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# Tuplets

This article is about the note groupings. For mathematical grouping, see tuple.

Irrational rhythm triplet above second beat features three rather than the usual two equal divisions of the beat, while the four sixteenth notes (semiquavers) above the third beat are
rational, four being a multiple of two

In music a tuplet (also irrational rhythm or groupings, artificial division or groupings, abnormal divisions,irregular rhythm, gruppetto, extrametric groupings, or, rarely, contrametric rhythm) is "any rhythm that involves dividing the beat into a different number of equal subdivisions from that
usually permitted by the time-signature (e.g., triplets, duplets, etc.)" (Humphries 2002, 266). This is indicated by a number (or sometimes two), indicating
the fraction involved. The notes involved are also often grouped with a bracket or (in older notation) a slur. The most common type is the "triplet".

Terminology

Sextuplet)), or six notes. As the extra brackets show: six notes in the time of four = three notes in the time of two X 2

The modern term 'tuplet' comes from a mistaken splitting of the suffixes of words like quintu(s)-(u)plet and sextu(s)-(u)plet, and from related mathematical
terms such as "tuple", "-uplet" and "-plet", which are used to form terms denoting multiplets (Oxford English Dictionary, entries "multiplet", "-plet, comb.
form", "-let, suffix", and "et, suffix1"). An alternative modern term, "irrational rhythm", was originally borrowed from Greek prosody where it referred to "a
syllable having a metrical value not corresponding to its actual time-value, or ... a metrical foot containing such a syllable" (Oxford English Dictionary,
entry "irrational"). The term would be incorrect if used in the mathematical sense (because the note-values are rational fractions) or in the more general
sense of "unreasonable, utterly illogical, absurd".

"True sextuplet": in order to contrast with the above "false sextuplet", the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a sextuplet must be stressed rather than the 1st and 4th (Baker, Slonimsky, and
Kuhn 1995, 208).

Alternative terms found occasionally are "artificial division" (Jones 1974, 19), "abnormal divisions" (Donato 1963, 34), "irregular rhythm" (Read 1964,
181), and "irregular rhythmic groupings" (Kennedy 1994). The term "polyrhythm" (or "polymeter"), sometimes incorrectly used of "tuplets", actually refers
to the simultaneous use of opposing time signatures (Read 1964, 167).
Besides "triplet", the terms "duplet", "quadruplet", "quintuplet", "sextuplet", "septuplet", and "octuplet" are used frequently. The terms "nonuplet",
"decuplet", "undecuplet", "dodecuplet", and "tredecuplet" had been suggested but up until 1925 had not caught on (Dunstan 1925,[page needed]). By 1964 the
terms "nonuplet" and "decuplet" were usual, while subdivisions by greater numbers were more commonly described as "group of eleven notes", "group of
twelve notes", and so on (Read 1964, 189).

Triplets
The most common tuplet (Schonbrun 2007, 8) is the triplet (Ger. Triole, Fr. triolet, It. terzina or tripletta, Sp. tresillo), shown at right.

Tuplet: a standard triplet; a triplet denoted without a bracket; a tuplet denoted as a ratio

Whereas normally two quarter notes (crotchets) are the same duration as a half note (minim), three triplet quarter notes total that same duration, so the
duration of a triplet quarter note is 2/3 the duration of a standard quarter note. Similarly, three triplet eighth notes (quavers) are equal in duration to one
quarter note. If several note values appear under the triplet bracket, they are all affected the same way, reduced to 2/3 their original duration. The triplet
indication may also apply to notes of different values, for example a quarter note followed by one eighth note, in which case the quarter note may be
regarded as two triplet eighths tied together (Gherkens 1921, 19).

Tuplet notation
If the notes of the tuplet are beamed together, the bracket (or slur) may be omitted and the number written next to the beam, as shown in the second
illustration.

Septuplet rhythm: seven against four (more frequent) and seven against eight (sometimes found) (

Play (help·info)).

For other tuplets, the number indicates a ratio to the next lower normal value in the prevailing meter. So
a quintuplet(quintolet or pentuplet (Cunningham 2007, 111)) indicated with the numeral 5 means that five of the indicated note value total
the duration normally occupied by four (or, as a division of a dotted note in compound time, three), equivalent to the second higher note value; for
example, five quintuplet eighth notes total the same duration as a half note (or, in 3/8 or compound meters such as 6/8, 9/8, etc. time, a dotted quarter
note). Some numbers are used inconsistently: for example septuplets (septolets or septimoles) usually indicate 7 notes in the duration of 4—or in
compound meter 7 for 6—but may sometimes be used to mean 7 notes in the duration of 8 (Read 1964, 183–84). Thus, a septuplet lasting a whole note
can be written with either quarter notes (7:4) or eighth notes (7:8). To avoid ambiguity, composers sometimes write the ratio explicitly instead of just a
single number, as shown in the third illustration; this is also done for cases like 7:11, where the validity of this practice is established by the complexity of
the figure. A French alternative is to write pour ("for") or de ("of") in place of the colon, or above the bracketed "irregular" number (Read 1964, 219–21).
This reflects the French usage of, for example, "six-pour-quatre" as an alternative name for the sextolet (Damour, Burnett, and Elwart 1838, 79; Hubbard
1924, 480).
There are disagreements about the sextuplet (pronounced with stress on the first syllable, according to Baker 1895, 177)—which is also
called sestole, sestolet, sextole, orsextolet (Baker 1895, 177; Cooper 1973, 32; Latham 2002; Shedlock 1876, 62, 68, 87, 93; Stainer and Barrett 1876,
395; Taylor 1879–89; Taylor 2001). This six-part division may be regarded either as a triplet with each note divided in half (2 + 2 + 2)—therefore with an
accent on the first, third, and fifth notes—or else as an ordinary duple pattern with each note subdivided into triplets (3 + 3) and accented on both the first
and fourth notes. Some authorities treat both groupings as equally valid forms (Damour, Burnett, and Elwart 1838, 80; Köhler 1858, 2:52–53; Latham
2002; Marx 1853, 114; Read 1964, 215), while others dispute this, holding the first type to be the "true" (or "real") sextuplet, and the second type to be
properly a "double triplet", which should always be written and named as such (Kastner 1838, 94; Riemann 1884, 134–35; Taylor 1879–89, 3:478). Some
go so far as to call the latter, when written with a numeral 6, a "false" sextuplet (Baker 1895, 177; Lobe 1881, 36; Shedlock 1876, 62). Still others, on the
contrary, define the sextuplet precisely and solely as the double triplet (Stainer and Barrett 1876, 395; Sembos 2006, 86), and a few more, while
accepting the distinction, contend that the true sextuplet has no internal subdivisions—only the first note of the group should be accented (Riemann 1884,
134; Taylor 1879–89, 3:478; Taylor 2001).

Duplet and quadruplet notated in 6/8

Play (help·info). Two duplets or four quadruplets equal three regular eighth notes or a dotted quarter note.

In compound meter, even-numbered tuplets can indicate that a note value is changed in relation to the dotted version of the next higher note value. Thus,
two duplet eighth notes (most often used in 6/8 meter) take the time normally totaled by three eighth notes, equal to a dotted quarter note.
Four quadruplet (or quartole) eighth notes would also equal a dotted quarter note. The duplet eighth note is thus exactly the same duration as a dotted

eighth note, but the duplet notation is far more common in compound meters (Jones 1974, 20). A duplet in compound time is more often written as 2:3 (a
dotted quarter note split into two duplet eighth notes) than 2:1.5 (a dotted quarter note split into two duplet quarter notes), even though the former is
inconsistent with a quadruplet also being written as 4:3 (a dotted quarter note split into two quadruplet eighth notes) (Anon. 1997–2000).

"Quadruplet" with each note on a different drum in a kit used as a fill (Peckman 2007, 129).

play (help·info)

In drumming, "quadruplet" refers to one group of three sixteenth-note triplets "with an extra [non-tuplet eighth] note added on to the end", thus filling one
beat in 4/4 time (Peckman 2007, 127–28), with four notes of unequal value.

Usage and purpose
Tuplets can produce rhythms such as the hemiola, or may be used as polyrhythms when played against the regular duration. They
are extrametric rhythmic units.

Sextuplet in quintuple time: six against five (

Play (help·info)).

Traditional music notation favors duple divisions of a steady beat or time unit. A whole note (semibreve) divides into two half notes, a half note into two
quarters, etc. and other notes are made by tying these together.
An irrational rhythm (by definition) is one that uses exact time points or durations that lie outside the scope of the duple system.
The n-tuplet notation shows the proportional increase or decrease of tempo needed for the bracketed notes, relative to the prevailing tempo. For example,
a bracket labeled "5:4" (read five in the space of four) could group together durations (notes or rests) with a total of five sixteenth notes. A tempo 5/4
faster than usual then compresses these events into the space of four sixteenth notes.
The actual duration can be found by dividing the notated duration by the indicated tempo increase ((5/16)/(5/4) = 1/4, in this example).
Normally, the total duration of the bracketed notes is chosen to be exactly equal to the duration of one of the duple divisions. For the example of a 5:4
bracket, this is possible if the total bracketed duration has a 5 in its numerator, 5/16 in the example.
Sometimes though that requirement is dropped to create total durations not exactly expressible in the duple system. For example, one might have only
three of the usual five sixteenth notes grouped by a bracket marked "3 of 5:4".

Counting
Tuplets may be counted, most often at extremely slow tempos, using the lowest common multiple (LCM) between the original and tuplet divisions. For
example, with a 3-against-2 tuplet (triplets) the LCM is 6. Since 6/2 = 3 and 6/3 = 2 the quarter notes fall every three counts (overlined) and the triplets
every two (underlined):

1

2

3

4

5

6

This is fairly easily brought up to tempo, and depending on the music may be counted in tempo, while 7-against-4, having an LCM of 28, may be counted
at extremely slow tempos but must be played intuitively ("felt out") at tempo:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Four eighth-note triplets = one half-note triplet. . With a stress on each target note. count eighth-note triplets and tie them together in groups of four. To play a half-note (minim) triplet accurately in a bar of 4/4. septuplets. and so on. one would count: 1-2-3 / 1-2-3 / 1-2-3 / 1-2-3 The same principle can be applied to quintuplets.

