What do you do when your listeners clap on 1 and 3 instead of 2 and 4? Do you stop the music and chastise the audience for crippling the song with a stilted beat?
This is the situation Harry Connick Jr found himself in when performing in France a dozen or so years ago. But rather than stop the song Connick got the audience to clap on 2 and 4 without them even knowing it.
Here’s the clip. Pay attention to what happens around 0:39.
WTF! Up until 0:39 everybody is clapping on 1 and 3 but from 0:42 the audience is clapping on 2 and 4.
How’d he do that?
He added a 5/4 bar; that is, he added one extra beat that displaced the audience clapping so the tune went from square to hip.
Brilliance. And that he came up with the solution mid-performance is genius.