Saturday, July 20, 2019
David Bennett explains the usefulness of 5/4 time or extra beats in popular music
David Bennett Piano, a British piano instructor and YouTuber, explains rhythm and syncopation and the use of occasional 5/4 in popular music, as with “Don’t let me down”.
It is common for modern composers to change meters often, particularly with quintuple meters. An extra beat gives a melody or passage a sense of additional pulse. But Bennett explains that it is really 4/4 + ¼. I don’t know if Sibelius allows a unary measure. I think the Shostakovich Symphony #8 scherzo has an example of that.
5/4 wasn’t well known until Tchaikovsky showed how effective and natural it can sound with the second movement of his Pathetique Symhony #6,
Bennett then discusses 5/8 time in coordination with 4/4 in a song mocking nuclear war.
I remember some of these songs from the car radio in my coming of ages days in the 1970s.