Now that you have practiced playing the lick starting on three different beats within the bar. the "and" of 2.Desplazamiento Rítmico Lick 1: On the Beat To begin. Lick 3: Delayed As well as starting the lick an 8th-note early when playing it over a ii V I progression. but starting it on the "and" of 4 on the bar before the progression starts. Do you have a question or comment about this lick transposition technique? Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below. etc. Lick 2: Anticipated The first variation we‘ll look at is taking the exact same lick. 3. By working a lick around the bar like this. providing you a ton of improvisational material from just one classic jazz line. This creates a sense of anticipation in your line. you also can start it an 8th note later to add a sense of delayed resolution to your lines. you are learning eight different variations for the same lick. you can try moving it around to other beats to see how it sounds when you start on beat 2. then we‘ll start to vary this lick in the next two examples. Once you have worked this lick out on the "and" of 4. let‘s take a classic-sounding jazz lick you can learn starting on beat 1 of the bar. and gives you a quick and relatively easy variation for the original lick that you can use in your solos without sounding repetitive or monotonous with the same lick. In order to make sure you can quickly grasp those variations. you can move it around to start on any beat in the bar in order to take it further in the practice room and out on the bandstand. . by starting on the eight 8th-notes in the bar. 1 and the "and" of 1. make sure you memorize this lick and get it comfortable under your fingers and in your ears before moving to the next two sections of this lesson.

the accented and unaccented beats will shift. then sing the same motif shifted forward by a crotchet. Example 31 If the motif is moved by a quaver. First write down a motif and sing it. keeping the motif‘s rhythmic structure intact.Rhythmic displacement Perhaps the most common method of variation in popular music is rhythmic displacement. Example 32 Now practice rhythmic displacement by singing rhythms with a metronome. . where the motif is moved to different beats in a bar. and the motif‘s rhythmic character will change to the extent that it will be difficult to recognize the original motif. Next. and so on. sing the original motif and then the same motif shifted by two crotchets.

Don‘t forget to move the original motif to different beats in a bar. You can work with different motifs and then go back to the first one. Use your imagination. produce motifs of your own. .Example 33 Printer-friendly version of the examples on this page When you get more skilled.

The term cross rhythm was introduced in 1934 by the musicologist Arthur Morris Jones (1889–1980). [1] Contents [hide]  1 African music o o  2. For the Christian media organization.3 3:4 2. see Escapement#Cross-beat escapement.5 4:3 3 Duple-pulse correlative of 3:2 4 Cross-rhythm.2 6:4 2. Cross-rhythm. not polymeter 5 Adaptive instruments 6 Jazz o o o o  1. see tonguing.1 3:2 (or 6:4) 6.1 One main system 6.2 An embodiment of the people 2 Cross-rhythmic ratios o o o o o     1.4 Duple-pulse correlative of 3:2 7 Sources African music One main system Niger-Congo linguistic group (yellow and yellow-green).4 1.5:4 (or 3:8) 2. a cross-beat or cross-rhythm is a specific form of polyrhythm. A rhythm in which the regular pattern of accents of the prevailing meter is contradicted by a conflicting pattern and not merely a momentary displacement that leaves the prevailing meter fundamentally unchallenged—New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986: 216).Cross-beat This article is about music.1 3:2 2. For horology. In music. For crossbeat tonguing. see Cross Rhythms.3 2:3 6.2 3:4 6. .

The two bottom notes are the primary beats. From the African viewpoint. or even music. cross-beats can symbolize the challenging moments or emotional stress we all encounter. Typically. . they are an embodiment of the people. Ladzekpo affirms the profound homogeneity of sub-Saharan African rhythmic principles. In Sub-Saharan African music traditions (and many Diaspora musics) cross-rhythm is the generating principle.K. symbolizing interdependence in human relationships—Peñalosa (2009: 21).M. Jones. Cross-rhythm was first identified as the basis of sub-Saharan rhythm by A. The technique of cross-rhythm is a simultaneous use of contrasting rhythmic patterns within the same scheme of accents or meter. [7] Cross-rhythmic ratios 3:2 The cross-rhythmic ratio three-over-two (3:2) or vertical hemiola. Many sub-Saharan languages do not have a word for rhythm. By the very nature of the desired resultant rhythm. the concept was more fully explained in the lectures of Ewe master drummer and scholar C. while the secondary beats are accented musically. Jones observes that the shared rhythmic principles of Sub-Saharan African music traditions constitute one main system. . the dancer's feet mark the primary beats. the ground. the main beat scheme cannot be separated from the secondary beat scheme. Polyrhythm 3:2 . [2] [3] [4] [5] An embodiment of the people At the center of a core of rhythmic traditions and composition is the technique of cross-rhythm. Playing cross-beats while fully grounded in the main beats. The three notes above are the secondary beats. Ladzekpo. the meter is in a permanent state of contradiction. The two cycles do not share equal status though. the rhythms represent the very fabric of life itself. [6] From the philosophical perspective of the African musician. The following measure is evenly divided by three beats and two beats. which dominates the continent south of the Sahara Desert. and in the writings of David Locke. prepares one for maintaining a life-purpose while dealing with life‘s challenges. Similarly. It is the interplay of the two elements that produces the cross-rhythmic texture—Ladzekpo (1995). Later. the main temporal referent.African cross-rhythm is most prevalent within the greater Niger-Congo linguistic group. is the most significant rhythmic cell found in sub-Saharan rhythms.

there is no independence here. Three-over-two cross-rhythm. a Ghanaian gyil sounds the three-againsttwo cross-rhythm. Agawu succinctly states: "[The] resultant [3:2] rhythm holds the key to understanding . Afro-Cuban Obatalá dance (Marta Ruiz). In the following example. . 6:4 The primary cycle of four beats . We have to grasp the fact that if from childhood you are brought up to regard beating 3 against 2 as being just as normal as beating in synchrony." 3:2 is the generative ortheoretic form of sub-Saharan rhythmic principles." [9] [10] African Xylophones such as the balafon and gyil play cross-rhythms.Three-over-two cross-rhythm. while the right hand (upper notes) sounds the three cross-beats. [Watch: Stepping to the main beats within 3:2 cross-rhythm. because 2 and 3 belong to a single Gestalt. [11] Ghanaian gyil Ghanaian gyil sounds 3:2 cross-rhythm. then you develop a two dimensional attitude to rhythm… This bi-podal conception is… part of the African's nature—Jones (1959: 102) [8] Novotney observes: "The 3:2 relationship (and [its] permutations) is the foundation of most typical polyrhythmic textures found in West African musics. The left hand (lower notes) sounds the two main beats. which are often the basis of ostinato melodies. .] The example below shows the African 3:2 cross-rhythm within its proper metric structure.

a single cycle of six-against-four (6:4). [16] Holding an mbira dzavadzimu. [12] [13] [14] Six-against-four cross-rhythm (note that this is identical to the three-over-two cross-rhythm above. [15] The following notated example is from the kushaura part of the traditional mbira piece "Nhema Mussasa." built upon the four main beats. This accounts for the stereotype of African music as "repetitive. Kushaura mbira part for "Nhema Mussasa." The left hand plays the ostinato "bass line. . consisting of six cross-beats. Interacting the four recurrent triple structure main beat schemes (four beat scheme) simultaneously with the six recurrent two pulse beat schemes (six beat scheme) produces the first most useful cross rhythmic texture in the development of Anlo-Ewe dance-drumming— Ladzekpo (1995: web). consisting of two beats each." A cycle of only two main beats. . as in the case of 3:2. while the right hand plays the upper melody. The composite melody is an embellishment of the 6:4 cross-rhythm. or. Within the primary cycle there are two cells of 3:2. does not constitute a complete primary cycle. it is made up of two cells. The six cross-beats are represented below as quarter-notes for visual emphasis.Polyrhythm 6:4 A great deal of African music is built upon a cycle of four main beats." Play (help·info) . The next most useful measure scheme consists of four main beats with each main beat flavored by measuring off four equal pulsations [4/4]" (1996: Web). The four-beat cycle is a shorter period than what is normally heard in European music. played twice). This basic musical period has a bipartite structure. Ladzekpo states: "The first most useful measure scheme consists of four main beats with each main beat measuring off three equal pulsations [12/8] as its distinctive feature .

[18] The following pattern is an embellishment of the three-beat cycle. It consists of three sets of three strokes each. The "slow" cycle of three beats is more metrically destabilizing and dynamic than the six beats.3:4 Polyrhythm 3:4 If every other cross-beat is sounded. A simultaneous interaction of these two beat schemes with contrasting rhythmic motions produces the next most useful cross rhythmic texture in the development of subSaharan dance-drumming. The threebeat cycle is represented as half-notes in the following example for visual emphasis. In contrast to the four main beat scheme. the three-against-four (3:4) cross-rhythm is generated. The motif begins with the component beat schemes coinciding and continues with the beat schemes in alternate motions thus showing a progression from a "static" beginning to a "dynamic" continuation—Ladzekpo (1995: web). The Afro-Cuban rhythm abakuá (Havana-style) is based on the 3:4 cross-rhythm. commonly heard in African music. Embellishment of 3:4 cross-rhythm . The composite texture of the three-against-four cross rhythm produces a motif covering a length of the musical period. [17] Three-against-four cross-rhythm. the rhythmic motion of the three beat scheme is slower.

The three cross-beats are shown as whole notes below for visual emphasis. and a single stroke. The pattern consists of three modules—two pairs of strokes. It is the same pattern as the previous figure.5:4 cross-rhythm.5:4 or 3:8.5:4 cross-rhythm. Another way to think of it is as three "very slow" cross-beats spanning two main beat cycles (of four beats each). [19] Drum pattern based on 1.1. 1.5:4) cross-rhythm. Play (help·info) The 1. a type of macro "hemiola.5:4 (or 3:8) Polyrhythm 4:1. Ewegankoqui bell The following bell pattern is used in the Ewe rhythm kadodo. The three single stroke are muted." In terms of the beat scheme comprising the complete 24-pulse cross-rhythm. but the strokes occur at half the rate. or three beats over two periods(measures). the ratio is 3:8.5:4 cross-rhythm is the basis for the open tone pattern of the enú (large batá drum head) for the Afro-Cuban rhythm changó (Shango). [20] . is the one and a half beat-againstfour (1. The pattern is another embellishment of the 1.5 Even more metrically destabilizing and dynamic than 3:4.

such as 3/4 or 6/4. instead. the 4:3 cross-rhythm significantly contradicts the period by cycling every three main beats. Continuous duple-pulse cross-beats are often sounded by the quinto. While 3:2 pervades ternary music. [25] . the four-against-three (4:3) cross-rhythm is generated. In terms of cross-rhythm only. quaternary music seldom uses tuplets. [21] [22][23][24] Quinto drum Complete cycle of 4:3 cross-rhythm shown in relation to clave. 4:3 cross-rhythm in modular form. However. The complete cross-beat cycle is three claves in length. The pulses on the top line are grouped in threes for visual emphasis. there is a macro 4:3—four 4:3 modules-against-three claves. The complete cross-beat cycle is shown below in relation to the key pattern known in Afro-Cuban music asclave. the lead drum in the Cuban rhythms rumba and conga de comparsa. Within the context of the complete crossrhythm. The four cross-beats cycle every three main beats. this 4:3 is within a duple beat scheme. The subdivisions are grouped (beamed) in sets of four to reflect the proper metric structure. with duple (quadruple) subdivisions of the beats. a set of dotted notes may temporarily make 2:3 and 4:3 temporal structures—Locke (2011: 56). this is the same as having duple cross-beats in a triple beat scheme.kadodo bell pattern 4:3 When duple pulses (4/4) are grouped in sets of three. Since the musical period is a cycle of four main beats.

