Friday Mix Tape: Songs Written in 5/4

Friday Mix Tape is supposed to be in general a shorter piece that doesn’t require too much “thinking”, but we’re going to see if we can rhythmically stretch your mind a little bit today. Rather than get into the history of odd time signatures and writing tunes in 5, I am going to point you in the direction of this NPR piece titled Playing Five Beats To The Measure. A very well-written brief explanation of the history and many examples.

Now count with me: One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

I think it’s safe to say that the most famous song written in 5/4 is Dave Brubeck’s appropriately titled Take Five, except that song was not written by Dave Brubeck! While it appears on the 1959 album Time Out, Take Five was actually written by Paul Desmond – the saxophonist that plays on that track. Moving on to another tune that references the meter in the title we have the Gorillaz song simply titled 5/4. And then Radiohead, who are no strangers to odd time signatures, give us 15 Step which is in 5/4, a song that Thom Yorke once said in an interview that he thought Radiohead might not be able to pull off live. Want more guitars in your 5/4 jams? Well Steve Kimock has got that in his tune titled Five B4 Funk [source 1-26-2002]. OK Go has a pop song to contribute and it is titled WTF? Sufjan Stevens wrote a song in 5 for his 2004 album Seven Swans titled A Good Man Is Hard To Find. And to close us out, let’s have a listen to Blind Faith and their tune Do What You Like.

There are many others, what are you favorite songs in 5?

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6 Responses

  1. “SENSITIVITY”a marvelous show tune from ONCE UPON A MATTRESS composed by Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers.

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