Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Radiohead's odd time signatures is quite rare.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by manco, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Fair enough, maybe I jumped the gun on that and my apologies.

    I guess you could write it in 4/4, but the accents on the guitar line come every 5th beat. So without marking accents moving around all over the place, wouldn’t it be easier to write as a polymeter with 5/4 for the guitar and 4/4 for the rest?
     
    aphexj, Lownote30 and Rose River Bear like this.
  2. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    I agree. I thought the same thing with the accents.
     
    Greenmonster2420 likes this.
  3. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I just don't think that's the way the band were thinking of it. Especially because if you count in 5/8 from the first note, the accent is on the fifth note of each phrase and not the first like things would normally be felt. Plus, it would be hard for the drummer to count in 5/8 like that and come in when he does. If he counts one rest, and then the remainder in 4/4, knowing where to come in is really easy.
     
    Rose River Bear likes this.
  4. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    There are 8 bars of 5/8 and the bar before the drums enter is in 6/8 with 6 notes. I will bet the farm on it....maybe. :cool:
     
  5. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    It can be counted that way, but then the drums come in and play 4/4. Why do it like that when it would be much easier for the drummer to count in 4 and know exactly where to come in keep playing in 4/4? Counting it in 5/8 is overcomplicating it.
     
    Rose River Bear likes this.
  6. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    The accent does fall on the fifth note when you count in 5/8.
    Funny thing is it seems to rhythmically displace at one point.
     
    Lownote30 likes this.
  7. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    From a practical view that is a good point and probably the easiest way to approach it ensemble wise.
    Man what a song.
     
    Lownote30 likes this.
  8. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    It was mostly the electronic usage on Kid A and Amnesiac, or for the earlier albums, feeling of the music

    If you browse the comment sections of Kraftwerk, Eno, The Smiths, late 80s alt rock on YT there's always this handful of "wow, this sounds like that one album from Radiohead" or something like that

    But, yeah, literally happened to me. It was that good, of course. It's more like, I have perspective from the ideas that showed up on these albums but I don't consider them as being as "geniuses" as I thought after years of hearing other music.
     
    Lownote30 and ARK like this.
  9. Kerm

    Kerm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I get where you're coming from but it's possible the tone of your explanation is a bit over the top. You're musically adept, you could also explain why the opening of the song does, indeed, sound confusing to people and it's not as simple as the guitar count starting on 2. It's that the accented high notes of the arpeggios are elliptical and not occurring in a recognizable 4/4 time, and those landmarks lead people to believe it's the start of a measure. i.e. it's a very similar concept as that "Pyramid Song" explanation but that guy in that video isn't obsessed with talking down to everybody about it.
     
    Greenmonster2420 likes this.
  10. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    Was just going to comment on that one. That's one of my favorite tunes of theirs.
     
  11. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    Re the discussion of "Let Down," it's fairly common in some circles (such as mine :wave:) to compose things so that different people are essentially playing in different time signatures at the same time. So you can do that by having a guitarist playing 5/8 groupings while the drummer is playing in 4/4, for example . . . and then you can resolve the "discrepancy" however you'd like. If you want things to line up for each bar, you phrase the guitar part so that it's two 5s and a 6, or two bars you can do 6 5s and a 2, or whatever you'd like.

    It's important to remember that theoretically, you could write anything in any time signature you like . . . it's just that some things are more or less easy to read (and conceptualize) written in different time signatures. Which is why sometimes people will rewrite, say, Stravinsky parts in much more regular time signatures than he wrote them in (although if you do that you have to be careful when rehearsing to be able to know exactly where bar lines fall in the original score in case a conductor asks you to start at bar 140 or whatever).
     
    Kerm and Greenmonster2420 like this.
  12. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    You definitely misunderstood my intentions. Read my posts following the one you quoted. I did not mean to talk down to anyone, and I explained that. Cool your jets. I didn't say anything to you, and anyone I quoted responded, and we worked it out. I was speaking to them, and not everyone as you claim.
     
  13. Kerm

    Kerm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    My jets are AOK, and my post to you was very earnest and reasonable.
     
  14. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    :rolleyes: Okay.
     
  15. CHIP72

    CHIP72 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    I couldn't help but chuckle yesterday (Tuesday) when I saw this thread because I recently posted a thread asking for favorite songs with a motorik beat and I identified a Radiohead song ("Bodysnatchers") as an example. Songs with a motorik beat (which has a very steady, unwavering 4/4 beat) are pretty much the opposite of songs with odd time signatures, LOL. (To be fair, songs can have a clear motorik beat during much of the song but also change time signatures for part of the song too.)
     
  16. octophone

    octophone immaterial girl

    Location:
    Scotland
    A lot of what's being talked about here is dropped beats rather than time signatures per se. Radiohead are fond of dropping a beat or a bar to hurry a song along. Sometimes this means you can say a section is in 7/8 but they really just dropped a beat or two for effect.

    It took me ages to be able to follow "Pyramid Song" until I worked out that it was the opposite - it was adding a beat to create a feeling of hesitancy and suspension, something absolutely caught in the songs unsettling video.
     
    jalexander likes this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine