Metric modulations

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Alvabass
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Metric modulations

Post by Alvabass » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:18 pm

Hi. Thank you in advance for reading. I always have a hard time annotating a metric modulation the right way. I know I can use metronome markings instead, but may this be the chance to make this clear to me once and for all: I'm working on the arrangement of a medley that starts at cut time, and I put a metronome mark of half note = 100. Later, it switches to common time with constant beat, but now it's not a half-note beat but a quarter-note beat: Quarter note = 100. Again, I can put "quarter note = 100" at that point. But using metric modulation notation, what is correct here? half note equals quarter note or the other way around? That always confuses me. I appreciate your input. Thank you very much!

Re: Metric modulations

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David Ward
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Re: Metric modulations

Post by David Ward » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:46 pm

If it occurs after the barline the equation is new = old. If the equals sign = is over the barline, then it is old = new. Or that's as it should be, but unfortunately this rule is not invariably applied correctly.

Alternatively, add small arrows to the equation which makes things absolutely clear. Finale has suitable arrows in Engraver Text (see the screenshot). These arrows and their keystrokes are listed in Character Sets (from the Help menu) > Engraver Font > Engraver Text > Tempo (rather than Arrows).
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Alvabass
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:41 pm
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Re: Metric modulations

Post by Alvabass » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:14 pm

David Ward wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:46 pm
If it occurs after the barline the equation is new = old. If the equals sign = is over the barline, then it is old = new. Or that's as it should be, but unfortunately this rule is not invariably applied correctly.

Alternatively, add small arrows to the equation which makes things absolutely clear. Finale has suitable arrows in Engraver Text (see the screenshot). These arrows and their keystrokes are listed in Character Sets (from the Help menu) > Engraver Font > Engraver Text > Tempo (rather than Arrows).
Thank you, Mr. Ward! Well, I guess my confusion was justified since the answer isn't as obvious as I thought it would be. I chose the arrows notation for complete clarity. Thank you one more time!

Nick Mazuk
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Re: Metric modulations

Post by Nick Mazuk » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:18 am

I've never personally liked the notation q = h for that very same reason. To me, an equals sign means equality. But a modulation is a transformation.

Personally, I use an arrow h → q for "the half becomes the quarter", though this is non-standard notation. With that said, it has never confused any musicians I've worked with, even without an explanation.
Nick

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Peter Thomsen
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Re: Metric modulations

Post by Peter Thomsen » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:52 am

Nick Mazuk wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:18 am
I've never personally liked the notation q = h for that very same reason. To me, an equals sign means equality. But a modulation is a transformation.

Personally, I use an arrow h → q for "the half becomes the quarter", though this is non-standard notation. With that said, it has never confused any musicians I've worked with, even without an explanation.
Indeed.
An equal sign means that you have {the same thing} on both side of the equal sign.
In this particular case the equal sign only means “equal duration” on both sides, not “identical note values”.
For showing a transformation → is better than =.

Slightly off-topic:
You could say the same about the equal sign in the swing symbol:
two eighths = triplet quarter, triplet eighth
Mac OS X 10.14 (Mojave), Finale user since 1996

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