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Hey there, had a quick notational question: I noticed that some composer put beams over rests, like the image I attached. Is this a useful/preferred technique, or is it completely personal preference to the composer? 

 

Thanks a lot!

image.png.4a3916aa8a529c7d12cbfc081de7fa87.png

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Hello.

To be honest, I've never seen this before. I don't think it really matters, as it is still obvious what the notes are. However, some people may think that this is intended to be a different technique, such as letting the note ring through the rest (for percussion), although this is usually written as a slur to the rest.

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51 minutes ago, aMusicComposer said:

To be honest, I've never seen this before.

It's a thing in a lot more modern music where subdivisions and syncopations change frequently and a floating rest can be very ambiguous, especially in multiple layers on a single stave. Or at least it's most helpful there. In standard meter it doesn't seem very helpful, but that's just me.
Personally, I'd use it sparingly, but it's situational.

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I have seen beaming over rests in not just modern scores but also a few pieces of older repertoire like *ahem* Beethoven cadenzas, be it in a concerto or as simply a virtuosic measure or 2 before going to his normally simpler notation. I personally, generally don't beam over rests unless I have like 32nd note passages with little breaks at irregular intervals. Beaming over rests in that situation helps the pianist(or player in general) find his/her place within the 32nd note virtuosity. But sixteenths at irregular intervals? No, not even at super fast tempi. Sixteenths are slow enough that the player should be able to find his/her place without beaming over rests, even at Prestissimo. 

 

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Pointless and a foible, I guess. How does it help anyone who can read and play music? You get an 1/8 note and a 1/8 rest. How does that oddity help someone playing 1/8 note followed by a 1/8 rest? Imagine what it would be like with 1/64 notes and rests. LOL. Some composers' mothers do have 'em!

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It may also be useful if your writing a rhythm that has a pause in the middle of a beam, like in the third 16th note of a grouping of four. That way you don't have to break that one bar into two different beams.

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Monarcheon and Jean are right on the ball here. Honestly, I'd consider this an aesthetical question in nature. Beaming the rest is just used to help the performer count -and I've often only seen this in music for H.S. and Collegiate oriented works. Most professional musicians, if not all, could care less if you beam the rest or not -as long as it's clear what is intended by the notation. 

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Yeah right. It would be useful if performers could count. But how does this help them? One could put a case that it clutters the stave. Next thing they'll be putting slurs over beamed rests to make sure they're played legato!! However, if composers think what they do ensures a more accurate interpretation, so be it. 

Never are two or more live performances identical anyway.

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5 hours ago, Quinn said:

But how does this help them? One could put a case that it clutters the stave.

Imagine a 7/8 split into 2+3+2, with eighth note occurrences on timpeoints 2, 4, and 7. This would leave eighth note rests in a way that could not be condensed into a quarter note. The beaming would assist in the identification of 2+3+2 and simultaneously explain the player's role in the syncopation.
I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it certainly is one. 

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6 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Imagine a 7/8 split into 2+3+2, with eighth note occurrences on timpeoints 2, 4, and 7. This would leave eighth note rests in a way that could not be condensed into a quarter note. The beaming would assist in the identification of 2+3+2 and simultaneously explain the player's role in the syncopation.
I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it certainly is one. 

 

"I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it certainly is one."

Certainly is. But the few composers I've met would put dotted bar lines in to separate the beat groups if confusion may arise. The Rite is full of such complications, so is Ferneyhough's stuff for that matter.

If you mean, however, say a grouping of 4 1/16 notes forming a beat but with one of the notes missing - note; note; rest; note - I can understand the three available notes being beamed across simply because it's tidier. 

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17 minutes ago, Quinn said:

But the few composers I've met would put dotted bar lines in to separate the beat groups if confusion may arise.

Hm. I've most often seen this in time signatures like 7/4 to 10/4 where lots of subdivisions within the larger bar exist. Since 7/8 is such a "close" time signature in terms of total  representation, it has a couple different implications. 

