Songs that use 11/8 time

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    1. And he’s wrong about not being able to have x.5 time sigs. I’ve seen 6.5/4. Though I agree it’s kinda dumb. Writing that piece as 13/8 or alternating between 7/4 and 6/4 made much more sense.

  1. Whipping Post by The Allman Brothers Band is one of the best, if not the all time greatest 11/8 song.
    That bass line is something else.

  2. 0:58 honestly I’m not surprised to find 11/8 in video game music, video game soundtracks often explore a lot of interesting time signatures and scales and nonfunctional harmony and I wish we got more of that in “pop” music

  3. One video game tune you should really listen too is “castle Bleck” from super paper Mario. It changes time signature very frequently, going from 13/8, to 3/4, to 4/4, to 15/8 and briefly 5/4 (not in any particular order.)

    Edit: also, you should look at more video game music in general.

  4. I love the piece you’ve written David Bennett, and also the unusual intonation of your keyboard!

  5. Thank you for including the last bit about notating as alternating time signatures. I cannot imagine a scenario where I would purposefully notate a piece of music as “11.” It obscures more than it communicates to the performer. IMHO, never notate in 11 or 13. Your example of how you would prefer to notate the bit from Here Comes the Sun was a perfect illustration!

    1. A way to have a cleaner overall page and still communicate where the stressed beats go is by having a note under the time signature at the start, such as 11/4 (3+2+3+3) like the sheet music for Eleven Four at 4:57 does

  6. Words (Between the lines of Age) could be interpreted as being in 11/8. I think about the interludes and chorus as being in alternating 6/8 and 5/8 measures

  7. 9:00 always been my issue. When using 8ths and 16ths u can group them in a way that makes sense to use the higher order sigs. The fact that you can do the grouping of notes like thst is helpful for odd signatures.

  8. I thought “Whipping Post” as soon as I read 11/8 (though it’s really 11/4) but somehow the Mario Kart 64 results music escaped me even though I’ve heard to it for years. Video game music really is underrated I think when it comes to some very advanced composition. I’m actually impressed that there are enough songs using this rare signature to make a video but music is full of surprises! Nice video David!

  9. Very happy to see some of my current favorite bands – King Gizzard, Tool, and Yes – on here! I’d also point to King Gizzard’s “Gamma Knife” as a song where much of it is in 11/8 (most notably the solo near the end). Also, I think “Out of Tartarus” from the video game Hades is largely in 11/8, but people online seem to be in disagreement about that, so I’m not entirely sure.

  10. Favourite song in 11, although it’s probably 11/4, is First Circle by Pat Metheny. It’s also one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

  11. I’ve always naturally subdivided odd time signatures into groups of 2, 3, or 4. So, I think of 5/4 as a group of 3 then a group in 2 or vice versa. Likewise, I think of 7/8 as a group of 4 then a group of 3 or vice versa depending on the song. It’s good to see that that is the way real musicians think about these meters in their brain too. I was always wondering if I was just sort of cheating because I wasn’t a good enough musician to THINK in odd time signatures.

  12. Great video! One question about 4:19 though: Would you really say that 11/4 and 11/8 are interchangeable? To me, it depends on how often the “oddness” of the meter is noticeable (similar to your argument at 7:04). If I have 11/8 but count quarters, in every other bar I will count on the offbeat. Since this is not helpful for playing the music, I would consider such a song in 11/8 but not 11/4. (Of course, if you also double the bpm, they are interchangeable but I never thought something like 240 bpm in quarters would make sense :P)

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever written a whole song in 11s but I love using it to break up sections or just create a riff where the song’s normal rhythm gets lost for a bit. It’s a long enough number of beats that I can put the song a little off-balance with a few sections of just one or two bars each.
    Makes it a very expressive sort of meter to use in short bursts.

  14. I think I mentioned Caravan’s “Hello, hello” before. The chorus is in 11/8 and the verse is in 7/8. And I love it!

  15. I love that videogame music often has so much conceptual depth to it!

  16. “Cattle & Cane” by the Go-Betweens is a great example of 11-time. There’s also a Rodrigo y Gabriela piece called “11:11” in 11. Stephen Malkmus’s “Planetary Motion” is largely in 11, too, as is Adrian Belew’s “Modern Man Hurricane Blues”

  17. I always count “Awaken” by Yes as 6 beats and 5 beats. A killer you left out that I was looking for was “Words” by Neil Young. The verse is 4/4, but shifts to 11 in the instrumental sections.

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