas accents or harmonic accents (which often occur on 1-4-7-10)? Since Paco, treating beat 12 as the beginning, a point from which to start a falseta, has become quite common. In early recordings the temp was so fast that you could really hear 12-3-6-8-10. You could also hear 12-3-6-9 with an occasional rhythmic cadence from 6-8-10. Some really interesting historical and culturally informed work going on out there beyond the "flamenco is from Andalucia and its fiery" narratives that so many express.

Any and all of these will work.

@Svarga I'm with Ricardo. Decent transcriptions already exist that you can pencil in.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 18 2019 21:11:24
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

First, I disagree about Faucher. He is incorrect often and there seems to be a good reason. If he transcribes 100% accurately he cannot file copyrights on the transcription. If he displaces notes and phrases, then, when someone transcribes exactly the way he has, he has legal recourse. (Where are the copyright lawyers on here?). Check out his version of mensaje and try to play along with Vicente. Most of the piece is correct but you will find a few displaced phrasings.


Well, I am glad you finally took notice of the things I have been saying about Faucher for decade already. I never said he was 100% accurate, nobody is, and I was first one to accuse him of doing deliberate errors to catch people plagerizing his work. What I said was he was the MOST accurate of all the transcribers I have seen, despite the short comings of his rhythmic notation. Most of the phrases he alters are easy enough for the player to fix himself, and in fact shows a higher level of dedication to the art IMO, if they truly are not accidental mistakes. I studied legal aspects of music business in school and have repeatedly pointed out that most of Faucher’s work is ILLEGAL based on USA laws, not including a few published volumes. He was simply so proud of his work he wanted to know who was copying him. Red handed plagerizers were the guys from Encuentro for example, too lazy to do it totally by themselves, however they did things via the correct legal routes in terms of publishing. I know personally Nunez and others were concerned about Faucher, and ignorantly turned to others with horrible transcribing skills in order to secure their own royalties...not realizing the pathetic centimos that brings in. In the end I stand by Faucher and his work because until I see someone doing a better job, he remains by FAR the best. (I concede one of our own foro members supposedly does fine work and sells them through his website, I have not actually studied any of this scores, perhaps he is better than Faucher?).

quote:

Should 12 or 1 be the first beat? Should the meter reflect compas accents or harmonic accents (which often occur on 1-4-7-10)?


These ridiculous arguements from the obviously rhythmically challenged minds. A simple course on marching drums will make it clear that the notated rhythm must simply represent the intended FEELING of the composers idea. The circular arguements don’t seem to care much about the feeling, nor the true value in the counting system for flamenco compas which is NOT part of the standard notation system that they attempt to use for transcription. Hence the arguements will never “end”. We simply accept the different versions of what is supposed to be the SAME THING.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 17:49:55
 
Beni2

 

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

Did you have a bad day or something? I don't get on the foro much anymore so I missed any of those conversations. My response was really in the context of this thread and Svarga's question. As I am not aware of previous conversations I don't know if this topic has been broached but there is also the matter of source. I find that some transcriptions take multiple sources and combine the transcriptions (which to me is more flamenco anyway - it's not a fixed composition). Not really anything else in regard to your first paragraph.

quote:


quote:

Should 12 or 1 be the first beat? Should the meter reflect compas accents or harmonic accents (which often occur on 1-4-7-10)?


These ridiculous arguements from the obviously rhythmically challenged minds. A simple course on marching drums will make it clear that the notated rhythm must simply represent the intended FEELING of the composers idea. The circular arguements don’t seem to care much about the feeling, nor the true value in the counting system for flamenco compas which is NOT part of the standard notation system that they attempt to use for transcription. Hence the arguements will never “end”. We simply accept the different versions of what is supposed to be the SAME THING.

