Clap along to a 7/4 beat

Originally published at: Clap along to a 7/4 beat | Boing Boing


It weren’t just nazis who railed against jazz, but also some left-wing theorists like some of the Frankfurt school dudes. this essay by M. Mollenthiel covers it pretty well (I think there might be a link there to the actual Adorno article On Jazz):


Also 7/4 and may be familiar to some

From the Time Further Out album that was a follow up to Time Out (the one that had Take Five on it).


Dang that 7/4 groove all to heck


I’m a simpleton whose brain has a hard time grasping anything beyond a slamming 4:4 beat, but I do like funky/jazzy beats like this.

Though I did listen to the Bo Diddly beat enough to “get” it.


I once had to sing an approximately 20-page score where the time signature changed, if not every measure, then every 2nd to 3rd measure (and yes, still lots of times it changed each measure). I’m still unsure how I managed, because my music theory is nowhere near good enough to conceptually understand WHY that had to be.


I prefer this one, because of the alternating snare rhythm that tricks you into thinking the time signature is switching.

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Here’s a great video with tons of examples of 7/4 in popular music, and then focusing on one of my favorite musical groups (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard), as an example of its use and intention:

The Gizz is really into experimenting with genres, alternative scales, and general musical fuckery. Here’s another great explainer about Microtonal music - sort of the ‘notes between notes’ - and some examples of its use in Western music. It’s fairly common in King Gizzard’s music, especially their recently concluded Microtonal Trilogy.


All songs should be in 7/4 time because, really, by the 8th beat I’m bored and the song has really become laborious.



How about a 7/8?


Wow, that’s impressive!

One of my favourite Robert Fripp pieces is King Crimson’s Discipline, where the two guitars play in different time signatures that routinely shift. There are sections where one is playing 5/8 and the other 9/8; 15/16 and 14/16; and 10/8 and 20/16. Meanwhile the drums are in 17/16…


Bulgarian dances.


If I recall correctly Happiness is a Warm Gun uses all kinds of unconventional time signatures like 9/8 and 5/4.

If memory (from high school drum line) serves, so is this one:

Western music is so silly to largely ignore any uneven time signature other than 3. Luckily music has no borders and I can play bulgarian music just fine here in germany.

Though ‘uneven’ timesignatures are part of german folklore as well. In Southern germany people dance the zwiefacher (I think you could translate it like 'two things to do` or ‘2 modes’) which consist of more or less randomly distributed 2/4 and 3/4 measures. Extremely fun to do, though nearly impossible to dance until you know the particular song :smiley:

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Great stuff!

This is the first song I recognized as 7/4:

Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is a masterful example of odd, changing time signatures. Just an amazing song!


A whole lot of grunge used odd time signatures too. “Outshined” by Soundgarden is in 7/4