On Mar 28, 2019, at 2:39 PM, Bob via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> 
wrote:

> ...
> Live or mixed recordings? If live then it should be perfectly square AABB. If 
> mixed, the only thing you can count on is 8-beat phrases. ...

Can you even count on 8-beat phrases if someone, such as a caller or a 
knowledgeable DJ, hasn't vetted the tracks?

I know practically nothing about techno music, but recordings in other genres 
that aren't made for phrased dancing will not necessarily follow strict 8-beat 
phrasing.  For instance ...

It's pretty common for a folk singers accompanying themselves to play a few 
bars of guitar strums--and not always the same number--while trying to remember 
the first line of the next verse.  While I haven't gone looking for examples, 
I'd be surprised if such variable inter-verse vamping didn't sometimes appear 
even on studio recordings.

In some fiddle traditions, such as southern and Quebecois, besides straight 
tunes and wildly crooked tunes, there are also tunes that are mostly straight 
but have an occasional odd phrase.  Even medleys of straight tunes can 
sometimes have some extra beats at the transitions between tunes, as heard 
around 0:59 in this video:

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLUyg173n_M
     Yo-Yo Ma - Fiddle Medley ft. Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile

Line dances are mostly choreographed to music that's in multiples of 8 beats, 
but exceptions are hardly unusual.  Also, in order to fit recordings that were 
made for listening and not specifically for dance routines, line-dance step 
sheets may prescribe various irregularities in the routines.  Here are just a 
few of the examples a little searching turned up:

     
https://www.learn2dance4fun.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Boot-Scootin-Boogie.pdf
     Boot Scootin’ Boogie
     38 count, 4 wall, beginner line dance

     
https://www.copperknob.co.uk/stepsheets/every-little-honky-tonk-ID132260.aspx
     Every Little Honky Tonk
     32-count, 4 wall line dance with 12-count tag after wall 2

     http://tinalinedancers.com/data/documents/Came-Here-To-Forget.pdf
     Came Here To Forget
     Description: Line Dance - 2 Wall (24ct.) - Intermediate 1 Restart, 2 Tags
     Sequence: 24, 24, Tag 1, 14cts- Restart, 24, 24, Tag 2 (6cts.), 24, 24...

For some other examples of music that's largely, *but not entirely*, in chunks 
of 8 beats (or eight bars of triple meter), try listening to any of these while 
tapping your foot or fingers and counting along:

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg0kfd7kow4
     Paul McCartney - When I'm 64

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o32C0ogVM
     Julie Andrews - My Favorite Things

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbyAZQ45uww
     Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

So here's my question, for those of you who are more familiar with techno music 
than I am:  If you play a random track not already "vetted" for phrasing, if 
you find a place where there's sufficiently discernible phrasing to establish a 
starting point for your "mental metronome of 8 counts" (to quote Donna Hunt), 
if you use that mental metronome to carry you through a part where phrasing is 
less evident, and if you then get to another part with findable phrasing, how 
reliably (or not) can you expect that the phrases will still line up with your 
mental eight-counts?

--Jim

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