Posts Tagged ‘six-eight time’

Intermediate Oboe Students, Step Eight- Six/Eight Time

Step Eight-Six- Eight Time

Six- Eight time means that there are six beats in a measure and the eighth note receives one beat.

Six- Eight time can be played at all different tempos; however, the patterns in six eight time are always in groups of three.  Thus, the bottom note indicating that the eighth not gets the beat is most important.  Six-eight, three-eight, nine -eight, and twelve-eight time all sound the same with different numbers of bar lines organizing the melodic line.

There are many beautiful oboe solos in six-eight time.  In your book I there will be examples and exercises of six-eight time followed by beautiful short examples of melodies.  Be sure to listen to your CD examples and finger along listening to the rhythmic patter of the music.  You should feel the movement of a grandfather’s clock ticking from left to right.  This feeling comes on the first and fourth beats of the measure.  This is very obvious when play six-eight time at a faster tempo.

In six-eight time the oboist needs to sustain the air between notes, especially if the notes are skipping around rather than stepwise or repeated.  When play rhythmic patterns in groups of three, you hear the pattern spinning with a circular feeling- 1, 2, 3-1,2,3-1,2,3.  Beat one is always the strongest of the three beats.  In six-eight time there are two patterns of three in every measure thus beat one and beat four are the stronger beats in the measure.

As the oboe sound leads the woodwind section, it is important that the oboist can set the example of six-eight time.


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