Similarly, the phenomenon of "metric modulation" has caused problems in recent years. Do we do it with Carter's common-rhythmic system, Cowell/Seeger's irrational time signature system, or a strictly factual one with every new change? Just like this question about rest beaming, the answer becomes preferential, which is in itself a bit of a problem.

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It is simply to make reading easier, sure there is no urgent need for it, but it's easy to implement and may speed up the learning process for some performers and aid in sight reading - which is especially important for composers who only get their pieces sight read. (AKA many college students)

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12 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

 

Similarly, the phenomenon of "metric modulation" has caused problems in recent years. Do we do it with Carter's common-rhythmic system, Cowell/Seeger's irrational time signature system, or a strictly factual one with every new change? Just like this question about rest beaming, the answer becomes preferential, which is in itself a bit of a problem.

 

I haven't a clue what 'metric modulation' is and have to assume in plain terms it means changing the metre. So I know of none of the 'systems' (are they really 'systems' or procedures? (I tend to a strict definition of "system", being a collection of functionally related components)) I tend to change metre a lot in my stuff but never thought of it as a branch of music in itself. I have enough trouble deciding where the bar lines should be. I see no insurmountable problem at least. There have been times when players have raised issues and I mark the parts for them as need be. Vaughan Williams was like that, only - perish the thought that my music is anywhere near RVWs!

EDIT: I suppose in the cases you quote: 7/4 etc, there's a case for division into shorter bars with the appropriate time signature at each.

.

Edited by Quinn
thank God for an edit button.

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@Quinn Here's an example: look for places where the score says that the old beat pulse changes into a new beat pulse (i.e. 0:16). Carter is known for it, and I agree that "metric modulation" is an awful name for it, but it's what we're stuck with (coincidentally this piece beams over rests too!).

 

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18 hours ago, Quinn said:

"I'm not saying it's the best solution, but it certainly is one."

Certainly is. But the few composers I've met would put dotted bar lines in to separate the beat groups if confusion may arise. The Rite is full of such complications, so is Ferneyhough's stuff for that matter.

If you mean, however, say a grouping of 4 1/16 notes forming a beat but with one of the notes missing - note; note; rest; note - I can understand the three available notes being beamed across simply because it's tidier. 

 

I would not do that with sixteenth notes. No person is going to complain about this being untidy in the score:

Sixteenths.png.d5ae3a842c8943d60798ad4f5489c2f5.png

It's still obvious when the player is supposed to play because of the way the sixteenth notes are beamed. Now, if I have this same irregular breaks but occuring within 32nd notes, like for example a sixteenth rest after 3 32nd notes, then I would indeed beam over the rest.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/29/2020 at 1:33 AM, LayneBruce said:

It is simply to make reading easier, sure there is no urgent need for it, but it's easy to implement and may speed up the learning process for some performers and aid in sight reading - which is especially important for composers who only get their pieces sight read. (AKA many college students)

 

But does it? Sight reading? It would be all too easy in rapid passages to see the beamed rest as a C (or E in the bass), remembering you're looking ahead of what you're actually playing. However it's unfortunate: college students are sometimes called on to sight read stuff written with almost studied complication (as if it gives the student kudos points, and well it might with some mentors) like the Carter Monarcheon quotes, often with no preparation. It's led to a few new composers being embarrassed...when they can't tell whether what's played is actually what they wrote, if I remember a few college rehearsals.

Edited by Quinn

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@Quinn

(Monarcheon): Here's an example: look for places where the score says that the old beat pulse changes into a new beat pulse (i.e. 0:16). Carter is known for it, and I agree that "metric modulation" is an awful name for it, but it's what we're stuck with (coincidentally this piece beams over rests too!).

Thank you for the example. Ah, well.....Carter. No further comment!  Not someone I turn to to soothe the savage beast/breast or whatever's soothed!

.

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