Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Turkish Rhythms: Thanks For The Tip, Brubeck!!

After listening to "Blue Rondo A La Turk" at least a dozen times I decided to find more information on the song. This is what I found.

1) One source I found said that the song was a play on Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca" (which is the 3rd Movement Sonata for piano NO. 11 in A Major).

2) "Blue Rondo A La Turk" is written in “rondo form,” which consists of a repeated melody interlaced with different tunes and variations. In other words, one or two sections keep on coming 'round' again and again. 

Here is an example below:

3) The tune begins in a 9/8 time signature, arranged in a rapid “2+2+2+3” pattern, which changes to a “3+3+3” pattern every fourth measure. Near the middle of the song, the beat then shifts to a more traditional 4/4 time signature.

4) A 9/8 time signature is a common time signature in Turkish music. This is more likely than not why the word "Turk" is in the title. The meter 9/8 in Turkey is often associated with the clap and dance folk style "Karsilama."

*Here is an example I found of Karsilama*


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