# Odd bars/ odd melody / 13 bars help

• Oct 5, 2021 - 10:18

This isn't a Musescore question specifically, more of a musical question.

Long story short: I have a melody that is 13 bars. I have tried everything I know but it is 13 bars. Rhythm would be :
beat - pause - pause - beat - beat- beat -beat - pause - beat - pause - beat - beat - pause

Is there some way to make this fit into a measure, some time signature I don't know about, or some other way to notate it so that it would work in a score? It would need to fit into a measure or across two measures.

Sorry if this seems like a dumb question.

OK Part 2: I know I can make it 13/4, but is this nuts?

Not sure how those 13 beat/pause related to 13 bars/measures? And fitting those 13 bars/measures into just 2???
But maybe you want a pickup measure?

When you say "bars" I think you mean "beats".

Do you think that if you played the melody twice in a row, there would be "pause beats" in between, or would you on the next beat after the last beat, play the first beat of the melody directly?

Yes, I think you are right, I think I mean beats.
Yes, in your example, there is a pause at the end, so when played twice in a row, it does not go directly to the first beat of the melody.
Right now, I am stuck with either:
- 13/8 time signature, or
- 6/4 time signature with a recurring pickup measure.
Which one is crazier, for a musician?
But also, there might be another solution I haven't found yet.

How many "pause beats" would you add before you sing it the second time?

And just double checking that if you clap on each beat/pause in your melody, all claps will come at
a steady pace? or do some claps come more quickly than others?

Thank you for your interest. Maybe the score will better show you the situation. I will just show you the rhythm.
Here's how it looks in 4/4:

Here it is in 4/4, three times:

Here it is in 13/8, two times:

As you can see, in 13/8 it looks fine. But is 13/8 too crazy of a time signature for anyone to play?
Or is there some other way?

It's certainly not too difficult for anyone, but it depends for whom you are writing. A professional musician should have no issue.

One thing that can make it easier to read would be to split up into smaller groups, for example: 4/8 + 4/8 + 5/8 and then repeat that pattern - that is just one option, which one is best depends on where the melody actually puts accents - 6/8 + 7/8 would also be an option. (Note that in meters with a 6, it implies 2 accents on beat 1 and 4, whereas 3/4 has the same amount of eighths but would imply 3 beats of 2 eights each.)

"Irregular" time signatures are often found in music of eastern europe or turkey.

edit: Also wanted to add that "recurring pickup measures" are not a thing I have ever seen, and make no sense to me. Whenever the amount of beats change, it should be announced by a time signature change.