[Dixielandjazz] RE: tempo and timing

Ittzés Tamás bohem at mail.datanet.hu
Mon Feb 9 21:42:53 PST 2004

Russ Guarino wrote:
"Cut Time" is usually a faster tempo.  2/2 is usually a slow tempo and is
seen in classical material. 2/4 is seen not as much any more.
Respectfully disagree, Russ. 2/2 does not mean that the tempo is slower, it
means that there is only two 'main beats' in the measure. Yes, generally
there are no 16th's in such pieces, eights are more common in fasten
sections but overall, 2/2 means: do not play it in 4/4 (although
mathematically it equals that) but think in half-bar beats. And this results
a more of an up-tempo thing in most cases (not all the time, though). In
ragtime, 2/2 is the same as 2/4 but then eights are notated instead of
sixteenths. In classical, it's a little different but the basic idea is the


PS.: I am aware of thet you had the word 'usually' in your original comment,
Russ. But 2/2 is not slow. It can be slower than 4/4 in some cases. But it's
never an indication in real slow movements. At least not in classical
Tamas ITTZES - violin teacher, ragtime pianist, manager
Kodaly School, Bohem Ragtime Jazzband, Kecskemet Jazz Foundation
Address: Kecskemet-Hetenyegyhaza H-6044, Hullam u. 14.
Mailing address: Kecskemet H-6001, Pf. 652.
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E-mails: tamas at bohemragtime.com, bohem at mail.datanet.hu
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