33/16

KamaK

Platinum Member
Lol.. I found myself perspiring toward the end of it. Delightful, yet a bit of work to listen to. FWIW, I feel the same way about Zappa.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
At least they wrote out the subdivisions. Nothing worse than when they call out an odd meter tune on stage, and everyone is feeling it differently.

Or sometimes arrangers will just putted dotted lines on the bars, but then you have to do the math... Not as bad for us drummers, but it can be a nightmare to read through some of that stuff!
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Especially liked the piano. Reminded me of a jazzier Echidna's Arf at times, also the trombone early on. Apparently Ralph Humphrey played both dates.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
At least they wrote out the subdivisions. Nothing worse than when they call out an odd meter tune on stage, and everyone is feeling it differently.
Agreed on the subdivisions. Epic odd-meter madness like this gets a whole lot less intimidating when broken down into groups of 2s and 3s.

Both bands I play with now have parts that use odd bars with 16th note denominators - which used to scare the hell outta me. The key to unlocking it and making it flow nicely is understanding those smaller groupings and cutting the cleanest line through the part.

Good stuff.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Agreed on the subdivisions. Epic odd-meter madness like this gets a whole lot less intimidating when broken down into groups of 2s and 3s.
Indeed

I'm from the old non academic world of music, and we used to do word phrases to compensate.. In my head, stuff would sound like...

Banana Banana Terracotta Banana Terracotta Terracotta Pie

The down side is when you're told to take it from the top of the Banana...
 
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MikeM

Platinum Member
In my head, stuff would sound like...

Banana Banana Terracotta Banana Terracotta Terracotta Pie
So then Bulgarian Bulge would go:

Terracotta Terracotta | Banana Terracotta

Terracotta Terra-Banana-cotta | Banana Terracotta

I like it!
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Okay, so I've been listening to this on infinite repeat since yesterday, and man, what a cool tune!

Really, it's not as bad as it looks at first glance. Yes, the liner notes show it as 33/16, which looks bad, but what the liner note subdivisions indicate is really just a compound time with two distinct phrases, each made of two smaller phrases. This makes it much easier to wrap your head around.

The first phrase (15/16) is a compound of 8/16 and 7/16.

The second phrase (18/16) is a compound of 11/16 and 7/16.

They add up to 33/16.

Furthermore, the whole song is based on just these two phrases, so once you get them, you almost know the whole song. There is one variation that just repeats the second phrase that starts on the 3rd bar for an extended solo (with a single first phrase cleverly snuck in at one point), and again right at the end where it's just the second phrase, alternating the 11/16 & 7/16. But that's it.

The bassline and tambourine keep the pulse throughout so after a bunch of listens, it really begins to reveal itself. After my initial shock of how weird it was, I went from, "this ain't so bad," to, "this is pretty frikken cool!"

Edit: Here's a little cheat I used to map it out just using Excel in case anyone's curious.
 

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mitkoni

Senior Member
I'm Bulgarian that happens to be living in Canada. Our folk music is famous with grooves and beats like this. I've seen interviews with Mike Mangini, Simon Phillips and Gavin Harrison talking about it. If you guys are interested to hear more similar stuff, I'm sure there a tons on YouTube. Unfortunately for me, I never studied my own country's music and this is a shame :) but I have seen some amazing performances back home. The music it self is more phrase then groove oriented. Like no one intentionally would decide to write a 33/16 piece. It's just happened that phrases started and ended where they did. I hope this make sense. Anyway, it feels good to come across a thread about a Bulgarian Bulge.

Cheers
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
Saw Don Ellis way back in high school when he came to the local college.

One of the memorable scenes from the concert was the school janitor dancing with a mop to BB.

Don was looking out the side of his eye and had a hard time playing trying not to laugh.
 
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