As for your second paragraph, I am dumbfounded. I'll be sure and tell Lola Fernandez, Manolo Sanlucar, Miguel Castro Buendia and the Hurtado Torres that their scholarship is ridiculous and they (some of them seasoned flamencos who are taking flamenco as worthy of academic study [is that bad?] are rhythmically challenged. Yesteryear, flamencos were flamencos and scholars were scholars - not so anymore. Flamencos are writing in academic genres (sometimes with problematic conclusions because flawed theories and/or methodologies) and academics are doing flamenco. There are plenty of ways to acknowledge both compas and harmonic accents as well as metric dissonances, hypermeter and hemiola without resorting to changing time signatures. What blows my mind is that some of these scholars are steeped in the tradition and have both feet planted in it, even if some aren't professional. As matters of respect, courtesy, and epistemology, they learn in flamenco settings. If flamenco culture takes years to understand and you will be a student the rest of your life, why do some people think that academic culture can be learned in four years of undergraduate work? Is humility in one setting and not another really humility?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 20:05:45
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

ORIGINAL: Beni2
There are plenty of ways to acknowledge both compas and harmonic accents as well as metric dissonances, hypermeter and hemiola without resorting to changing time signatures.


Could you give examples of what you mean with this?

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 20:24:42
 
Beni2

 

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

Hi.
In solea (and we can talk about the buleria problems as well) it is most common to notate in 3/4. Most falsetas, especially traditional ones, begin on beat 1 (which is actually beat 2 in relation to the compas accents). You will sometimes see an accent symbol over beats 3-6-8-10 and/or 12 in Faucher and others. If you were to notate the solea in 6/8-3/4 beginnin on beat 12, the harmonic accents are all displaced and you get a big jumbled mess. There is a reason nobody notates the solea that way.

Sorry, I am still workin on typing my thesis so not much time to spend on the foro. But all those concepts are covered in my work. Basically, we should work with what we have adding important information in performance notes and additional symbols NOT CHANGE TIME SIGNATURES. Changing time signatures neglects some important nuances.


Go here:
Listen to the falseta at 1:52. If you don't think the nuances of compas and harmonic accents are important to deal with IN PRACTICE AND THEORY, I ask why is this falseta transcribed by Faucher as beginnin on beat 1 when Paco is outlining the Compas (maybe the first time that a falseta starts on beat twelve in solea)? And why is the guy at Atrafana playing it on 1? (He's not wrong , he's in compas and it sounds flamenco)

I don't know if I answered your question adequately but this stuff is in my thesis. Some info is sensitive and I don't want to share until published. I also don't want to spend too much time on the foro or the internet for that matter.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 21:27:56
 
Mark2

Posts: 1469
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From: San Francisco

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

Ironic the idea that you could copyright a transcription that you have no permission to sell in the first place. I don't see how that would be possible. I don't see why someone couldn't copy AF's stuff and sell it it all day long to the four people who'd want one of the tunes he's transcribed.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Beni2

quote:

The issues about inconsistency arise mainly in bulerias which is constantly in flux in terms of feeling, though it relates directly to solea in terms of math and form.


First, I disagree about Faucher. He is incorrect often and there seems to be a good reason. If he transcribes 100% accurately he cannot file copyrights on the transcription. If he displaces notes and phrases, then, when someone transcribes exactly the way he has, he has legal recourse. (Where are the copyright lawyers on here?). Check out his version of mensaje and try to play along with Vicente. Most of the piece is correct but you will find a few displaced phrasings.

Second, there is a discussion now about how to handle the transcription of solea going on between flamencologists/musicologists. Should 12 or 1 be the first beat? Should the meter reflect compas accents or harmonic accents (which often occur on 1-4-7-10)? Since Paco, treating beat 12 as the beginning, a point from which to start a falseta, has become quite common. In early recordings the temp was so fast that you could really hear 12-3-6-8-10. You could also hear 12-3-6-9 with an occasional rhythmic cadence from 6-8-10. Some really interesting historical and culturally informed work going on out there beyond the "flamenco is from Andalucia and its fiery" narratives that so many express.

Any and all of these will work.