tango-congo. The habanera rhythm is the duple-pulse correlative of the vertical hemiola (above). The pulse names of tresillo and the three cross-beats of the hemiola are identical: one. one-ah. r2. Tresillo is generated by grouping duple pulses in threes: 8 pulses ÷ 3 = 2 cross-beats (consisting of three pulses each). congo. Cross-beats are generated by grouping pulses contrary to their given structure. [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] Tresillo over two Video . The duple-pulse correlative of the three crossbeats of the hemiola. As used in Cuban popular music. the two pulse structures are two sides of the same coin. is a figure known in Afro-Cuban music astresillo. or tango. tresillo refers to the most basic duplepulse rhythmic cell. The three cross-beats of the hemiola are generated by grouping triple pulses in twos: 6 pulses ÷ 2 = 3 cross-beats.Duple-pulse correlative of 3:2 In sub-Saharan rhythm the four main beats are typically divided into three or four pulses. two-and. Tresillo is a cross-rhythmic fragment. for example: groups of two or four in 12/8 or groups of three or six in 4/4. 8 ÷ 3 = 2. with a remainder of a partial cross-beat (spanning two pulses). In other words. [26] [27] [28] Top: "tresillo" over two. or 16-pulse ( 4/4) cycle. bottom: three-over-two (3:2). Every triple-pulse pattern has its duplepulse correlative. The composite pattern of tresillo and the main beats is commonly known as the habanera. It contains the first three cross-beats of 4:3. Tresillo is a Spanish word meaning ‗triplet‘—three equal notes within the same time span normally occupied by two notes. creating a 12-pulse (12/8).

and the other. within a single meter. because. instead of the contrametrical accents (cross-beats) they in fact are. Complicating the transcription further. each requiring its own separate time signature.Tresillo consists of the first three cross-beats of 4:3. One dundun phrase is based on a grouping of three pulses written in 3/8. Of the many reasons why the notion of polymeter must be rejected. Jones and Anthony King identified the prevailing rhythmic emphasis as metrical accents (main beats). Some of their music examples are polymetric. if polymeter were a genuine feature of African music. in contrast to most Western music. or "clave. one polymetric measure is offset from the other two.M. [34] Dundun drum ensemble represented as polymeter. Pioneers such as A. [35] More recent writings represent African music as cross-rhythmic. with multiple and conflicting main beat cycles. a grouping of four pulses written in 4/8. African music cannot be notated without assigning different meters to the different instruments of an ensemble—Chernoff (1979: 45). Cross-rhythm. The standard pattern is written in a polymetric 7/8 + 5/8 time signature." played on the kagano dundun (top line). we would expect to find some indication of . African music is often characterized as polymetric. I will mention three. King shows two Yoruba dundun pressure drum ("talking drum") phrases in relation to the five-stroke standard pattern. First. not polymeter Early ethnomusicological analysis often perceived African music as polymetric.

Polymeter fails to convey the true accentual structure of African music insofar as it creates the essential tension between a firm and stable background and a fluid foreground—Agawu (2003: 84. The first cell (half measure) of the top line is a hemiola. [37] When written within a single meter. This happens in some modern music. marimba. kalimba. Some instruments organize the pitches in a uniquely divided alternate array – not in the straight linear bass to treble structure that is so common to many western instruments such as the piano.its pertinence in the discourses and pedagogical schemes of African musicians. marimba. decisions about how to represent drum ensemble music founder on the assumption. because practically all the ensemble music in which polymeter is said to be operative in dance music. harp. it is more likely that these musics unfold within polyrhythmic matrices in single meters rather than in…―mixed‖ meters…Third. made most dramatically by Jones." Being polymetric in the strict sense. karimba. and given the grounding demanded by choreography. The two dunduns shown in the second and third lines sound an embellishment of the three-over-four (3:4) cross-rhythm—expressed as three pairs of strokes against four pairs of strokes. mbira huru. ‗polymetric‘ would describe the simultaneous un-folding of several parts in a single work at different tempos so as not to be reducible to a single metrum. As far as I know. These instruments are found in several forms indigenous to different regions of Africa and most often have equal tonal ranges for right and left hands. Elliott Carter‘s Symphony. Lamellophones including mbira. The kalimba is a modern version of these instruments originated by the pioneer . likembe. B. Because meter and grouping are distinct. postulating a single meter in accordance with the dance allows phenomenal or contrametric accents to emerge against a steady background.. 85). that accents are metrical rather than phenomenal…phenomenal accents play a more important role in African music than metrical accents. [36] [The] term ‗polymetric‘ is only applicable to a very special kind of phenomenon. carriers of the tradition. Zimmermann‘s opera "Die Soldaten. these works can only be performed with several simultaneous conductors—Arom (1991: 205)." and Pierre Boulez‘s "Rituel. and okeme. no such data is avail-able…Second. Adaptive instruments Sub-Saharan instruments are constructed in a variety of ways to generate cross-rhythmic melodies.A. mbila. If we take ―metre‖ in its primary sense of metrum (the metre being the temporal reference unit).. and the subdivision immediately preceding it. mbira nyunga. [38] Dundun drum ensemble represented as cross-rhythm within a single meter. such as some of Charles Ives' works. we see that the dundun in the second line sounds the main beats. etc. mbira njari.

However. either smoothly or with varying amounts of syncopation. part of the harp-lute family of instruments. Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba Signature SeriesGravikord Chordophones. This can all be done within the same tight tonal range." [41] "Afro Blue" bass line. . Also the fingers of each hand can play separate independent rhythmic patterns and these can easily cross over each other from treble to bass and back.ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in the early 20th century which has over the years gained world-wide popularity." The only specific description offered is the statement that "triplet subdivisions contrast with duple subdivisions. such as the West African kora. Jazz The New Harvard Dictionary of Music calls swing "an intangible rhythmic momentum in jazz. swing is fundamentally a form of polyrhythm. The Gravikord is a new American instrument closely related to both the African kora and the kalimba. but both hands can play freely across the entire tonal range of the instrument. Another instrument. These simple rhythms will interact musically to produce complex cross rhythms including repeating on beat/off beat pattern shifts that would be very difficult to create by any other means. The following example shows the original ostinato "Afro Blue" bass line. [40] 3:2 (or 6:4) In 1959 Mongo Santamaria recorded "Afro Blue. It was created to exploit this adaptive principle in a modern electro-acoustic instrument. the Marovany from Madagascar is a double sided box zither which also employs this divided tonal structure. This characteristically African structure allows often simple playing techniques to combine with each other and produce cross-rhythmic music of great beauty and complexity. The song begins with the bass repeatedly playing 3 cross-beats per each measure of 6/8 (3:2)." adding that "swing defies analysis. with main beats indicated by slashed noteheads." the first jazz standard built upon a typical African 3:2 cross-rhythm." The argument could be made that by nature of its simultaneous triple and duple subdivisions. but are shown to indicate the main beats. where you would normally tap your foot to "keep time. The slashed noteheads are not bass notes. and Doussn'gouni. without the left and right hand fingers ever physically encountering each other. also have this African separated double tonal array structure. [39] On these instruments one hand of the musician is not primarily in the bass nor the other primarily in the treble. the use of true systematic cross-rhythm in jazz did not occur until the second half of the twentieth century. claims to its presence may inspire arguments. or 6 cross-beats per 12/8 measure (6:4).

" drummer Willie Bobo played an abakuá bell pattern on a snare drum. Since the main beats (four sets of three pulses) are present whether sounded or not. This 2:3 in a swung 3/4 is perhaps the most common example of overt cross-rhythm in jazz. performing it instead as duple cross-beats over a 3/4 "jazz waltz" (2:3). Jones inverted the metric hierarchy of Santamaria's composition. [46] "Footprints" bass lines. 2:3 In 1963 John Coltrane recorded "Afro Blue" with the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones. using brushes. They are shown here for reference. The 4/4 figure is known as tresillo in Latin music and is the duple-pulse correlative of the cross-beats in triplepulse. with main beats indicated by slashed noteheads. and do not indicate bass notes. On the version recorded on Miles Smiles by Miles Davis. this bell pattern can be considered an embellishment of the three-against-four (3:4) crossrhythm." [42] Abakuá bell pattern. Bobo used this same pattern and instrumentation on the Herbie Hancock jazzdescarga "Succotash. . [43][44] [45] Two-over-three (2:3). Throughout the piece. the bass switches to 4/4 at 2:20. In the example below the main beats are indicated by slashed noteheads. This cross-rhythmic figure divides the twelve-pulse cycle into three sets of four pulses. Duple-pulse correlative of 3:2 The Wayne Shorter composition "Footprints" may have been the first overt expression of the 6:4 cross-rhythm (two cycles of 3:2) used by a straight ahead jazz group. the four main beats are maintained.3:4 On the original "Afro Blue.

Meter (music) (Redirected from Subdivision (meter)) .

See also: Hymn meter and Poetic meter Meter or metre is the rhythmic structure of music. in music. .2 Triple meter 2.1 Changing meter 6 Hypermeter 7 Polymeter 8 Examples o o o    2.2. the term refers to the pattern of accents in the piece of music and to its possible organization into regularly recurring measures of stressed and unstressed beats.3 Various meters—video 9 See also 10 Sources 11 External links Metric structure The term is not very precisely defined (Scholes 1977).1 Simple meter 3 Meter in song o    2.1. the faster providing the pulse and the slower organizing the beats into repetitive groups (Yeston 1976. "Rhythms of recurrence" arise from the interaction of two levels of motion. and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short. "Once a metric hierarchy has been established. MacPherson (1930.2 Various meters—sound 8.Musical and lyric metre. we.1 Polymeters—video 8.1.1 Duple meter 8. which "involves our initial perception as well as subsequent anticipation of a series of beats that we abstract from the rhythm surface of the music as it unfolds in time" (London 2004. accented or unaccented (Scholes 1977. as listeners. The term was inherited from poetry (Scholes 1977 Latham 2002b) where it denotes: the number of lines in a verse.2. Latham 2002b). Imogen Holst (1963. 4). 77). 17) of "measured rhythm". Contents [hide]   1 Metric structure 2 Frequently encountered types of meter o 2. This "perception" and "abstraction" of rhythmic measure is the foundation of human instinctive musical participation. Likewise. will maintain that organization as long as minimal evidence is present" (Lester 1986. the number of syllables in each line.2 Compound meter 4 Meter in dance music 5 Meter in classical music 5. However.1 Meters classified by the number of beats per measure   o 2. London has written a book about musical metre. 50–52).2 Meters classified by the subdivisions of a beat      2. as when we divide a series of identical clock-ticks into "tick-tock-tick-tock" (Scholes 1977). 3) preferred to speak of "time" and "rhythmic shape".

