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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-40

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 40

                  Tuesday, 2 August 2005


                      Compound Time
                      Slice My Bars
                        Simon says
 RE: Nonsuch / Nonesuch / Pudenda - John Morrish posting
   Mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is
             FROM RINGO TO ZAPPA IN 4/4 TIME
                If anybody's interested...
                        Re: Heavy
      Steve Somerset article - (XTC/Dukes content!)


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Clouds like purple boats will drift across the heaven's dish.


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 20:28:12 -0400
From: Michael Kearns <>
Subject: Compound Time
Message-ID: <>

At 06:20 PM 7/28/05 -0400, Dan Schmidt wrote:

>In Soundgarden's song "Pretty Noose", there is a measure of five
>eighth-note triplets (instead of the six you would expect to make the
>beat line up again).  In my opinion, the best way to notate this would
>be to use a time signature of 5/12 for that measure.  The alternative
>would be to make a metric modulation into and out of a measure of 5/8,
>but to me that makes it less clear what is going on.

Hi Dan and Chalksters galore!

The muso in me likes to chime in on these things.. with respectfulness
towards those with differing ideas (and a plea for tolerance to those who
don't know what the hey I'm blabbering on about anyway..)

Unfortunately, I do not know the song in question, so I'm kind of winging
it in terms of context. I am going to assume that this measure consisting
solely of "triplets" is really a measure in compound time.

Compound time always has a numerator divisible by three, e.g., 6/8, 6/4,
12/8, 15/8. (Denominators as far as I know need only fall within the range
of common note values: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32..)

The numerator in compound time conveys the numbers of beats per measure, as
is true with simple time (numerator not divisible by three, e.g., 4/4, 5/4,
3/2, 11+5/32..) however in compound time you divide the numerator by three
to derive the number of beats.

Also, you multiply the denominator by three to determine the note value
receiving the beat.

Thus, a piece in 6/8 is not, as some may argue, a six beat measure with the
eighth-note receiving the beat. (Such a measure might be metered as 4+2/8
or 2+4/8.)

No, true 6/8 means that there are two (6 divided by 3) beats per measure,
and the dotted eighth note receives the beat. The beat in compound time
naturally subdivides back into three, so the term "triplet" would not apply
here. (Oxford definition of triplet: "Group of 3 notes, or notes and rests,
equal in time-value, written where a group of 2 notes is suggested by
time-signature. Usually indicated by adding numeral 3 above each group.")

Deep breath(!)

So, I hold that your Soundgarden measure is (or may be) a measure of five
dotted eight-note beats, thus 15/8.

>It is true that I have never seen a non-power-of-2 denominator in any
>actual written music.

Nor I, thank Ozzy.. this stuff is brutal enough without added nonsense!

XTC: Both Andy and Colin are rhythmically superior to this entire posting
of mine! And Dave too, bless him!

Mike Kearns


Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 20:46:05 -0400
From: Michael Kearns <>
Subject: Slice My Bars
Message-ID: <>

At 06:52 PM 7/24/05 -0400, Ian wrote:
>I like chiming in on music theory matters.

Ian! Hello old friend. Good to hear your voice out here, and did I not see
your name recently in the credits of a particularly excellent musical film
on Showtime?

>"Optimism's Flames" main riff is an offset phrase that resets every 3

... of 4/4, or every 4 bars of 3/4. No matter how ya slice it, it's a cool
effect. This is one case where, given the maddening regularity of it all,
there is really two time signatures going on at once - polymetric - whereas
a supposed "offset" favoring one sig. over the other invites needless
complication, in notation and in performance.

>I don't think musicians (myself included) think about one time sig
>against another, but just notice an offset pattern. I was trying to
>find a term for this, but found that polyrhythmic, polymetric, and
>hemiola don't exactly apply here. Anyone have a term?

Any of these terms might apply adequately depending on the specific context.

Ian.. you rock, man! Still playing on your Green Guitar?  :-)

Mike Kearns


Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 10:54:01 +0200
Subject: Simon says
Message-ID: <>

Hi people of the collines de la craie,

In #38, Simon wrote (in response to Aaron's admission in #36 that he was a
"right-wing savage"):

>Ah, it's just sweet pop music... I'm sure Andy would be pleased his music
can penetrate the ear but his lyrics fail to penetrate the heart.  What
exactly are these people surmising from 'Dear God', 'Books are Burning',
'Beating Of Hearts', 'This World Over', 'Here Comes President Kill Again'
and 'Melt The Guns', to name but a few examples?

I would hope that Aaron would, in a case such as this, think along the
lines of Voltaire in, while disagreeing with Andy's point of view,
being prepared to defend to the death his right to say it.  And that
Andy would do the same for Aaron.  So here, yes, Andy can be pleased
that he has earned such respect from his listeners that they are
prepared to hear views of his that are diametrically opposed to
theirs, yet they retain their love for Andy and his music!

I think anyone can respect and even admire another opinion, even if he
absolutely disagrees with it.  It's more the person presenting the
views or the way the views are presented that can cause problems.  I
myself do not believe in the church in any of its forms, yet in my
travels, I find few things more compelling than visiting religious
sites, be they Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, "heathen", or whatever.  I
see no contradiction in that; they are historically interesting.