@Svarga I'm with Ricardo. Decent transcriptions already exist that you can pencil in.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 22:30:05
 
Beni2

 

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Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Mark2

quote:

Ironic the idea that you could copyright a transcription that you have no permission to sell in the first place. I don't see how that would be possible. I don't see why someone couldn't copy AF's stuff and sell it it all day long to the four people who'd want one of the tunes he's transcribed.

Karmic that that is actually what's happening, and don't forget the ways in which materials are made (freely) available on the internet in spite of international law.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 19 2019 22:48:39
 
szvarga

 

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RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

About following the compas by foot tapping.

Well, I tried. And in a simple piece (I mean rhythmically simple, like kitarist's Sevillanas) it works for me, more or less. But with solo pieces like Vicente or Paco, I lost the compass.
Look, somebody, who play 4/4, with simple first beat accents for decades (that's me), a solea compas is a merry-go-round. I lost my head and gets dizzy in minutes. And it's just a solea. I dare not to imagine, what happens in a bulerias...

I dream of, to have the ability to follow a solo piece by simple foot tapping. But I haven't got any acquaintance, who is sit before me and lead. Maybe you have a plenty in your street. I haven't got any in my city. That's a difference...

Meanwhile, since I want to learn that piece of music, and not have time to start over and over again, try to get the lost compas again and again, I have to mark the beats. It saves me a lot of time.

Cordoba - compas 5

I couldn't find any better solution yet. But it can be the next step, to evolve toward the ability to follow by foot tap, somehow.



About find a tab.

I tried too. I didn't want to transcibe at all. I was looking for an efficient way to learn that piece. I did a lot of trancribing in the past and I know how time consuming it is. And time is the least I have. So, I tried, but find only a few usable tab. Faucher's works does look reliable.

I tried to learn from his work, but soon I faced a problem. The notes in the tab wasn't the notes I heard in the recording. And the way, he transcibed the notes, try to add all of them an exact rhytmic value, doesn't help me to play. If I tried to play by his notation, I can't reproduce the sounding of the recording. My ear tells me, that some notes aren't melody notes, some of the are simply embellishment. Like trills, mordents, appoggiaturas and so on. And nor Faucher, nor anybody I was find marking ornaments. And I feel, my ear tells me, that flamenco guitar playing is full of ornaments. Somtetimes I feel there is nothing but endless ornamentation...:)

He transcribed it like this:



And I hear like that:



So, I wasn't happy with that. I realized, I have to transcribe. Even it is a time consuming solution, takes less time than get tabs and editing by transcribing, after all. But usnig a notation software, editing all those ornamentations was a pain for me. That's why I ended up with Excell sheet.

About copyright laws.

I know less about laws than playing flamenco. And I know almost nothing about the latter...:)

Sz

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2019 14:50:08
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11074
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

The video shows the truth. You had the right idea in measure 2, however Faucher is closer in measure 3 IMO. 40:20



In regards to above, copyright law allows for fair use, perfect for individual falsetas. There is some Irony in acusing others of plagerizing works you had not right to make in the first place, this is true. But the larger point to be made is that there is an art to making transcriptions, even though it is illegal to make them without permissions. When it comes to the differences between them, the true irony is something like rhythm is almost science...there should NOT actually be more than one way to notate this stuff.

That brings me to Kevin’s post...well he doesn’t have time to argue about it, but yes I think those folks mentioned might not have taken a rudimentary drum class. It would really help them IMO... in terms of understanding what might be the singular best approach to notating rhythms. Perfect example is the 6/8-3/4 alternating nonsense.

PS in your transcription of PDL the chord in measure two is wrong, no D in there, in measure four there is an E note in the voicing and stays measure 5, (VI, VI maj 7 4th inversion) and the chord in measure 7 is G7(V7/VI).

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2019 17:31:42
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
.. in terms of understanding what might be the singular best approach to notating rhythms. Perfect example is the 6/8-3/4 alternating nonsense.


