Triple metre

Triple metre (or Am. triple meter, also known as triple time) is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 3 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 3 (simple) or 9 (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature, with 3
4
, 3
2
, 3
8
and 9
8
being the most common examples. The upper figure being divisible by three does not of itself indicate triple metre; for example, a time signature of 6
8
usually indicates compound duple metre, and similarly 12
8
usually indicates compound quadruple metre.

Shown below are a simple and a compound triple drum pattern.


    \new Staff <<
       \new voice \relative c' {
           \clef percussion
           \numericTimeSignature
           \time 3/4
           \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4 = 100
           \stemDown \repeat volta 2 { g4 d' d }
       }
       \new voice \relative c'' {
           \override NoteHead.style = #'cross
           \stemUp \repeat volta 2 { a8[ a] a[ a] a[ a] }
       }
   >>

\new Staff <<
       \new voice \relative c' {
           \clef percussion
           \numericTimeSignature
           \time 9/8
           \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t \tempo 4. = 80
           \stemDown \repeat volta 2 { g4. d' d }
       }
       \new voice \relative c'' {
           \override NoteHead.style = #'cross
           \stemUp \repeat volta 2 { a8 a a  a a a  a a a }
       }
   >>

Stylistic differencesEdit

In popular music, the metre is most often quadruple,[1] but this does not mean that triple metre does not appear. It features in a good amount of music by artists such as The Chipmunks, Louis Armstrong or Bob Dylan.[2]

In jazz, this and other more adventurous metres have becon more common since Dave Brubeck's album Time Out.[3][4][5] One noteworthy example of a jazz classic that employs triple metre is John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things".[6]

Triple time is common in formal dance styles, for example the sarabande, the minuet, the mazurka, the waltz and others.

Triple metre is rare in national anthems – the national anthems of Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States being four notable exceptions.

SourcesEdit

  1. ^ Schroedl, Scott (2001). Play Drums Today!, p. 42. Hal Leonard. ISBN 0-634-02185-0.
  2. ^ Everett, Walter (2008). "Musical time: rhythm, metre, and tempo". The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Oxford University Press. p. 306. ISBN 9780190294977. Despite the great preponderance of quadruple meter, triple time is heard in a good deal of pop music. […] David Seville […] The Chipmunks […] Bob Dylan […] Louis Armstrong […] Tom Jones […]
  3. ^ May, Chris. "Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out" All About Jazz December 15, 2011 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  4. ^ Lamb, Evelyn "Uncommon Time: What Makes Dave Brubeck's Unorthodox Jazz Stylings So Appealing?" Scientific American December 11, 2012 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  5. ^ Smith, Hedrick; Hackel, Cliff "Brubeck's Trademark Style: Odd Time Signatures, Polyrhythms and Polytonality" PBS:Rediscovering Dave Brubeck Released 16 December 2001 Retrieved March 14, 2017
  6. ^ Gary Giddins (22 October 1998). Visions of Jazz: The First Century. Oxford University Press. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-19-987953-3.