User talk:Dave Taylor

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Complex time signatures redux[edit]

In your recent edit the introduction to this section became this:

Signatures which are composed of the addition of unequal subdivisions of the bar are called complex time signatures, asymmetric meters or irregular time signatures.

I have to admit I don't really understand what this sentence is saying. I've tried parsing it several ways, but it's still unclear, so I can only imagine that others will have the same reaction. I understand the problems with the previous incarnation which stated that a complex time signature has a numerator of 5, 7 or some other odd number. Unfortunately, this is little improvement. Can you please explain what was meant—or better yet, reword this to make it clearer? +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:27, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Let's have a quick think... It seems clear enough to me, and I can't immediately think of a more elegant way of saying it; after all, the term is intended to catch/omit quite sizeable categories of subconcepts, so some clunkiness of phrasing in its definition is to be expected. I agree that a better phrasing is certainly possible though; to explain the meaning of the above, "composed of the addition of unequal subdivisions of the bar" states that the bar breaks down into smaller stress units (e.g. one possible interpretation of 5/8 is 3/8 + 2/8) which are not equal in length. However, this does exclude a couple of cases that come to mind - i) When there is only one stress in a bar of many beats (e.g. the 11/4 bar of bass drum crotchets in the Rite of Spring), and ii) When there are two or more stresses of equal length, but these divide differently. A signature of 6/8 + 3/4 would fall into this category - as in Bernstein's 'America', but with two bars folded into one. I'll return to this when I have time. DT 10:45, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I've reworded it to be more catch-all. Do you like it more now? Dave Taylor 08:02, 6 September 2006 (UTC)