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Lesson 4: Meters in 6, 9, and 12

Video transcript
- [Voiceover] Here is an example of 6/4 time from American composer Joseph Schwantner's The Poet's Hour. Six beats in a measure with quarter note getting one beat. (The Poet's Hour) The next meter that we will discuss is 6/8, six beats in a measure with the eighth note getting one beat. This one is a little more complicated because at a slow tempo, or a slow speed, we can think of each measure with six beats in a bar, but if the tempo was fast, we'd divide the bar into two beats with each beat worth three eighth notes, or a dotted quarter. for a slow version of 6/8, let's listen to this beautiful passage for the oboes and English horn from Ravel's Ballet Daphnis et Chloe. (Daphnis et Chloe) For a fast version, let's listen to part of the Firebird's Variation from Stravinsky's Ballet, The Firebird. (Firebird's Variation) 9/8 continues with the same pattern. In a slow speed, or tempo, each eighth note receives one beat with nine beats in a bar. In a faster tempo, the pulse is three with a dotted quarter note receiving one pulse or one beat. 12/8 continues in the same pattern. In a slow tempo, 12 beats in a measure with an eighth note receiving one beat. If we look at the opening of Stravinsky's Firebird, we see 12/8 at the slow tempo with a feeling of 12 beats in a measure. (Firebird) If we look at the same introduction a few bars later, the pulse moves to four beats with a dotted quarter note getting one beat. (Firebird)