and with the time signature 6/8. Metric levels may be distinguished: the beat level is the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic time unit of the piece. chapt. Metrical rhythm. against which the foreground details or durational patterns of any piece of music are projected (Wittlich 1975. and normal accents re-occur regularly. is where each time value is a multiple or fraction of a fixed unit (beat. A rhythmic unit is a durational pattern which occupies a period of time equivalent to a pulse or pulses on an underlying metric level.Metric levels: beat level shown in middle with division levels above and multiple levels below. Measured rhythm is where each time value is a multiple or fraction of a specified time unit but there are not regularly recurring accents (additive rhythm). and free rhythm are general classes of rhythm and may be distinguished in all aspects of temporality (Cooper 1973. using time to measure how long it will take to play the bar (Forney & Machlis 2007. Scholes 1977). has freer rhythm. Senza misura is an Italian musical term for "without meter". 3). ). 3). [page needed] Metric structure includes meter. see paragraph below). such as some graphically scored works since the 1950s and nonEuropean music such as Honkyoku repertoire for shakuhachi. 30). 5. and all rhythmic aspects that produce temporal regularity or structure. meaning to play without a beat. Faster levels are division levels. divisive rhythm). A definition of musical meter requires the possibility of identifying a repeating pattern of accented pulses — a "pulse-group" — which corresponds to the foot in poetry. each measure contains two dotted- . Frequently a pulse-group can be identified by taking the accented beat as the first pulse in the group and counting the pulses until the next accent (MacPherson 1930. by far the most common class in Western music. Some music. 5. chapt. may be considered ametric (Karpinski 2000. in the time signature 2/4. 3). 19). or a multiple thereof (quadruple meter). Metrical rhythm. for example. Free rhythm is where there is neither (Cooper 1973. The level of musical organisation implied by musical meter includes the most elementary levels of musical form(MacPherson 1930. providing systematic grouping (measures. and slower levels are multiple levels (Wittlich 1975. tempo. like the rhythm of prose compared to that of verse (Scholes 1977). including chant. each measure contains two (2) quarter-note (4) beats. Scholes 1977). Frequently meters can be broken down into a pattern of duples and triples (MacPherson 1930. 30). Frequently encountered types of meter Meters classified by the number of beats per measure  Main article: Duple meter Duple meter Duple meter is a meter in which each measure is divided into two beats. Some music. measured rhythm.

with 2 × 2 = 4 dotted-quarter-note beats per measure. and each of those beats divides into two quavers (eighth notes). Simple meter  Simple triple drum pattern: divides each of three beats into two Play (help·info) Simple meter or simple time is a meter in which each beat of the measure divides naturally into two (as opposed to three) equal parts. That is. Simple quadruple drum pattern: divides each of four beats into two Play (help·info) For example. Corresponding quadruple meters are 4/4. it is simple triple because there are three beats in each measure. . and with a time signature of 9/8.  Compound meter Compound triple drum pattern: divides each of three beats into three Play (help·info) Compound meter. making it a simple meter. with 2 × 2 = 4 quarter-note beats per measure. each measure contains three crotchet (quarter note) beats. More specifically. each measure contains three dotted-quarter beats. or compound time (chiefly British variation). For example.  Main article: Triple metre Triple meter Triple meter is a meter in which each measure is divided into three beats. Meters classified by the subdivisions of a beat  Simple meter and compound meter are distinguished by the way the beats are subdivided. each beat contains a triple pulse (Latham 2002a). or a multiple thereof. and 12/8. compound metre. each measure contains three (3) quarter-note (4) beats. simple duple (two beats) or simple quadruple (four) are also common meters. is a meter in which each beat of the measure divides naturally into three equal parts. in the time signature 3/4. in the time signature 3/4.quarter-note beats.

. This interpretational switch has been exploited. a primary accent on the first quaver. not in compound meter Compound meter divided into three parts could theoretically be transcribed into musically equivalent simple meter using triplets. i. in the song "America" from West Side Story. with Irish slip jigs in 9/8 time. For example. conductors typically provide two beats per measure. a secondary accent on the seventh quaver. 12/8 (compound quadruple meter) has four beats divided into three equal parts. and subordinate accents on the fourth and seventh quavers. and a subordinate accent on the fourth quaver. simple meter can be shown in compound through duples. and sometimes the passepied and the siciliana.e. In practice. Many Baroque dances are often in compound time: some gigues.e. all six beats may be performed. 6/8. they use measures of the same length. however.. so it is easy to "slip" between them just by shifting the location of the accents. a primary accent on the first quaver. Where the tempo is slow. by Leonard Bernstein.e. 9/8 (compound triple meter) has three beats divided into three parts. for example. i. for example. as can be heard in the prominent motif Play (help·info): Some works with compound meter:  Jigs are often in 6/8 time. and subordinate accents on the fourth and tenth quavers. Although 3/4 and 6/8 are not to be confused. Compound time is associated with "lilting" and dance-like qualities. thecourante. each divided into three) is written as a time signature with a numerator of six.Compound duple drum pattern: divides each of two beats into three Play (help·info) Compound meters are written with a time signature that shows the number of divisions of beats in each measure as opposed to the number of beats. compound duple (two beats. Contrast this with the time signature 3/4 which also assigns six quavers to each measure. Meter in song . however. Folk dances often use compound time. i. When conducting in 6/8. but by convention connotes a simple triple time: 3 crotchet beats. this is rarely done because it disrupts conducting patterns when the Tempo changes. a primary accent on the first quaver. Examples of compound meter:    6/8 (compound duple meter) has two beats divided into three equal parts. Counter-examples. Likewise..

Traditional and popular songs may draw heavily upon a limited range of meters. a wealth of irregular or compound meters are used. of four measures each. is called a "slow". the cadences dividing this musically into two symmetrical "normal" phrases of four measures each (MacPherson 1930. Two-fold. There is generally a pause in the melody in a cadence at the end of the shorter lines so that the underlying musical meter is 8:8:8:8 beats. lasting for one beat. for example. The basic slow step forwards or backwards. This is possible because the texts share a popular basic four-line (quatrain) verse-form called ballad meter or. not two or four. pulse-group or figure used but also the rhythmic or formal arrangement of such figures into musical phrases (lines. that has instantly recognizable patterns of beats built upon a characteristic tempo and measure. couplets) and of such phrases into melodies. "God Save the Queen". 18) calls "the time pattern of any song" (See also: Form of a musical passage). and the Macedonian 3+2+2+3+2 meter). passages or sections (stanzas. for example. such as the waltz or tango.8) and "imperfect time" (Read 1964. has six three-beat measures in its first phrase and eight in the second yet it still achieves symmetry. as to be danced in 2/4 time at approximately 66 beats per minute. the rhyme-scheme usually following suit: ABAB. Early hymnals commonly did not include musical notation but simply texts that could be sung to any tune known by the singers that had a matching meter. The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (1983) defines the tango. 147 ). [citation needed] In some regional music.A German children's song shows a common fourfold multiplication of rhythmic phrases into a complete verse and melody. Other terms for this are "additive meter" (London 2001. §I. four-fold and eight-fold division and multiplication of phrases into measures and of phrases into passages is indeed "common" and "normal"—the above arrangement is typical of the Baroque suite and the Bach chorale—but it is far from universal. Play (help·info) The concept of meter in music derives in large part from the poetic meter of song and includes not only the basic rhythm of the foot. citation given] Meter in dance music Typical figures of the waltz rhythm (Scruton 1997) Meter is often essential to any style of dance music. [not in . for example Balkan music (like Bulgarian music. in hymnals. so that a full "right-left" step is equal to one 2/4 measure. the four lines having a syllable-count of 8:6:8:6 (Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised). verses) to give what Holst (1963. 14). common meter. A Twelve-bar blues has three lines. For example The Blind Boys of Alabama rendered the hymn Amazing Grace to the setting of The Animals' version of the folk song The House of the Rising Sun. leading to interchangeability of melodies.

the corte and walks-in also require "quick" steps of half the duration. each divided by two.But step-figures such as turns. it is alternatively referred to as "quadruple" time. Simple triple ( 3/4 (help·info))—three beats to a bar. Meter in classical music A sequence of steps laid against the typical rhythm of the gavotte. 9/4) . 3/8. 4/2 …). Stylised folk-dances from all over Europe lent their characteristic meters to theBaroque suite. 9/16. there are four different families of time signature in common use:     Simple duple—two or four beats to a bar. 6/4 …) Compound triple—three beats to a bar. When there are four beats to a bar. This can be thought of as an equivalent of prosody. each divided by three. each entire figure requiring 3-6 "slow" beats. the top number being "6" (6/8. 3/2 …) Compound duple—two beats to a bar. the top number being "2" or "4" (2/4. In music of the common practice period (about 1600–1900). 2/8. Such figures may then be "amalgamated" to create a series of movements that may synchronise to an entire musical section or piece. the top number being "9" (9/8. each divided by three. the top number being "3" (3/4. each divided by two. 2/2 … 4/4. 4/8. 6/16.

Additive meters may be conceived either as long. Hyperbeats in red. Hypermeter Hypermeter: 4 beat measure. Some people also label quadruple. Bach. Changing meter In twentieth century concert music.Rhythmic analysis of the metric elaboration of one phrase of a gavotte by J. If each measure is divided into two it is duple and if into three it istriple. while some consider it as two duples. 4 measure hypermeasure. The use of asymmetrical rhythms also became more common: such meters include quintuple as well as more complex additive metersalong the lines of 2+2+3 time. A metric modulation is a modulation from one metric unit or meter to another. it may be treated as one unit of five. Any other division is considered additively. Similar meters are used in various folk music as well as some music by Philip Glass. in some music. if divided into three it iscompound. as a measure of five beats may be broken into duple+triple (12123) or triple+duple (12312) depending on accent. and 4 hypermeasure verses. it became more common to switch meter—the end of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is an example.S. where each bar has two 2-beat units and a 3-beat unit with a stress at the beginning of each unit. especially at faster tempos. If the beat is divided into two the meter is simple. However. . irregular meters or as constantly changing short meters. Ebene (German: level).

