Replies

  • It's not the amount of notes but how many measures the typical melodic phrase is in 4/4 time. A complete melody is normally around 8-16 measures so typical phrases in 4/4 are normally 4 or 8 measures. Think of phrases like complete sentences. You would not ask how many letters in the alphabet it would take to make a sentence, but you would ask how many sentences it would take for a paragraph.
  • There is no average for any of these. No one has done the calculation. You would need to put all musical scores into a data base.

    If you knew the answer, what would you do with that information?
  • There is an average. And yet the question might be completely meaningless. In the world there is a finite number of 4/4-melodies. And they have a finite number of bars. An average of the number of notes in the bars exists. Practically it's impossible to determine it. But since the number might be anything between 4 and 20, say the right number would be 7.2384. Statistically you don't need a very large sample, if you only want to know whether it's 7 or 8. The more precise average, the bigger sample you need.

    Of course there are cultural differencies, which would need more research. And the standard deviation and Bell's curves would also tell us something. 

     



  • michael diemer said:

    Congratulations, you have asked a completely meaningless question!

    I don't think the question is meaningless. No one can answer it. Not even me. I asked it with purpose. I have a reason why I asked it. I did not idly ask.

    Melody Question?
    One curious question. In a common time signature 4/4, when there's a phrase, what are the average amount of notes used in one measure, when it comes…
  • I vaguely recall a mathematician working out how many permutations were possible in a melodic phrase. Billions I think.
    The question had been along the lines of will composers ever run out our tunes.
  • The number of notes in a melody is irrelevant, but the number of notes in a score is not.  In a large score like Ravel's Bolero there are approximately 50,000 notes.  Divide that by the play time of 17 min. roughly 1000 sec. and you have 50 notes per second.  Can anyone possibly appreciate this kind of sound on an Ipod or wimpy speakers of a computer or cell phone?  You have to hear symphonic music live to appreciate it.

  • It's both an ear training and composition question. I have a melodic dictation software I have for ear training and I can configure the length of notes in one question. I am progressing well and I am just wondering if I can listen to 12 notes or more at once in one melody dictation question.

    It's also for composition, because there is rule in music called "less is more". Apparently, Beethoven's 5th symphony was built on a small motif. So I am asking the average length of notes used in a musical phrase by the great composers.



  • Bob Porter said:

    Perhaps you could explain what a melody dictation question is. Sounds interesting.

    I know of no such "rule". That technique can be applied with great effect, but it is only one tool of many.

    Depending on the length of tones, there are a succession of tones being played and you have to guess the variation of tones.

    I am doing different methods such as singing and internalizing the melodies. I am doing this not just to play by ear, but I want to hear melodies in my head for composition. Beethoven composed his best symphonies during the time he was deaf.

    Melody Question?
    One curious question. In a common time signature 4/4, when there's a phrase, what are the average amount of notes used in one measure, when it comes…
  • We can appreciate pieces for small groups, quartets, trios, etc. or solo instruments, but trying to take in the full scope of an orchestra on an Ipod is like appreciating Mount Rushmore by looking at a desk  top model.
     
    Bob Porter said:

    So, Jason, are you going to tell us why you have asked an unanswerable question?

    Lawrence, I don't think you can average out a musical score. Especially Bolero, where so much of it is a few instruments playing. I agree about hearing music live. Though how are we supposed to appreciate anything posted here?

    Melody Question?
    One curious question. In a common time signature 4/4, when there's a phrase, what are the average amount of notes used in one measure, when it comes…
  • I'm not sure knowing that number will tell you anything at all. the 5th is based on 4 notes, while others are based on a frenzied descending scale with 12+ notes. 

    when it comes to making melodies in your head, I realised that one way is to think of it modaly. Once you start familiarising yourself with the various colors of "scale bits" (which in western music are fairly simple to grasp after a while) it gets a lot easier and intuitive. A lot of humming and the occassional proofreading of what you think you heard in your head is essensial.

    Ear training will help, but I managed to do it while being very mediocre at hearing stuff.

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