I've seen two 3/4 followed by three 2/4 alternation, i.e. 3/4, 3/4, 2/4, 2/4, 2/4 (or equivalent if the unit is not a quarter note) to better match a 12, 3, 6, 8, 10 rhythmic pattern with the practical use of these two time signatures where a strong pulse is expected on their first "beat". Is that also nonsense and why? I thought it was better than writing it as 3/4 throughout.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2019 19:01:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11074
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Is that also nonsense and why?


It really depends on the tempo, what the quarter note equals. If it is more than 200 bpm I would say yes it’s nonsense. If it is down at 150 it might work, but I honestly think that every time you have a new bar line you must feel a DOWN BEAT....down beats in Solea compas corresponds EITHER to 12 and 6, if it is fast, or 1,4,7,10 if it’s slow. There is a head and tail to the phrase and if you keep changing meter that way every compas, there is no sense of the head, body and tail. In the world of solea por buleria or alegrias tempos 160-190 or so, and even some bulerias above 210bpm, there exists an ambiguity that it can go either way....visualizing the body language of the player will tell us how it is felt. Most of this stuff is simply 3/4 time but you must properly define the quarter note tempo and the down beat on paper for it to be read correctly. Most transcribers simply choose one of the best methods and stick to it despite the change of feel and such.

In this video for example my foot tap is about 84 bpm or so, I allow it to move for sake of practice and learning these phrases of bulerias. My foot corresponds to counts 12,2,4,6,8,10,...however there’s a half compas possibly in there so I have reduced the concept to just 6,8,10....but replace those numbers with a simple 1,2,3 feeling inside. Head, body, tail, and the division of the beats is 16th note phrases. In order to learn this I keep looping between two or more beats until I have it internalized and felt correctly. If I were to notate this falseta it would be in 3/4 with quarter note equal to my foot tap at 84bpm...actual tempo would have to move up to 120bpm eventually to sound like tomatito typical tempo. Tomatito admitted himself working with a metronome at 110bpm was a challenge on soy flamenco (despacito)....which tells me he already understands bulerias perfectly well as I am describing it here.


So why don’t transcribers do this? Mainly they are concerned with the count cycle that relates to Solea and the entire family of songs, and pretend this falseta for example IS a solea at tempo 200+ (my practice tempo is 84x2 so solea at 168bpm on paper...which is absolutely the wrong feeling for this music). The Encuentro book I glanced at for the fingers for this indeed transcribe this as if it is a solea. My brain associates the solea compas and maps over top so I have visualize ever other beat 3 as a DOWN BEAT ... which I think is ridiculous but have learned to make the adjustment in order to use transcriptions like this as a tool to learn. Noticing of late some more musical minded folks AT least shifting the accent counts over to the down beats of measures is a step forward but a weak substitute for what could simply be an absolute correct way of notating the feeling of the phrasing of these falsetas as both Tomatito and myself are actually feeling it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2019 17:13:32
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

So why don’t transcribers do this?


You mean "so why don't SOME transcribers do this?" Claude Worms notates all bulerias in 3/4 which translates to your foot tap on 12-2-4, or 6-8-10.
Again, there are many reasons to notate in different ways and every transcriber will take into account a number of things. So many transcribers now double as flamencos and musicologists/flamencologists/historians/academics. IMO it is disingenuous to lump all transcribers into an abstract "they."

I do agree about notating for practical ease but remember that some transcriptions by "academics" are also accompanied by historical and cultural analysis that clarifies what they are trying to convey. There are historical reasons for why the seguiriya "starts" on 8, and why the solea's most common harmonic accents are offset from its compas accents. If you are discussing these reasons you might offer several examples and add text describing the reasons why.

Several scholars are calling for 6/4-3/2 of the solea for ease of reading and in order to analyse the cante "springboarding" off of beat 12 as an anacrusis to 3. It works better visually. To me, that is not a bad idea but I would reserve it for the cante and use 3/4 for most solea. Again, time signatures are not the ONLY or even best way to convey information.

PV
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 6:52:48

Piwin

Posts: 2179
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Should 12 or 1 be the first beat?


