If you can work out the time signature of this piece you’re officially a musical genius

28 September 2016, 14:46

don ellis time signature

Music geeks, get ready to put your counting skills to the test. This piece has a truly bonkers time signature, and we want you to identify it.

No, Don Ellis’ ‘Bulgarian Bulge’ is not a film only accessible through hotel televisions. In fact, it’s a quite insane jazz composition that features one of the most complex time signatures we’ve ever seen.

But can you guess what it is? Have a listen to the piece, try and get a feel for its groove and then make your selection.

 

Made your guess? How did you do?

If you’re looking for some detailed explanation of how this all works, with subdivision and whatnot, then do take a look at this Reddit thread on the subject, this dictionary of musical meters, and this image from the Don Ellis record sleeve which features a snippet from the score.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Musical abbreviations quiz

You won’t get 20/20 on this quiz if you don’t know your musical abbreviations

musician would you rather

This musician edition of Would You Rather is completely excruciating

greatest best man speech

Everyone is saying this pianist gave the greatest best man speech of all time