News & Views Sunday, November 23, 2014

Teach Odd & Mixed-Meter to Your Young Band Monday, December 03, 2012

If you’re looking for a great new challenge for your developing band, why not introduce odd or mixed meter?  Obviously mastery of basic time signatures like 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 is important, but if your ensemble is getting really solid on these they may appreciate the challenge and interesting new sound and feel of different time signatures, and, let’s face it, odd and mixed meters are a lot of fun, too!  Why not make a game of it by seeing what sections of the band can master and get through the piece first?  There are several new pieces perfect for introducing different time signatures and mixed meter that our band staff is pleased to share.  Enjoy!!

Ancient Legends, Gary Fagan – Grade 2.5
* 1st movement: 5/4, ending in 3/4; 2nd movement: 4/4
Ancient Legends is a two-movement suite that musically depicts two legendary creatures from ancient times—the quiet, serene unicorn, and the hideous, terrifying Minotaur.

Incandescence, Richard Saucedo – Grade 2
* Mixed meter: 3/4 + 4/4
Introduce your students to mixed meter in a controlled manner with this fiery, energetic opener. Perfect for internalizing 8th note subdivision and advancing counting skills, Incandescence is loaded with percussion, plenty of color and timbral texture, rhythmic contrast and is sure to command audience and adjudicator attention!

Take the Stairs, Bob Lipton – Grade 1.5
* Meter: 7/4
Your young band will enjoy playing this fresh, fun new composition in a very natural seven. Students will easily master the rhythms, then enjoy playing the layered harmonies and melodies all the way to the big finish.

The Voyage, George Sweet – Grade 2
* Alternating sections of 4/4 and 3/4
Lush and mysterious, then light and uplifting, The Voyage begins.  Invigorating ideas and harmonic treatments, as well as shifting rhythmic feels from 4/4 to 3/4, set the stage for great interplay between various sections of the band juxtaposing light woodwind sounds with bold brass interjections.

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