Odd bars/ odd melody / 13 bars help

• Oct 5, 2021 - 10:18

This isn't a Musescore question specifically, more of a musical question.

Long story short: I have a melody that is 13 bars. I have tried everything I know but it is 13 bars. Rhythm would be :
beat - pause - pause - beat - beat- beat -beat - pause - beat - pause - beat - beat - pause

Is there some way to make this fit into a measure, some time signature I don't know about, or some other way to notate it so that it would work in a score? It would need to fit into a measure or across two measures.

Sorry if this seems like a dumb question.


Not sure how those 13 beat/pause related to 13 bars/measures? And fitting those 13 bars/measures into just 2???
But maybe you want a pickup measure?

When you say "bars" I think you mean "beats".

Do you think that if you played the melody twice in a row, there would be "pause beats" in between, or would you on the next beat after the last beat, play the first beat of the melody directly?

In reply to by AndreasKågedal

Yes, I think you are right, I think I mean beats.
Yes, in your example, there is a pause at the end, so when played twice in a row, it does not go directly to the first beat of the melody.
Right now, I am stuck with either:
- 13/8 time signature, or
- 6/4 time signature with a recurring pickup measure.
Which one is crazier, for a musician?
But also, there might be another solution I haven't found yet.

In reply to by AndreasKågedal

Thank you for your interest. Maybe the score will better show you the situation. I will just show you the rhythm.
Here's how it looks in 4/4:
Here it is in 4/4, three times:
4-4 3x.png
Here it is in 13/8, two times:
13-8 2x.png

As you can see, in 13/8 it looks fine. But is 13/8 too crazy of a time signature for anyone to play?
Or is there some other way?

In reply to by VGF666

It's certainly not too difficult for anyone, but it depends for whom you are writing. A professional musician should have no issue.

One thing that can make it easier to read would be to split up into smaller groups, for example: 4/8 + 4/8 + 5/8 and then repeat that pattern - that is just one option, which one is best depends on where the melody actually puts accents - 6/8 + 7/8 would also be an option. (Note that in meters with a 6, it implies 2 accents on beat 1 and 4, whereas 3/4 has the same amount of eighths but would imply 3 beats of 2 eights each.)

"Irregular" time signatures are often found in music of eastern europe or turkey.

edit: Also wanted to add that "recurring pickup measures" are not a thing I have ever seen, and make no sense to me. Whenever the amount of beats change, it should be announced by a time signature change.

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