Mixed Meter Christmas

Are you ever concerned about approaching odd-meter pieces with your ensembles? As long as they’re treated well, there’s no impediment to us learning them – 4/4 is no more innate to us than any other metric feel.

Consider this pattern:

A tune of four measures of 4/4. On the second verse, you add an additional bar of 4/4. In the middle of the verse. On each additional verse, you add a single bar, but in 3/4, after the first two measures. EXCEPT the fifth verse, when you add two measures of 4/4. There are more than ten verses, each with different words and a different pattern of 3/4 and 4/4 measures.

Sounds weird and difficult to memorize? Maybe…but children learn it all the time – it’s The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Odd meter isn’t hard; it just needs to feel natural.

Merry Christmas (in mixed meter, of course.)