5/4 time is really just a bar of 3/4 alternated with a bar of 2/4, accented mainly on beat one, but also on beat four. The first 15 bars need a rubato feel (freedom in the time), with carefully shaped phrasing and accurate dynamics. The suggested fingering will facilitate greater legato. Use of the pedal is important throughout, especially with big left to right arpeggiated chords (bars 10,15 & 27) – too big for most hands, so catch the lowest note with the pedal. But don’t over-use the pedal either – mainly use to connect hand position changes and to build crescendo.
In complete contrast, section B (bars 16 to 23) is a very rhythmical blues riff in 4/4 time – place forcefully. At bar 24, a brief return to Section A 5/4 rubato – scales in 3rds & more big chords. The centrepiece of this more advanced contemporary / jazz piano work is the Animato at bar 51 – strong driving rhythms in 5/4 time. Watch out for the unexpected 4/4 bars. The last RH chord is indeed the ‘high five’ hand clap, so build a strong crescendo as you reach the end, and hammer the final chord.
sample sheet music
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