On the collector's edition of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds, there are four tracks featuring guitarist Chris Spedding counting bars, apparently all through the entirety of the concept album, probably per track.

I would assume it has to do with the cadence and progression of the entire piece, but the hilarity with which this is done, as exemplified by those tracks, makes the method to achieve this at the least seem a little ludicrous.

An example: Bar Count - Under Attack (From Forever Autumn)

What is the purpose of this bar count?


1 Answer 1


This was recorded before the use of click tracks. The bar count would have been used to ensure that overdubs and edits started at the correct place in the music.

  • How would that work in practice? Is it just to get an idea of around what bar something would have to be edited?
    – Joachim
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:06
  • An overdub might be intended for bars e.g. 11 to 14. The bar count would make sure it wasn't recorded over bars 21 to 24 which might sound very similar.
    – PiedPiper
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:12
  • But why count bars then? Wouldn't a timing of the song make a lot more sense and be a lot more precise?
    – Joachim
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:14
  • 2
    Firstly this would have been recorded on analog tape. The only way to get times is to play it from the beginning with a stopwatch. Secondly musicians don't think in terms of times, they think in terms of bars.
    – PiedPiper
    Sep 15, 2019 at 20:39

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