ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reading Rhythm in Music III: A Summary of Counting Methods, Including the Kodaly Method

Updated on May 29, 2011

Various Methods of Counting


This Hub presents and describes several different methods for counting the beat in music. No one method is superior to another. The method that is best is the one that will help the student learn how to translate printed rhythm into performed rhythm accurately and musically, and that method may vary from one musician to another. These methods are listed in order beginning with those that seem to work best with younger or less experienced students and moving on to those that seem to work best with more experienced students and/or performing musicians.



Method I – Suzuki-based


Although I am not a Suzuki teacher and have not had the appropriate training, I have heard and read that young children are taught basic beats with familiar words. The quarter note is represented by “blue” and so a steady beat would be spoken as


blue        blue        blue        blue

.



In Other Words

 

Method II – Other words

Some students catch the feel of the beat by hearing familiar words spoken with a musical rhythm. This method may need to be presented by a teacher or another musician, so that the words will be spoken with even rhythm, rather than in the somewhat clipped, stop-and-go fashion of everyday speech. But if you think about the chant examples from “Rhythm in Music, Part II,” you can try some of the following words to help represent the basic beat. Speak them slowly, emphasizing each syllable, and keeping the pace even. Try tapping your foot with each syllable. Keep a steady pace.

                              Stea – dy,  Stea – dy,  Stea – dy,  Stea – dy

                                /        /        /        /        /        /        /        /

                               Mu - sic,     Mu - sic,     Mu - sic,     Mu - sic

                            Heart-beat, Heart-beat, Heart-beat, Heart-beat

If these words don’t quite connect, think of a crowd at a ball game yelling “Defense!” They will probably yell it in some type of steady beat, most likely in one of these two patterns:

           /        /        /        /   |    /        /        /        /   |

        DE- fense! (wait - wait) DE- fense! (wait - wait)

OR

          /        /        /        /   |    /        /        /        /   |

      (wait - wait - wait) de - FENSE!! (wait - wait) de -

         /        /        /        /   |    /

  FENSE!! (wait - wait) de - FENSE!

These two patterns differ from one another in the position of the accent, the spot where the strongest pulse or beat occurs.

 

Method III – Kodaly-based

A great method for counting different values of notes is being taught in many elementary schools today. For the basic steady beat, the students say “Tah.” (Syllables that are used for other values of notes will be explained later.)

 

Tah Tah Tah Tah Tah Tah Tah Tah

   /      /      /      /   |   /      /      /      /

Method IV – Naming the Note-Value Names Rhythmically

I have learned from piano method books that some students (especially younger ones) are helped by having the name of the note (value) chanted rhythmically while they watch and follow the printed music. This helps them to associate the name of the note with the way it looks and also with the pulse it receives. With the quarter note, it is the first syllable of the name that occurs on the beat, and the second syllable can be felt as a half-beat subdivision.

Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter, Quar-ter

/ / / / | / / / /

Method V – Note-Values as Specific Numbers

This is not quite the same as the “traditional style” of counting, but it helps to lay the groundwork for it. That is, each note represents a specific number of beats (or a specific portion of a beat), and so the value of the notes can be chanted to keep the time or the beat. So, for two groups of quarter notes, we could say

 

One One One One One One One One

  /       /       /       /   |   /      /       /       /

Tradition...... Tradition!

 

Method VI – Counting Numbers in Sequence

For many students who have learned in traditional methods, this is THE way to count.  It can be quite helpful, especially when dealing with a group of musicians, because it can provide a common language for counting.  But for younger students, it may be too confusing at first to be helpful.  In this method, the beats are counted off in sequence, and then the numbers start over again with “one.”

            One      Two     Three   Four     One      Two     Three   Four

              /           /            /           /    |     /           /            /           /

It is probably preferable to use just one style of counting with a specific student, and to use the style that works best for that student once it is identified.  But it can be confusing (for the teacher too) if a teacher tries to switch back and forth between counting methods from one student to another.  Still, students are likely learning to count one way at school, and that may be different from the method used in private music lessons.  As a result, the use of more than one counting method with a given student might actually help them to translate and transfer what is taught in one location to the lessons learned elsewhere.  And it may also help them to understand that a counting method is a matter of feeling the beat, not just learning mathematical fractions.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)