The beat varies and the measure stays constant. The two are often confused. 115) For example. 211) : [verification needed] [verification needed] [verification needed] 4/4 4/4 2/4 2/4 ¼ 1/4 1/8 1/8 1/8 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 1/8 It's been a hard day's night… The syncopation may then be added. the four-bar hypermeasure is the prototypical structure for country music. and Akenson 2000. Since the beat is the same. (Four measures of 7/4 = seven measures of 4/4). . at the level where measures act as beats." (Neal. they must have the same hypermeter . with all its inherent characteristics. the beat is the same. In this case. may be generated from its meter of 4/4 (Middleton 1990. which is struck by the same hand which then plays the melody. [citation needed] Polymeter is sometimes referred to as "tactus-preserving polymeter. using generative concepts to show how different meters (4/4. For example the first phrase of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night". Wolfe. moving "night" forward one eighth note. 3/4. 329). etc. Hence. constituting the basis of symmetrical phrasing. For example. and Akenson 2000. one part plays 4/4 while the other plays 3/4. the various meters eventually agree. and the first phrase is generated ( Play (help·info)).". Hypermeter is large-scale meter (as opposed to surface-level meter) created by hypermeasures which consist ofhyperbeats (Stein 2005. "Hypermeter is meter." The measure size differs. See Polytempi. Polyrhythm is sometimes referred to as "measure preserving polymeter. 19) asserts that there is no perceptual distinction between meter and hypermeter. In classical music. Notice that the melodic lines in bars 1 . Wolfe. but the 3/4 beats are stretched so that three beats of 3/4 are played in the same time as four beats of 4/4.4 hyperbeats per hypermeasure. in a 4:3 polyrhythm.the beat differs and the measure size also differs. the four bar hypermeter is a commonly observed practice. sometimes rhythms are combined in a way that is neither tactus nor measure preserving . without the syncopation. The term was coined by Cone (1968) while London (2004.) generate many different surface rhythms. Lee (1985) and Middleton have described musical meter in terms of deep structure. in and against which country songs work (Neal.8 are (almost) identical. Polymeter See also: Polyrhythm The main distinction is between Polyrhythms and Polymeters. 115).Opening of the third movement of Beethoven's Waldstein sonata.4 and 5 . the "downbeat" of each hypermeasure is the low C. More generally.

Contents [hide]   1 Downbeat and upbeat 2 On-beat and off-beat . a hit single by The Cars. and slower levels are multiple levels. synthesizer. In the music. In popular use. drummer B playing in 3/4. with the drums and bass playing in 5/4. This is consistent with the Gestalt psychology tenet that "the figureground dichotomy is fundamental to all perception" (Boring 1942. and groove. In music and music theory. [verification needed] In "Toads of the Short Forest" (from the album Weasels Ripped My Flesh). the organ playing in 5/8. though in practice this may be technically incorrect (often the first multiple level). the tambourine playing in 3/4. Rhythm in music is characterized by a repeating sequence of stressed and unstressed beats (often called "strong" and "weak") and divided into bars organized by time signature and tempo indications. Beat (music) From Wikipedia. See Meter (music)#Metric structure. Metric levels faster than the beat level are division levels. London 2004.[2] The beat is often defined as the rhythm listeners would tap their toes to when listening to a piece of music. 49–50). or focus on one rhythmic stream while treating others as "noise". 253. "Touch And Go". a 3/4 meter and 4/4 meter will meet after 12 beats. composer Frank Zappa explains: "At this very moment on stage we have drummer A playing in 7/8. and vocals are in 4/4 (the choruses are entirely in 4/4) (The Cars 1981. see Beat (acoustics) and Beat (disambiguation). specific rhythms. beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including:tempo. and the alto sax blowing his nose" (Mothers of Invention 1970). the free encyclopedia For other uses. The Swedish metal band Meshuggah makes frequent use of polymeters. of the mensural level[1] (or beat level). 15). meter. while the guitar. the pulse (regularly repeating event). the two meters will meet each other after a specific number of beats.Research into the perception of polymeter shows that listeners often either extract a composite pattern that is fitted to a metric framework. the beat is the basic unit of time. with unconventionally timed rhythm figures cycling over a 4/4 base (Pieslak 2007). has polymetric verses. the bass playing in 3/4. Metric levels: beat level shown in middle with division levels above and multiple levels below. or the numbers a musician counts while performing. For example.

[3] On-beat and off-beat Off-beat or backbeat pattern.[6] The effect can be easily simulated by evenly and repeatedly counting to four. This term was borrowed from poetry where it refers to one or more unstressed extrametrical syllables at the beginning of a line.anacrouse). the first beat of the bar (downbeat) is usually the strongest accent in the melody and the likeliest place for a chord change.. the third is the next strongest: these are "on" beats.[3] Both terms correspond to the direction taken by the hand of a conductor.e. number 1. As a background against which to compare these various rhythms a bass drum strike on the downbeat and a constant eighth note subdivision on ride cymbal have been added. can also make it "off-beat". Often referred to as "upbeats". which would be counted as follows (bold denotes a stressed beat): . The second and fourth are weaker . Fr. in parallel with upstrokes.      3 Backbeat 4 Cross beat 5 Hyperbeat 6 Related concepts 7 References 8 Further reading Downbeat and upbeat Beginning of Bach's BWV736. 1 2 3 4. with upbeat (anacrusis) in red.". In music that progresses regularly in 4/4 time. The upbeat is the last beat in the previous bar which immediately precedes. ana: "up towards" and krousis: "to strike". section or phrase. if used frequently in a rhythm. the downbeat. counted as "1 2 3 4. Play (help·info) The downbeat is the first beat of the bar. Subdivisions (like eighth notes) that fall between the pulse beats are even weaker and these. i.the "off-beats".. An anticipatory note or succession of notes occurring before the first barline of a piece is sometimes referred to as an upbeat figure. and hence anticipates. popular on snare drum [4] "Skank" guitar rhythm[5] play (help·info) Play (help·info). An alternative expression is "anacrusis" (from Greek.

popular music. In a simple 4/4 rhythm these are beats 2 and 4. there are early recordings of music with a distinctive backbeat. respectively: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 -.Chuck Berry A back beat. saying he adopted it from the final "shout" or "out" chorus common in Dixieland jazz. as opposed to the usual on-beat. is a syncopated accentuation on the "off" beat. recorded in 1938. the "Offbeat is [often] where the downbeat is replaced by a rest or is tied over from the preceding bar".[7] Certain genres tend to emphasize the off-beat. you can't lose it .[citation needed] A distinctive back beat can be heard on "Back Beat Boogie" by Harry James And His Orchestra.the stress is on the "unexpected" or syncopated beat play (help·info) So "off-beat" is a musical term commonly applied to syncopation that emphasizes the weak even beats of a bar.[13] Other early recorded examples include the final verse of "Grand Slam" by Benny Goodman in 1942 and some sections of The Glenn Miller Orchestra's "(I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo".[12] Although drummer Earl Palmerclaimed the honor for "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949.[10] "A big part of R&B's attraction had to do with the stompin' backbeats that make it so eminently danceable.S. For other uses.   1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 -.[citation needed] Outside U. recorded in late 1939."[11] An early record with an emphasised back beat throughout was "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris in 1948. According to Groove Music. which he played on. or backbeat. where this is a defining characteristic of rock'n'roll and Ska music. Back beat[8][9] Play (help·info) It's got a backbeat. see Backbeat (disambiguation).play eighth notes and bass drum alone (help·info) 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4—the stress here on the "on" beat play (help·info) But one may syncopate that pattern and alternately stress the odd and even beats.[citation needed] Delayed backbeat (last eighth note in each measure) as in funk music[14] play (help·info) . such as the 1949 recording of Mangaratiba byLuiz Gonzaga in Brazil.[6] The downbeat can never be the off-beat because it is the strongest beat in 4/4 time. Backbeat "Backbeat" redirects here. urban contemporary gospel was stressing the back beat much earlier with hand-clapping and tambourines.[citation needed] There is a handclapping back beat on "Roll 'Em Pete" by Pete Johnson andBig Joe Turner. This is a fundamental technique of African polyrhythm that transferred to popular western music. while amateur direct-to-disc recordings of Charlie Christianjamming at Minton's Playhouse around the same time have a sustained snare-drum back-beat on the hottest choruses.

The Knack's "Good Girls Don't" and Blondie's cover of The Nerves' "Hanging on the Telephone". one of the off beats is played as two eighth notes rather than one quarter note. Artist's Imprint: The Metric Structure of a Country Song.[14] Some songs.[17] In today's popular music the snare drum is typically used to play the backbeat pattern. 115. A rhythm in which the regular pattern of accents of the prevailing meter is contradicted by a conflicting pattern and not merely a momentary displacement that leaves the prevailing meter fundamentally unchallenged—New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986: 216). as well as in other boogie songs they recorded..[19]  Neal. Garry Neville Tamlyn found slap bass executions on the backbeat in styles of country western music of the 1930s. generally a measure. ISBN 9780028721910. William (1990). Hyperbeat Hypermeter: 4 beat measure.. James E. eds. A hyperbeat is one unit of hypermeter. Phrase Rhythm in Tonal Music. Neal. p. KY: University Press of Kentucky). 12-3.[16] Maddox had used this style as early as 1937. Hyperbeats in red. such as The Beatles' "Please Please Me" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand". a slapping bass style. Macmillan. one of the early forms of rock and roll. at the level where measures act as beats. helped drive a rhythm that came to be known as rockabilly."[20] Further reading: Rothstein. Charles K.In his thesis. and the late 40s early 50s music of Hank Williams reflected a return to strong backbeat accentuation as part of the honky tonk style of country. such as the #2 hit "Freight Train Boogie" in 1946. with all its inherent characteristics. p. Songwriter's Signature. Country Music Annual 2000 (Lexington. employ a double backbeat pattern.[4] Early funk music often delayed one of the backbeats so as. Related concepts . Jocelyn (2000). ISBN 0-8131-0989-2. Wolfe. "to give a 'kick' to the [overall] beat". Akenson. 4 measure hypermeasure. Jocelyn.[15] In the mid-1940s "hillbilly" musicians the Delmore Brothers were turning out boogie tunes with a hard driving back beat. and 4 hypermeasure verses.[citation needed] Similarly Fred Maddox's characteristic backbeat. "Hypermeter is meter.[18] Cross beat Main article: Cross-beat Cross-rhythm.[18] In a double backbeat.

[22][23][24] Additive rhythm and divisive rhythm From Wikipedia. the term One Drop reflects the complete de-emphasis (to the point of silence) of the first beat in the cycle. with heavy emphasis "on the one" (the first beat of every measure) – to etch his distinctive sound. [page needed] For example. following the downbeat. in agreement with the Turkish musicologist Ahmed Adnan Saygun (Fracile 2003.5. equal units. James Brown's signature funk groove emphasized the downbeat – that is. The first is a failure to distinguish between systems of notation (which may . in which larger periods of time are constructed by concatenating (joining end to end) a series of units into larger units of unequal length. few terms are as confusing or used as confusedly as ‗additive‘ and ‗divisive‘. more commonly. The relationship between additive and divisive rhythms is complex. thus 4/8 is divisive while 5/8 is additive. the terms "perfect" and "imperfect" are sometimes used as the equivalents of "divisive" and "additive". The terms additive and divisive originate with Curt Sachs's book Rhythm and Tempo (1953) (Agawu 2003. When applied to meters. practice or style. … These confusions stem from two misapprehensions. conversely. such as a 5/8 meter produced by the regular alternation of 2/8 and 3/8 (London 2001. §I. this can be contrasted with additive rhythm. third and fourth beats of the bar. some integer unit is regularly multiplied into larger. 3 + 3 = 6). the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Divisive rhythm) Additive and divisive meters.[10] In Reggae music. while 5 is only evenly divisible by 5 and 1 (5/2 = 2. multiplicative) rhythm is a rhythm in which a larger period of time is divided into smaller rhythmic units or. rather than the back beat (familiar to many R&B musicians) which places the emphasis on the second beat. 86). 198).66) and may be reached by repeatedly adding 1 or 5 (2 + 2 = 4.[21] Afterbeat refers to a percussion style where a strong accent is sounded on the second.8). 4 may be evenly divided by 2 (4/2 = 2) or reached through repeatedly adding 2 (2 + 2 = 4). Justin London states in his article on rhythm in the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians that "In discussions of rhythmic notation.    Tatum refers to a subdivision of a beat which represents the "time division that most highly coincides with note onsets". ). and the terms are often used in imprecise ways. 5/3 = 1. while the term akshak rhythm was introduced for the former concept at about the same time by Constantin Brăiloiu (1951). additive and divisive are terms used to distinguish two types of both rhythm and meter. A divisive (or. In music. 4 + 2 = 6. respectively (Read 1964.

