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What's the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 time?

David Bennett Piano

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NOTE: I chose to cut "Subterranean Homesick Alien" by Radiohead out of this video due to copyright issues. Sorry!

There is often confusion and disagreement when it comes to whether a song is in 3/4 time or 6/8 time. Although some songs can fit equally well into 3/4 or 6/8, usually one of these two meters is the far more obvious and intuitive choice when transcribing or conceptualizing a given piece of music. Let's look at the differences between these two time signatures and also at how they interact with similar meters such as 9/8 or 12/8.

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Thank you to Young Man for his feedback on this video!
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0:00 Introduction
0:26 3/4 vs. 6/8
2:48 how does 3/4 actually sound?
3:20 how does 6/8 actually sound?
3:53 "America" from West Side Story
4:23 slow 6/8 sounds like 3/4
5:09 fast 3/4 sounds like 6/8
8:57 3:2 polyrhythms
9:54 6/8 vs. 12/8
11:17 3/4 vs. 9/8
13:50 outro

posted by Ziljan5z