Odd meter music

The post Music in 5/4 time continues to get a regular stream of traffic over two years after it was posted. Check out the interesting links in the comments.

See also March in 7/4 time and Blue Rondo à la Turk.

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6 comments on “Odd meter music
  1. Some Balkan music has non-integer time signatures. The extra half-beat is added either to the end of the first beat or the last beat of the measure.

    This song has three-and-a-half beats per measure. The extra half-beat is added to the end of the first beat. This is Albanian music.

    I’ve heard other songs which have four-and-a-half beats per measure.

  2. gogurt says:

    My favorite “popular” song with an irregular time signature is “The Day I Tried To Live” by Soundgarden. Very original.

    But my favorite is “#First Circle” by Pat Metheny. Just challenge your friends to figure out the time signature on that one and sit back to watch them be frustrated for an hour. Very very deceptively written piece.

  3. gogurt says:

    Oops, not sure how that pound sign worked its way in there. It’s just “First Circle”!

  4. Jason Fruit says:

    My dad once heard one of my compositions, and trying to be helpful, told me I should try writing some pretty music for a change. I wrote a menuet in 3½ / 4. Interestingly, he was much more receptive to odd meters than odd harmony.

  5. Suresh.S says:

    The odd meter music is quite common in Indian music, especially South Indian Classical music. It has found its way into film music as well.

    Rudolf: South Indian music has lot of 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 beats. Here is one song, which has a 3 1/2 beat and the composer confuses us more by moving the starting point off the beat

    And here is one song which is set to 2 1/2 beat

  6. Try Planet X’s 21/16