. For example: 4/4 consist of one measure (whole note: 1) divided into a stronger first beat and slightly less strong second beat (half notes: 12).1 Additive structure 4.. §I. "metric structure is best described through detailed analysis of pulse groupings on various levels rather than through attempts to represent the organization with a single term" (Winold 1975. Contents [hide]     1 Divisive rhythm 2 Additive rhythm 3 Sub-Saharan African rhythm 4 Tresillo: divisive and additive interpretations o o   4. The second involves a failure to understand the divisive and additive aspects of metre itself" (London 2001. by two weaker beats (quarter notes: 1234). which are in turn divided..have both additive and divisive aspects) and the music notated under such a system. Additive rhythm Additive rhythm Play (help·info): 1 whole note = 8 eighth notes = 3 + 3 + 2. However. 217).8).2 Divisive structure 5 See also 6 References Divisive rhythm Divisive rhythm Play (help·info): 1 whole note = 2 half notes = 4 quarter notes = 8 eighth notes = 16 sixteenth notes. Sub-Saharan African music and most European (Western) music is divisive. Winold recommends that. and again divided into still weaker beats (eighth notes: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &). many pieces of music cannot be clearly labeled divisive or additive. while Indian and other Asian musics may be considered as primarily additive.

within the bar and between bars or groups of bars (Agawu 2003. … Then. Fracile 2003. . on the other hand. as opposed to divisive. the first three quavers long. . metres which have a regular pattern of beats of uneven length. … It would seem. and in some music ofPhilip Glass. cultural analysis (originating in African musicians‘ thinking) denies it. In the development of cross rhythm. This is cultural knowledge that players and especially dancers possess. not 12. … no dancer thinks in cycles of 12 when interpreting the standard pattern. rhythm. divides them into three beats. .Additive. and the last just two quavers long. 86)|. imperfect. is divisive in nature" Template:Harv=Novotney. producing varying rhythmic densities or motions.‘ I have argued elsewhere that additive thinking is foreign to many African musicians‘ ways of proceeding. The evidence of the rate at which the dance feet move is that 4. The term additive rhythm is also often used to refer to what are also incorrectly called asymmetric rhythms and even irregular rhythms – that is. that whereas structural analysis (based on European metalanguage) endorses an additive conception of the standard pattern. This type of rhythm is also referred to in musicological literature by the Turkish word aksak. ‗There is no evidence that the musicians themselves think it as additive. most noticeably the "one-two-one-two-three" chorus parts in Einstein on the Beach. Kubik stated. or uneven meter. the main beat scheme cannot be separated from the secondary beat scheme. who was influenced by similar rhythms in Bulgarian folk music. 181–82). while also having eight quavers in a bar. It is the interplay of the two elements that produces the crossrhythmic texture. 94). which means "limping" (Brăiloiu 1951. each a crotchet (that is. For example. . (Ladzekpo 1995) "the entire African rhythmic structure . in their generic forms. The technique of cross-rhythm is a simultaneous use of contrasting rhythmic patterns within the same scheme of accents or meter . too. there appears to be no trace of an additive conception in the discourses of musicians. [citation needed] Sub-Saharan African rhythm Main articles: Sub-Saharan African music traditions and Rhythm in Sub-Saharan African music A divisive form of cross-rhythm is the basis for most Sub-Saharan African music traditions. By the very nature of the desired resultant rhythm. These kinds of rhythms are used. The asymmetric time signature 3 + 3 + 2/8. They may also occur in passing in pieces which are on the whole in conventional metres. and has four beats. and other minimalists. there are some selected rhythmic materials or beat schemes that are customarily used. Writing in 1972 about the Yoruba version of the standard pattern. … what can be said for sure is that the cycle of four beats is felt and thus relied upon. for example. is the reckoning that most closely approximates the regulative beat. In the special case of time signatures in which the upper numeral is not divisible by two or three without a fraction. features nonidentical or irregular durational groups following one another at two levels. without such knowledge. and the groupings into twos and threes are sometimes called "long beats" and "short beats" (Beck and Reiser 1998. the time signature 4/4 indicates each bar is eight quavers long. the second three quavers long. 198). then. Do African musicians think additively? The evidence so far is that they do not. These beat schemes. by Béla Bartók. two quavers) long. the result may alternatively be called irregular. whether directly or indirectly. . are simple divisions of the same musical period in equal units. it is difficult to perform accurately (Agawu 2003. At the center of a core of rhythmic traditions within which the composer conveys his ideas is the technique of cross-rhythm. Rhythmic patterns are generated by simultaneously dividing a span of musical time by a triplebeat scheme and a duple-beat scheme.

Play (help·info) African-based music has a divisive rhythm structure (Novotney 1998. Tresillo is a cross-rhythmic fragment. Use of the pattern in Moroccan music can be traced back to slaves brought north across the Sahara Desert from present-day Mali. tresillo is a shared element of traditional folk music from the northwest tip of Africa to southeast tip of Asia. 158) Tresillo: divisive and additive interpretations Main article: Tresillo (rhythm) In divisive form. Additive structure Tresillo additive form "Tresillo" is also found within a wide geographic belt stretching from Morocco in North Africa to Indonesia in South Asia. Tresillo is generated through cross-rhythm: 8 pulses ÷ 3 = 2 cross-beats (consisting of three pulses each). r2. This pattern may have migrated east from North Africa to Asia through the spread of Islam (Peñalosa 2009. from the perspective of simply the pattern of attack-points. 236). the term refers to the figure shown below. Although the difference between the two ways of notating this rhythm may seem small. will prefer the divisive format. In Middle East and Asian music the figure is generated through additive rhythm. with a remainder of a partial cross-beat (spanning two pulses). not a series of durational values". the two ways of perceiving tresillo constitute two different rhythms. then two sixteenth notes will treat the well-formedness of 3 + 3 + 2 as . In additive form. the strokes of tresillo are the beats. and who understand the surface morphology in relation to a regular subsurface articulation. Divisive structure The most basic duple-pulse figure found in the Music of Africa and music of the African diaspora is a figure the Cubans call tresillo. then three. they stem from fundamentally different conceptions. Those who wish to convey a sense of the rhythm‘s background [main beats]. the strokes of tresillo contradict the beats. On the other hand. 8 ÷ 3 = 2. a Spanish word meaning 'triplet' (three equal beats in the same time as two main beats). However. Those who imagine the addition of three. In other words. in the vernacular of Cuban popular music. (Novotney 1998. 100). From a metrical perspective then. Tresillo divisive form.The African rhythmic structure which generates the standard pattern is a divisive structure and not an additive one … the standard pattern represents a series of attack points that outline the onbeat three-against-two / offbeat three-against-two sequence. Because of its irregular pattern of attack-points. "tresillo" in African and African-based musics has been mistaken for a form of additive rhythm.

depending on whether the music follows simple rhythms or involves unusual shifting tempos. 3+2+3 8).g. (Agawu 2003. compound (e.fortuitous. mixed (e. immediately following the key signature or immediately following the clef symbol if the key signature is empty. as a time symbol or stacked numerals. 3 10 or 5 24).g. complex (e. and irrational meters (e. 87) Time signature Simple example of a 3 4 time signature: here there are three (3) quarter-notes (4) per measure. respectively). 5 4 or 7 8). additive (e.g. The time signature (also known as meter signature.g. A mid-score time signature. usually immediately following a barline. metre signature.. In a musical score. 2½ 4). the time signature appears at the beginning of the piece. or measure signature ) is a notational convention used inWestern musical notation to specify how many beats (pulses) are to be contained in each bar and which note value is to be given one beat...g. a product of grouping rather than of metrical structure. including: simple (such as 3 4 or 4 4). indicates a change of meter. fractional(e..1 Notational variations in simple time .g. They will be tempted to deny that African music has a bona fide metrical structure because of its frequent departures from normative grouping structure. 9 8 or 12 8). 5 8 & 3 8 or 6 8 or 3 4). [1] [2] [3] There are various types of time signatures.. such as or 3 4 (readcommon time and three four time.. Contents [hide]  1 Simple time signatures  2 Compound time signatures o 1.

one stacked above the other:   The lower numeral indicates the note value that represents one beat (the beat unit).1 Video samples for irrational meters o o    9. also known as cut time or cut-common time ( ). 3 4.1 Actual beat divisions 3.1 Video samples for the most frequent time signatures o 5. 2 2.1 Additive meters o 7. . and 6 8 Simple time signatures consist of two numerals.2 Proportions 10 See also 11 References 12 External links Simple time signatures Basic time signatures: 4 4.1 Video samples for additive meters  8 Irrational meters  9 Early music usage o 8. plus 2 4. The most common simple time signatures are 2 4.1 Video samples for complex time signatures o 6. 2 4 means two quarter-note (crotchet) beats per bar—3 8 means three eighth-note (quaver) beats per bar. also known as common time ( ). 3 4.1.2 Interchangeability. For instance.o  2.1 Video samples for mixed meters o 7.3 Stress and meter  4 Most frequent time signatures  5 Complex time signatures  6 Mixed meters  7 Variants o 4.1 Mensural time signatures 9. rewriting meters 3. The upper numeral indicates how many such beats there are grouped together in a bar. and 4 4.1 An example 3 Beat and time o o o 3.2 Other variants  7.

