Marin Alsop’s Classic FM Conducting Masterclass: Beating time
17 August 2015, 00:00
This week Marin tackles one of the most fundamental skills for a conductor – beating time, from the fairly common 4/4 time to music with 5 beats in every bar (we're looking at you, Bernstein) or even just 1. Grab your baton and get ready to beat along…
First up, 4/4 – also known as common time because it's so, well, common.
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: beating 4/4
The brilliant conductor talks us through how to beat in four
Here's the beat pattern Marin demonstrates:
Ah waltz time. But how do you tackle it as a conductor?
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: conducting in 3/4 time
How do you beat time for a waltz?
Here's the beat pattern Marin, Jonah and Mike use in the video:
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: beating in 2 Marin talks us through the challenge of beating two in a bar 03:45
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: beating in 2
Marin talks us through the challenge of beating two in a bar
And here's that all-important beat pattern to help you follow along:
And finally: 1 beat per bar and how to conduct Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
Beating 1 per bar doesn't necessarily mean there's only one beat per bar – it could mean that the music is in three or four, but it's too fast for the conductor to show all those beats.
In this clip, Marin shows you how to conduct the famous On the beautiful Blue Danube and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: beating in 1
How do you beat if you only have time to fit in one beat per bar?
This one at least *looks* straight-forward on the page:
5 beats per bar
Ok, this is tricky, let's make no bones about that. But Marin's going to talk us through it – with the help of some gorgeous Tchaikovsky, whose Second Symphony uses five in a bar.
Marin Alsop's conducting masterclass: beating in 5
Marin talks us through this tricky beat pattern
And here's the beat pattern to help you beat along:
Next week: Marin tackles more complex conducting gestures including the upbeat and the big finish