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 Forum index » How-tos » Micro Tuning
microrhythms?
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: microrhythms?
Subject description: building up the beat from finer grain temporal blocks
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I'm about a third of the way through a summer read Time in Indian Music: Rhythm, Meter and Form in North Indian Rag Performance. Going into the book I had this notion of polyrhythms from reading people like Mickey Hart, but my appreciation of polyrhythms is one of multiple concurrent rhythms whose accents line up at common multiple time boundaries, and this is more than that.

What got my attention is discussion of cyclic patterns where some beats are longer than others, in a regular manner. I suppose you could say that the players are modulating the tempo, except that the book talks about tempo as being an emergent phenomena, what you notice and tap your feet to, that emerges out of the hierarchical overlay of multiple levels of rhythm in which the basic temporal building blocks are not all of the same length, although they do repeat in cyclic manner. So we have:

1. Hierarchies of time structures rather than simple concurrent structures that constitute polyrhythms.

2. Some constituent parts of these hierarchies may be of different temporal length.

3. They repeat in cyclic manner.

4. Tempo and the sense of "the beat" emerge from this hierarchy. They are not primitive components.

#2 made me think of microtones. Is there a theory of microrhythms with which anyone is familiar?

Thanks.

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Re: microrhythms?
Subject description: building up the beat from finer grain temporal blocks
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Acoustic Interloper wrote:
... #2 made me think of microtones. Is there a theory of microrhythms with which anyone is familiar? ...
Not that I know of to give a direction to it...
Quote:
... 4. Tempo and the sense of "the beat" emerge from this hierarchy. They are not primitive components. ...
This is a subject you'll always be confronted with as soon as you are in touch with any information about music orginated from the region of India towards Turkey: horizontal music, which means the development in time, special melodies, are important in opposition of the vertical way, which is at the moment the main stream in western music.

My 2 cents...

Wout
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Acoustic Interloper



Joined: Jul 07, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: microrhythms?
Subject description: building up the beat from finer grain temporal blocks
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Wout Blommers wrote:
Acoustic Interloper wrote:
... #2 made me think of microtones. Is there a theory of microrhythms with which anyone is familiar? ...
Not that I know of to give a direction to it...
Quote:
... 4. Tempo and the sense of "the beat" emerge from this hierarchy. They are not primitive components. ...
This is a subject you'll always be confronted with as soon as you are in touch with any information about music originated from the region of India towards Turkey: horizontal music, which means the development in time, special melodies, are important in opposition of the vertical way, which is at the moment the main stream in western music.

My 2 cents...

Wout

There is some discussion in the book of Middle Eastern influences on North Indian music over the last 150 years, particularly concerning influences on tabla playing and the increased importance of varied accents in defining the rhythm.

I have always liked the harmonies that I have heard in Turkish and Bulgarian music in casual listening over the years, but I have never made a study of those musics. In fact, at the 1971 Philadelphia Folk Festival, an event that led to my taking up the banjo a month later, a previous year's winner of the banjo playing competition has just returned from the Balkans playing stringed instruments and folk songs from there. I've been a casual listener to Indian ragas since those days as well. It's not surprising to find that some of these influences have crept into my playing. I play a number of tunes on the banjo where the lengths of the "verses" alternate, so that if you were to play them as canons, some verses finish earlier than others. This sounds similar to what you say about Turkish-influenced music. There is variation in the lengths of the larger scale musical structures.

The trick now is to make these influences more conscious and intentional by studying them.

_________________
one finds oneself counting,
one knows not what,
notes in a stream, steps in a forest,
years in a life, items in a list of todo's;
counting,
planning,
always getting ready to come down on the one
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