four five six Beat and time Time signatures indicating two beats per bar (whether it is simple or compound) are called duple time. notated in 3 . with a two-in-abar feel (Bold denotes a stressed beat): one and a. but it still retains that three-in-a-bar feel: one and two and three and 6 : Theoretically. where it signified tempus imperfectum diminutum (diminished imperfect time)—more precisely. where a full circle represented what today would be written in 3 2 or 3 time. But whereas the six quavers in 3 4 had been in three groups of two. also called common time or imperfect time. 4 [4] [5] Compound time signatures Main article: Compound meter (music) In compound meter.Notational variations in simple time The symbol is sometimes used for 4 4 time. For example. a doubling of the speed. In modern notation. in duple meter. It has a basic feel of (Bold denotes a stressed beat): one two three (as in a waltz) 4 Each quarter note might comprise two eighth-notes (quavers) giving a total of six such notes. An example 3 is a simple signature that represents three quarter notes. so the top number is commonly 6. The lower number is most commonly an 8 (an eighth-note): as in 9 8 or 12 8. not two. or proportio dupla. equal parts. a fast waltz. this can be thought of as the same as the six-quaver form of 3 above with the only difference being that the eighth note is selected as the one-beat unit. The symbol is also a carry-over from the notational practice of late-Medieval and Renaissance music. subdivisions of the main beat (the upper number) split into three. in which the onethird part of the beat unit is the beat. Compound time signatures are named as if they were simple time signatures. and was called tempus perfectum (perfect time). those with three beats to the bar are triple time. two and a 8 4 or one two three. so that a dotted note (half again longer than a regular note) becomes the beat unit. 6 8 is practically understood to mean that they are in two groups of three. 9 or 12 (multiples of 3). a bar may seem like one singular beat. The symbol is derived from a broken circleused in music notation from the 14th through 16th centuries. To the ear.cut time or cut common time. it is used in place of 2 2 and is called alla breve or. colloquially.

more natural to use the quarter note/crotchet as a beat unit in 6 4 or 2 2 than the eight/quaver in 6 . such as 3 8. Terms such as quadruple (4). Interchangeability. 4 Actual beat divisions As mentioned above. particularly at faster tempos..time. the actual beat division can be the whole bar. e. First. for a composer or performing musician. at slow tempos the beat indicated by the time signature could in actual performance be divided into smaller units. etc. A piece in 3 4 can be easily rewritten in 3 8. 3 4. 3 2. and so on are also occasionally used. a smaller note value in the beat unit implies a more complex notation. 12 8 equals 4 4 time at a different tempo and requires the use oftuplets Play (help·info) Though formally interchangeable. Second. though the score indicates a 3 4 time.g. may be described as being one in a bar.—and all compound duple times. different time signatures often have different connotations. Correspondingly. beaming affects the choice of actual beat divisions. such as 6 8. Other time signature rewritings are possible: most commonly a simple time signature with triplets translates into a compound meter. all simple triple time signatures. simply by halving the length of the notes. which can affect ease of performance. for example. are equivalent. It is. In a sense. quintuple (5). rewriting meters 3 4 equals 3 8 time at a different tempo Play (help·info) On a formal mathematical level the time signatures of. 3 4 and 3 8 are interchangeable. 6 16 and so on.

ignoring any anacrusis) is usually stressed (though not always. Third. and pop[6] Simple quadruple drum pattern: divides each of four beats into two Play (help·info) 2 2 (duple) Alla breve. ) blues. in time signatures with four groups in the bar (such as 4 4 and 12 8). cut time: used for marches and fast orchestral music. country. for example in reggae where the offbeats are stressed). This gives a regular pattern of stressed and unstressed beats. the third beat is often also stressed. though Brahms ) and other composers used it occasionally Play (help·info) .or 2 . Sometimes calledin 2. Frequently occurs in musical theater. and rare since 1600. time signatures are traditionally associated with different music styles—it might seem strange to notate a rock tune in 4 8 or 4 2. Most frequent time signatures Simple time signatures 4 Common time: widely used in most forms of Western 4(quadruple popular music. Most common time signature in rock. funk. the first beat (the downbeat. but may be notated in 4 Simple duple drum pattern (notated as 4 4): divides each of two beats into two 4 Never found in early music (which did not use numeric 2(quadruple time signatures). 8 4 Stress and meter For all meters. though notes on stressed beats are not necessarily louder or more important. though to a lesser degree.

minuets. tarantella. polkas. country & western ballads. marches. and some rock music Compound duple drum pattern: divides each of two beats into three Play (help·info) 9 8 (triple) Compound triple time. but usually suggests higher tempo or shorter hypermeter Compound time signatures 6 8 (duple) Double jigs. Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. barcarolles. used in triple ("slip") jigs. scherzi. sega. loures. I rish jigs.2 4 (duple) Used for polkas or marches Simple duple drum pattern: divides each of two beats into two 3 4 (triple) Used for waltzes.Debussy's Clair de lune and Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (opening bars) are in 9 8) . otherwise occurring rarely (The Ride of the Valkyries. salegy. sometimes used in pop Simple triple drum pattern: divides each of three beats into two Play (help·info) 3 8 (triple) Also used for the above. R&B. and the final movement of the Bach Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041)[7] are familiar examples.

also used more recently in rock music. Quintuple meter and Septuple meter . then go to More than About this file 2/4 at a tempo of 60 bpm 6/8 at tempo of 90 bpm 3/4 at a tempo of 60 bpm 4/4 at a tempo of 60 bpm 9/8 at tempo of 90 bpm 12/8 at tempo of 90 bpm Complex time signatures See also: List of musical works in unusual time signatures. Can also be heard in some jigs like The 8(quadruple Irish Washerwoman. click play.Compound triple drum pattern: divides each of three beats into three Play (help·info) Also common in slower blues (where it is called a shuffle) and doo-wop. This is also the time signature of ) the Movement II By the Brook of Beethoven's Symphony No 6 (the Pastoral) 12 Compound quadruple drum pattern: divides each of four beats into three Play (help·info) Video samples for the most frequent time signatures  For larger versions of the videos.

This last is an example of a work in a signature that. The first deliberate quintuple meter pieces were apparently published in Spain between 1516 and 1520. 1 (1828) is an early. unusual time signatures occur as well. was one of a number of irregular-meter compositions that The Dave Brubeck Quartet played. however. often described as a limping waltz. irregular. sometimes describes time signatures in which the upper number is simply odd rather than even. usually 2. 15. These rhythms are notated as additive rhythms based on simple units. For example. 22. 3 and 4 beats. unusual. Bulgarian dances. but by no means the earliest. 7 4 (Unsquare Dance)—and 9 8 (Blue Rondo à la Turk). [citation needed] . Examples from the 20th century include Holst's Mars. [11] [12] Paul Desmond's jazz composition Take Five. 9 (11 8) and the Mission Impossible theme by Lalo Schifrin (also in 5 4). for example. asymmetric. as is Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" (includes 7 8). The third movement (Larghetto) of Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 11. Paul Hindemith's Fugue Secunda in G. though the notation fails to describe the metric "time bending" taking place. and usually a more specific description is appropriate. Reicha's Fugue 20 from his Thirty-six Fugues. the ending of Stravinsky's Firebird (7 4). is also for piano and is in 5 8. the fugue from Heitor Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras No. The term odd meter. Traditional music of the Balkans uses such meters extensively.Signatures that do not fit the usual duple or triple categories are called complex. 25 and other numbers of beats per measure. include forms with 5. However. or odd—though these are broad terms. These more complex meters are common in some non-Western music. The use of shifting meters in The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" (1967) and the use of quintuple meter in their "Within You. 9. or compound meters. such time signatures are only unusual in most Western music. carved on the exterior walls of the Athenian Treasury at Delphi in 128 BC. published in 1803. the other by Limenius predominantly so). the Bulgarian Sedi Donka consists of 25 beats divided 7+7+11.(5 8) from Ludus Tonalis. Without You" (1967) are well-known examples. 7. with progressive rock in particular making frequent use of them. where 7 is subdivided 3+2+2 and 11 is subdivided 2+2+3+2+2 or 4+3+4. expressed as 2+2+2+3 8. though other authorities reckon that the Delphic Hymns to Apollo (one by Athenaeus is entirely in quintuple meter. the Mystic (both in 5 4) from the orchestral suite The Planets. example of 5 4 time in solo piano music. are probably earlier. 13. but rarely appeared in formal written Western music until the 19th century. is a notable example of 5 4 time in orchestral music. [citation needed] [8] [8] [9] [10] In the Western popular music tradition. The waltz-like second movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony. is actually more complex. in 5 4 time. They played other compositions in 11 4 (Eleven Four). See Variants below. including 3 4 and 9 8. the Bringer of War and Neptune. despite appearing merely compound triple.

and not necessarily an indication of meter. resulting in music with an extremely irregular rhythmic feel. The Promenade from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) is a good example: Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition Promenade Play (help·info) Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (1913) is famous for its "savage" rhythms: . and the measure beat. In this case the time signatures are an aid to the performers. ♩. sometimes composers place a different time signature at the beginning of each bar. speeds up to usual tempo Mixed meters While time signatures usually express a regular pattern of beat stresses continuing through a piece (or at least a section).Video samples for complex time signatures 5/4 at 60 bpm 7/4 at 60 bpm 11/4 at 60 bpm Rhythm of Blue Rondo à La Turk . ♩. Taking the smallest time unit as eighth notes.consists of three measures of 2+2+2+3 followed by one measure of 3 + 3 + 3 and the cycle then repeats. Starts slow. the arrows on the tempo dial show the tempi for ♪.

Later composers used this device effectively. as there is no discernible meter. Sometimes the word FREE is written downwards on the staff to indicate the piece is in free time. but actually follow an unstated and unchanging simple time signature. Sometimes one is provided (usually 4 4) so that the performer finds the piece easier to read. sometimes the two signatures are placed together at the beginning of the piece or section. showing a multiple time signature .. writing music almost devoid of a discernibly regular pulse. Charles Ives's Concord Sonata has measure bars for select passages. This is commonly known as free time. in his La Nativité du Seigneur and Quatuor pour la fin du temps) is to simply omit the time signature. Olivier Messiaen. and simply has 'free time' written as a direction.In such cases. Some pieces have no time signature. If two time signatures alternate repeatedly. a convention that some composers follow (e.g. as shown below: Detail of score of Tchaikovsky's string quartet #2 in F major. but the majority of the work is unbarred. Erik Satie wrote many compositions that are ostensibly in free time.

