[Smt-talk] Pop songs with metrically altered transistions

K. Christian McGuire kmcguire at bitstream.net
Mon Nov 30 05:56:26 PST 2009

Speaking of bassists,  "II B.S." by Charles Mingus (as it appears on the 
album, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus) contains two transitional 
measures of 2/4 in an otherwise 4/4 12-bar g-minor blues.

The first occurs after the intro swing build up prior to the alto sax solo 
(approx 1m:27s on my CD recording)
The second occurs (after the stop time section) between the tenor sax solo 
prior to the piano solo (approx 2m46s)

These have always struck me as a bit odd in that the finished recording 
sounds like Mingus abruptly spliced in the sax and piano solos --
It might be worth comparing this recording to live versions of the "Haitian 
Fight Song" (same tune, different titles) to see if these 2/4 measures are 

K. Christian McGuire,
Instructor of Music History and Music Theory
Studio Artist: Electric Bass
Director of Rock & Improv Ensembles
Augsburg College
Music Department
2211 Riverside Avenue
Mpls MN 55454
mcguire at augsburg.edu

International Society of
Hildegard von Bingen Studies, Treasurer & Webmaster

Musicologist & Electric Bassist
kmcguire at bitstream.net / cell: 651-270-5807

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Anders Bouwer" <andersbouwer at gmail.com>
To: <akolek at music.umass.edu>
Cc: <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Pop songs with metrically altered transistions

Hi Adam,

Several songs by Little Feat include some tricky measures.
For example, 'Long Distance Love' is a nice rock ballad in 4/4 which
includes an extra 2/4 measure before moving to the part with the
lyrics 'Cause no matter what you/I do', as well as several other
interesting rhythmic accents.

Another example I can think of is the jazz tune '(Used to be a) Cha
Cha' by Jaco Pastorius in which the very last bar of the scheme before
returning to the beginning (first time at 0:35) is 7/8 whereas the
rest is all 4/4.

Good luck with your quest,

Anders Bouwer (andersbouwer at gmail.com)
The Netherlands

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 10:44 PM,  <akolek at music.umass.edu> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm collecting examples of popular songs in which the measure preceding a
> sectional transition is extended or truncated by a small duration, such as 
> a
> beat or half beat. An example that comes to mind is Mercyful Fate's "A
> Dangerous Meeting," where the measure preceding the third verse is a half 
> beat
> shorter than usual. I'd appreciate suggestions from any genre of popular 
> music.
> Thanks,
> Adam J. Kolek
> Doctoral Candidate
> University of Massachusetts Amherst
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> Smt-talk mailing list
> Smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
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