At 32:47, Stravinsky, whilst recording his Symphony of Psalms, just before another take, says to the orchestra

“I give you one bar for nothing in four and the bar before nine is in three, six.”

Is this just a way of counting the orchestra in? I’m not so sure because this isn’t echoed by Stravinsky’s movement shortly afterwards, at least the three or six part isn’t.


1 Answer 1


The bar before rehearsal number nine is in 3/2 and the problem is Stravinsky can't decide whether to conduct half notes ("in three") or quarter notes ("in six"). "One bar for nothing in four" means he's going to give them four silent beats before they start (i.e. a count-in). He announces that he's going to conduct the bar in three ("the bar before nine is in three"), then immediately corrects himself ("in six").

  • First take: his four-beat count-in is clear enough and he conducts the bar in six.
  • Second take: he starts the bar in quarter notes and then changes to half notes in the middle.

The tempo is rather fast to conduct quarters but it's hard to get the orchestra rhythmically synchronized if he conducts half-notes. In the end they decide that's a bad place to start and go back a bit further.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.