In #39, Simon wrote again:

>the logical choice to end the 'Nonsuch' album would have been the
glorious 'End Of The Pier', since we were already at the sea-side in
the preceding song, 'Bungalow'?  It would have made a great
'Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane' combo. (I can almost imagine the view
from the window including a pier off in the distance).

Funny you should mention that.  The book I just finished reading last
week was "Last Orders" by Graham Swift.  It's an excellent book --
Swift is a fantastic writer -- and the protagonists' "objective" in
the story is getting to the end of the pier in Margate, where a
bungalow had been bought.  I had to think of the exact same two songs.

Au revoir,



Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 16:05:41 +0100
Subject: RE: Nonsuch / Nonesuch / Pudenda - John Morrish posting
Message-ID: <>

Why does everyone have to relate everything by XTC to sex?

If Andy meant Nonsuch to mean Vagina, why didn't he just call it Vagina?

He could have avoided all the Nonsuch/Nonesuch confusion at the same time.

You'll be telling me the peacock feather on the front of Apple Venus
Vol 1 is a thinly disguised wide open beaver, next.


Jason Fox


Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 22:54:38 +0100 (BST)
From: Huw Davies <>
Subject: Mixing pop and politics, he asks me what the use is
Message-ID: <>

> "Wayne Klein" wrote regarding 'I am the Walrus':

> Although it was Lennon's idea to add the bit from "Macbeth".

I'm going to delurk and be a bit pedantic here, but it
was actually a performance of "King Lear" that Lennon
added in.

The discussion of XTC's politics and the use of their
music by that right-wing radio host made me think that
English Settlement is possibly XTC's most politicised
album. There are a lot of songs with political themes
on there: 'Ball and Chain', 'No Thugs in Our House',
'Melt the Guns', 'Leisure' and 'Fly on the Wall'. XTC
don't do politics that often and for the most part
this is probably a good thing. Mixing pop and politics
is extremely difficult to do well.

Huw Davies


Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 00:19:40 +0100
From: <>
Message-ID: <>


kind regards,  DAVE BANCROFT


Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 19:28:08 -0700
From: "dr. beat" <>
Subject: If anybody's interested...
Message-ID: <>


Cleaning out some of the old stuff lying about, if anyone is interested in
these items email me. First come, first served, trades OK. I'm in Northern

Oranges & Lemons
Same running order as U.S. release on 3 mini discs (they play in standard
CD drives), with box.

Radios In Motion
CD of early live recordings from NYC (1980, 16 tracks) and a handful of
tracks from British television.

dr. beat


Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 22:30:45 -0400
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Heavy
Message-ID: <a06110400bf133937ae8a@[]>

At 6:20 PM -0400 7/28/05, Kevin wrote:
>Yikes, I'm sorry to the other listers that I've gone on so obsessively
>about Zappa material, but hey, I know that Andy Partridge has mentioned
>Frank Zappa as one of his musical influences, along with the Bonzo Dog Band
>and Judee Sill and Brian Wilson and...hey, wasn't that Iron Butterfly whose
>spirit he was dredging up on the extraordinary title tune to 25 O'CLOCK?
>Loved the stereophonic noodling with the instrumental break in that track.

I don't hear Iron Butterfly at all, it's The Electric Prunes "I Had
Too Much To Dream Last Night" sort of sideways, though Andy and co.
may have been thinking Iron Butterfly in the instrumental break.


Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 08:29:55 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <>
Subject: Steve Somerset article - (XTC/Dukes content!)
Message-ID: <>

Hello folks

Steve Somerset is an interesting (and very nice) guy.  He has certain
XTC connections.  He spoke with me and gave some fascinating info of
his own free will.  Steve provided some great pictures too, to
illustrate the piece.

John Relph has kindly allowed some bandwith on Chalkhills, so that
you, fellow fans, can enjoy this article, and share in Steve's magical
odyssey (including some hitherto undisclosed XTC and Dukes Of
Stratosphear stuff, yeah!!!).  We hope you enjoy it!  All you gotta do
is follow this link:

Brought to you by ICE Productions.  Thanks!


Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 19:34:48 -0400
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: Announcing:
Message-ID: <>

Hi again,

I'll keep this one short . . .

I've just launched a brand new web site for my brand new family-style
cd PURPLE BURT. You can find it at

For those of you who already have the cd, if you head to this new site
you will find some even newer info and characters
that aren't on the album. There is also a messageboard which functions
as both a guestbook, and a place where kids can
ask Purple Burt questions (which he will answer personally!) Another
fun thing is a page on which kids can color in a few
of the illustrations right on the computer, and also download printable
versions of many of the others that they can then
color in any way they like.

You can also listen to the whole cd while reading the lyrics and
looking at the artwork, read the many reviews it has so
far received, and buy a copy if you are so inclined. Plus lots more!

In the near future I will be adding some new songs and a few other
surprises. Sign up on my bio page if you want to be
notified when any new material gets posted.

I hope you and your kids and your kids' friends enjoy it! ;-)


p.s. If this email has arrived in error, or is simply unwanted, please
excuse the interruption.


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-40

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