Well I often start on 10 (which granted is wrong in many ways), so there!

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"When I'm dead, I'm going to forget everything – and I advise you to do the same."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 8:13:36
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 48
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

That is exactly the problem I faced trying to learn.

The classical notation based on the practice, that the base rhythm layer stays constant. If it is in 6/8, the whole piece laying on a rhythmic foundation, that there will be a downbeat, where the musical phrase starts (the 1 beat), and it will be followed by five upbeats. If it is 4/4, there will be a downbeat (beat 1), following 3 upbeats. And so on.

But in flamenco... The base layer is changeable, when and where the player (singer, dancer...) feels to change it. The 1 beat, where a musical phrase starts, can be practically anywhere. Sometimes i feel, like the flamenco playing is a free bird, and our western notation habit is just a cage...:))

That is, why I try to separate the compas and its beats (by the marker strips) and the notes to play on the fretboard. And forget about meters and barlines.

It helps me, but in a long run does it make a sense, anyway?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 10:43:41
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11074
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Beni2

quote:

Several scholars are calling for 6/4-3/2 of the solea


I can understand what they are getting at, but it’s simply wrong. In 6/4, for example, a drummer would put the snare on 2,4, and 6. So you first have to set up a unique beaming thing to let the reader understand your 6/4 is unusual. In the end I don’t want to discuss meter without the tempo indication. What I am personally looking for is the ideal thing to sight read...any other thing I need to Sit down and decipher historically or otherwise is fine a tool for learning or study, but simply written wrong.

Claude Worms book I have is a mess.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 17:09:33
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 23
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I can understand what they are getting at, but it’s simply wrong.

Those that don't know history are doomed to repeat it...

quote:

In 6/4, for example, a drummer would put the snare on 2,4, and 6. So you first have to set up a unique beaming thing to let the reader understand your 6/4 is unusual.

How often are drummers a part of actual flamenco performance and what do they have to do with flamenco guitar notation and the people that are actually trying to figure out what might be best; perhaps different contexts would require different time signatures, symbols, and interpretative notes.

quote:

In the end I don’t want to discuss meter without the tempo indication. What I am personally looking for is the ideal thing to sight read...any other thing I need to Sit down and decipher historically or otherwise is fine a tool for learning or study, but simply written wrong.

Most people that are consuming this literature are trying to learn, not sight read.

quote:

In the eighteenth century the constancy of notated metre was taken for
granted by both composers and listeners. Virtually every piece or movement
was written with one time signature from the beginning to the end.
Exceptions to this rule occur in movements preceded by a slow introduction,
which normally differs from the following main part of a movement
not only as regards tempo but metre as well. However, within the same
notated metre, the composed metre could change. One class of changes
consisted in varying the period or phase of a composed metre. The former
could be caused by imbroglio and hemiolas, the latter by syncopations.1 In
contemporaneousmusic theory such metric changeswere described as ‘confusions’
(Verwirrungen) by Joseph Riepel and ‘shifts’ (R¨uckungen) by Heinrich
Christoph Koch.2 Because they referred to the mechanism of metric
perception, they were accessible to all attentive listeners including less cultivated
ones (Liebhaber). Another class of eighteenth-century metric manipulations
relied upon the theoretical knowledge of the listener and hence
could be appreciated only by Kenner able to properly interpret cues provided
by the composer. Such manipulations involve a change of the level of the
metrical hierarchy corresponding with the so-called ‘parts of the measure’
(Taktteile).

From a very interesting read by Danuta Mirka
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 21:36:13
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to Ricardo

I am now confused as to what precisely people think a time signature conveys as information. Or it seems posters here may have different views on the extent of that information. It makes it harder to understand the arguments because the underlying assumptions are not explicitly listed.

By itself, a time signature simply says how many of what type of note duration comprises one bar. We must bring common practice on top of that (which is not universal in place, time era, or genre) to introduce any implied strong/weak pulsing and rhythmic pattern information. On top of that, something about the implied tempo range based on the choice of note unit in the "denominator" of the time signature which seems connected to making the resulting tempo marking "tapable" by foot in a physically possible range and/or implies something about the musical phrasing itself.

