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Timing And It's Effects.

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I've always noticed, before I even knew anything about music (other than the fact that I liked it), that some songs simply had a more calming effect, some a more energizing one, and some fell into a neutral zone feeling wise. I always assumed it was some sort of magic in the words, or in the voice, the tone of the instument.
Then I started learning more about different timings, like 3/4, 5/4, and so on, and found that almost every song I found to be increadibly calming was in 3/4 (or closely related) timing. the energizing songs in 2/4, the feeling neutral almost always fell into the basic 4/4.
I just found it all so incredibly interesting. 

What's your take on this? what's your favorite timing to use for what desired effect?



Edited by GoldenWalrus
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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree that the majority of time signitures work the way you describe.


I mostly get the intensity by phrasing slightly ahead of the beat and calm by playing slightly behind it.

Ahead = funk

behind = blues


A big generalisation I know but it seems to work mostly.

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In the 90's when I was making computer music, I made a tune called '16 drop'. So called because it was organised as 16 beats to the bar, but I dropped the 16th to make it 15 beats only. I used the usual 'tricks' to make it sound as if it was still really 16 long. The effect was quite compelling, and energetic.

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I don't think a fast tune with heavy down-tuned rhythm guitars, wicked shredding leads, power drums and screaming angst-ridden vocals would sound "calming," even if it was in 3/4. 



ahhh... but it might be more calming than the same song in 4/4. :chinese:


Great project for a musical aural scientist

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