Or at least this is what I infer from the comments above. However I am not clear of each person's assumptions.

One admittedly more extreme example: 9/8 in western music implies a three-beat (3 strong pulses though perhaps of varying strength between them) to the bar rhythmic pattern, a compound triple meter: S.. S.. S.. In Bulgarian folk music, 9/8 means S. S. S. S.. i.e. a 4-beat uneven rhythmic pattern of 2, 2, 2, 3 duration, the last beat 50% longer than the others.

However, even when on the same page with the rhythmic pattern, I am less certain of what to make of 9/8 versus 9/16 which is equivalent on paper but clearly used to imply something about the tempo and/or the nature of the music.

When we are discussing time signatures in flamenco, are we borrowing assumptions from the context of classical music, or rock music, or jazz/other? They seem to have different ones.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2019 22:01:38
 
szvarga

 

Posts: 48
Joined: Mar. 11 2019
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

For a flamenco guitar learner, the point is what information and how I want to illustrate in the score to help the learning process?

A pro transcriber, a musicologist, or even a composer might have different points. A classical, jazz, rock or blues musician too. I'm not one of these.

In a flamenco piece, as I feel, the pulse of the music is a very important information. But, as you said "By itself, a time signature simply says how many of what type of note duration comprises one bar" says nothing about the pulse. How to illustrate then?

If I want to learn a classical guitar piece, and I have to transcribe it, I can simply set the meter 4/4 bravely. Because in classical music, the pulse isn't an important information, because it is simple and constant. First beat strong, the rest are weak.
This kind of music the classical notation was made for.

But problems comes forward, when there is another kind of music, like Bulgarian, and flamenco (among others), and try to notate it in the classical way. In your 9 / 8 Bulgarian example, a bar contains 9 piece of 8th note. But what it says about the pulse of the music? If I read the 9 / 8 meter in the traditional way of the classical notation, it says the pulse is 1 strong and 8 weaker beats. Which is completely wrong. The meter of that music is something like 2+2+2+3 / 8. This additive meter is a better one, it says, there aren't just one strong beat, but there are four, followed by 1,1,1, and 2 weak beats consequently in a bar.

But how the hell you illustrate, if a strong beat is not the first of the pulse, but the last, like in a Solea? If I mark 3+3+2+2+2 / 4 instead of 12 / 4 I'm closer, but the "3" in additive meter means 1 strong beat followed by 2 weaks. Which is incorrect again. Because there are two weak beats followed by one strong. And how to meter a half compas, a change in the pulse inside a bar, or if a bulerias falseta starts on 10 or on anywhere?

The classical notation can't handle it. Therefore I can't learn by it.

Sz
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2019 6:19:15
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to szvarga

quote:

ORIGINAL: szvarga

The classical notation can't handle it. Therefore I can't learn by it.



Maybe we don't have to rely on the time signature to handle all that detail; nor do we need to start marking patterns throughout the piece. One solution is to state next to the time signature what the rhythmic pattern is supposed to be and any other relevant details, as text. To take my example, instead of writing 9/8 and hoping everyone knows that, since it is a Bulgarian folk song, this implies not a compound triple meter but a 2,2,2,3 division with 4 beats, I can just write next to the 9/8 "(2,2,2,3)" or something like "S. S. S. S.." and/or more detailed.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2019 17:00:42
 
kitarist

Posts: 541
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: flamenco guitar notation (in reply to kitarist

Which reminds me - there are (several? lots?) examples in classical music where the time signature's first "beat" is not where the rhythmic accents are.

One example is mazurka. It is notated in 3/4 like a waltz would be, but it is understood that its rhythmic accents are on the second (or third) beat; not the first. And you can't just move the bar by one quarter note to make the first beat the strong one, because then the musical phrasing looks all wrong.

There are probably other examples.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 23 2019 17:39:30
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