In classical music. then first of a group of three again. [13] For example. means that there are 8 quaver beats in the bar. The first movement of Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio in A Minor is written in 8 8.Video samples for mixed meters Flamenco Bulerías with emphasis as [12] 1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10]11 Variants Additive meters To indicate more complex patterns of stresses. Such meters are sometimes called imperfect. Romanian musicologist Constantin Brăiloiu had a special interest in compound time signatures. This kind of time signature is commonly used to notate folk and non-Western types of music. more complex time signatures can be used. The stress pattern is usually counted as one-two-three-one-two-onetwo-three. in which the bar is first divided into equal units. divided as the first of a group of three eighth notes (quavers) that are stressed. in which the beats are likewise subdivided into 3 + 2 + 3 to reflect Basque dance rhythms. the signature —which can be written (3+2+3)/8. in contradistinction to perfect meters. Additive meters have a pattern of beats that subdivide into smaller. Béla Bartók and Olivier Messiaen have used such time signatures in their works. then the first of a group of two. irregular groups. such as additive rhythms. developed while .

studying the traditional music of certain regions in his country.
While investigating the origins of such unusual meters, he
learned that they were even more characteristic of the
traditional music of neighboring peoples (e.g.,
the Bulgarians). He suggested that such timings can be
regarded as compounds of simple two-beat and three-beat
meters, where an accent falls on every first beat, even
though, for example inBulgarian music, beat lengths of 1, 2,
3, 4 are used in the metric description. In addition, when
focused only on stressed beats, simple time signatures can
count as beats in a slower, compound time. However, there
are two different-length beats in this resulting compound time,
a one half-again longer than the short beat (or conversely, the
short beat is / the value of the long). This type of meter is
called aksak (the Turkish word for "limping"), impeded, jolting,
or shaking, and is described as an irregular bichronic rhythm.
A certain amount of confusion for Western musicians is
inevitable, since a measure they would likely regard as 7
16, for example, is a three-beat measure in aksak, with one
long and two short beats (with subdivisions of 2+2+3, 2+3+2,
or 3+2+2).
2

3

[14]

Folk music may make use of metric time bends, so that the
proportions of the performed metric beat time lengths differ
from the exact proportions indicated by the metric. Depending
on playing style of the same meter, the time bend can vary
from non-existent to considerable; in the latter case, some
musicologists may want to assign a different meter. For
example, the Bulgarian tune Eleno Mome is written as
7=2+2+1+2, 13=4+4+2+3, 12=3+4+2+3, but an actual
performance (e.g., Smithsonian Eleno Mome) may be closer
to 4+4+2+3.5. The Macedonian 3+2+2+3+2 meter is even
more complicated, with heavier time bends, and use of
quadruples on the threes. The metric beat time proportions
may vary with the speed that the tune is played. The
Swedish Boda Polska (Polska from the parish Boda) has a
typical elongated second beat.
In Western classical music, metric time bend is used in the
performance of the Viennese Waltz. Most Western music
uses metric ratios of 2:1, 3:1, or 4:1 (two-, three- or four-beat
time signatures)—in other words, integer ratios that make all
beats equal in time length. So, relative to that, 3:2 and 4:3
ratios correspond to very distinctive metric rhythm profiles.
Complex accentuation occurs in Western music, but
as syncopation rather than as part of the metric
accentuation.
[citation needed]

Brăiloiu borrowed a term from Turkish medieval music
theory: aksak (Turkish for crippled). Such compound time
signatures fall under the "aksak rhythm" category that he
introduced along with a couple more that should describe the
rhythm figures in traditional music. The term Brăiloiu revived
had moderate success worldwide, but in Eastern Europe it is
still frequently used. However, aksak rhythm figures occur not
[15]

only in a few European countries, but on all continents,
featuring various combinations of the two and three
sequences. The longest are in Bulgaria. The shortest aksak
rhythm figures follow the five-beat timing, comprising a two
and a three (or three and two).
Video samples for additive meters

Time Signature 3 + 2 + 3 at 120 bpm

Other variants
Some composers have used fractional beats: for example,
the time signature 2½
4 appears in Carlos Chávez's Piano Sonata No. 3 (1928) IV,
m. 1.

Example of Orff's time signatures

Music educator Carl Orff proposed replacing the lower
number of the time signature with an actual note image, as
shown at right. This system eliminates the need for
compound time signatures (described above), which are
confusing to beginners. While this notation has not been
adopted by music publishers generally (except in Orff's own
compositions), it is used extensively in music education
textbooks. Similarly, American composers George
Crumb and Joseph Schwantner, among others, have used
this system in many of their works.
Another possibility is to extend the barline where a time
change is to take place above the top instrument's line in a
score and to write the time signature there, and there only,
saving the ink and effort that would have been spent writing it
in each instrument's staff. Henryk Górecki's Beatus Vir is an
example of this. Alternatively, music in a large score
sometimes has time signatures written as very long, thin
numbers covering the whole height of the score rather than

replicating it on each staff; this is an aid to the conductor, who
can see signature changes more easily.

Irrational meters
These are time signatures, used for so-called irrational bar
lengths, that have a denominator that is not a power of two
(1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.) (or, mathematically speaking, is not
a dyadic rational). These are based on beats expressed in
terms of fractions of full beats in the prevailing tempo—for
example 3
10 or 5
24.
For example, where 4
4 implies a bar construction of four quarter-parts of a whole
note (i.e., four quarter notes), 4
3 implies a bar construction of four third-parts of it. These
signatures are only of utility when juxtaposed with other
signatures with varying denominators; a piece written entirely
in 4
3, say, could be more legibly written out in 4
4.
[16]

[16]

Metric modulation is "a somewhat distant analogy". It is
arguable whether the use of these signatures makes metric
relationships clearer or more obscure to the musician; it is
always possible to write a passage using non-irrational
signatures by specifying a relationship between some note
length in the previous bar and some other in the succeeding
one. Sometimes, successive metric relationships between
bars are so convoluted that the pure use of irrational
signatures would quickly render the notation extremely hard
to penetrate. Good examples, written entirely in conventional
signatures with the aid of between-bar specified metric
relationships, occur a number of times in John Adams'
operaNixon in China (1987), where the sole use of irrational
signatures would quickly produce massive numerators and
denominators.
[16]

[citation needed]

Historically, this device has been prefigured wherever
composers wrote tuplets. For example, a 2
4 bar of 3 triplet crotchets could arguably be written as a bar
of 3
6.
Henry Cowell's piano piece Fabric (1920) employs
separate divisions of the bar (anything from 1 to 9) for the
three contrapuntal parts, using a scheme of shaped note
heads to visually clarify the differences, but the pioneering of
these signatures is largely due to Brian Ferneyhough, who
says that he "find[s] that such 'irrational' measures serve as a
useful buffer between local changes of event density and
actual changes of base tempo. Thomas Adès has also used
them extensively—for example in Traced Overhead(1996),
the second movement of which contains, among more
conventional meters, bars in such signatures as 2
6, 9
[citation needed]

[16]

For example. is identical to 4 4. but the whole bar lasts only / of a reference whole note. and a beat / of one (or / of a normal quarter note). This is notated in exactly the same way that one would write if one were writing the first four quarter notes of five quintuplet quarter notes. commissioned for the 2005 finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain contains bars of 3 10. since 4 3. the same convention has been invoked as when normal tuplets are written. The piece contains a canon with a part augmented in the ratio √42:1 (approximately 6. not the mathematical sense.48:1). The displayed numbers count the 4 .14 24 and 5 . for example. However. where an irrational number is one that cannot be written as a ratio of whole numbers. Video samples for irrational meters These video samples show two time signatures combined to make a polymeter. one beat in4 5 is written as a normal quarter note. A gradual process of diffusion into less rarefied musical circles seems underway. at least one composition—Conlon Nancarrow's Studies for Player Piano—uses a time signature that is irrational in the mathematical sense. say. in isolation. 4 5 1 4 5 5 This article uses irrational in the music theory sense. Polymeter 4 4 and 4 3 played together Has three beats of 4 3 to four beats of 4 Polymeter 2 Polymeter 2 6 and 3 5 and 2 4 played together 3 played together Has six beats of 2 Has five beats of 2 6 to four beats of 3 5 to three beats of 2 4 3. rather than using Cowell's elaborate series of notehead shapes. [citation needed] Notationally. John Pickard's Eden. four quarter notes complete the bar.

Dotted notes . four basic mensuration signs determined the proportion between the two main units of rhythm. and that is what.B. A ratio of 3:1 was called complete. resembling a letter C. such as a dotted quarter. A circle used as a mensuration sign indicated tempus perfectum (a circle being a symbol of completeness). which is 5:3 Early music usage Mensural time signatures In the 14th. Unlike modern notation. this corresponds to the modern concepts of triple meter and duple meter. 15th and 16th centuries. 8    N. The breve and the semibreve use roughly the same symbols as our modern double whole note (breve) and whole note (semibreve).underlying polyrhythm. while an incomplete circle. the duration ratios between these different values was not always 2:1. corresponds to 2 4 meter. There were no measure or bar lines in music of this period. but they were not limited to the same proportional values as are in use today. these mensuration signs indicated. the ancestors of modern time signatures. corresponds to 6 8 meter. perhaps a reference to the Trinity. corresponds to 3 4 meter. and a ratio of 2:1 was called incomplete. In either case. There are complicated rules concerning how a breve is sometimes three and sometimes two semibreves. a period in which mensural notation was used. A rough equivalence of these signs to modern meters would be:  corresponds to 9 meter. The relation between the breve and the semibreve was called tempus. corresponding to simple meter and compound meter. Assuming the breve is a beat. it could be either 2:1 or 3:1. amongst other things. and the relation between the semibreve and the minim was called prolatio. these signs. respectively. indicate the ratio of duration between different note values. because the ratios of the modern note value hierarchy are always 2:1. indicated tempus imperfectum. a dot in the center indicatedprolatio perfecta while the absence of such a dot indicated prolatio imperfecta.: in modern compound meters the beat is a dotted note value.

when the sign was encountered.were never used in this way in the mensural period. A few common signs are shown: [17]  tempus imperfectum diminutum. This term has been sustained to the present day. [18] Some proportional signs were not used consistently from one place or century to another. looking similar to a modern time signature. certain composers delighted in creating "puzzle" compositions that were intentionally difficult to decipher. it still indicates that the beat has changed to a longer note value. Often the ratio was expressed as two numbers. Proportions Another set of signs in mensural notation specified the metric proportions of one section to another. In particular. which a conventional time signature could not. 1:2 proportion (twice as fast). 1:2 proportion (twice as fast).  tempus perfectum diminutum. . similar to triplets). and though now it means the beat is a minim (half note). the main beat unit was always a simple (undotted) note value. in contradiction to the literal meaning of the phrase. one above the other. 1:3 proportion (three times as fast. In addition. the tactus (beat) changed from the usual semibreve to the breve.  or just proportio tripla. similar to a metric modulation. though it could have values such as 4 3. a circumstance called alla breve.

[2] [3] . one of which is typically an irrational rhythm. which can occur within the context of a single part. The rhythmic conflict may be the basis of an entire piece of music (cross-rhythm). or as simple manifestations of the same meter. Polyrhythms can be distinguished from irrational rhythms. or a momentary disruption. the free encyclopedia 2:3 Polyrhythm (cross rhythm) as bounce inside oval Polyrhythm: Triplets over duplets in all four beats[1] ( Play (help·info)) Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms.Polyrhythm From Wikipedia. polyrhythms require at least two rhythms to be played concurrently. that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another.

2 2:3 cross-rhythm 5 In popular music 6 Examples 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links In western art music In some European art music.1 Comparing European and Sub-Saharan African meter 3. "The vigorously effective Scherzo is in 3/4 time.1 3:2 cross-rhythm 4. but with a curiously persistent cross-rhythm that does its best to persuade us that it is really in 6/8.Contents [hide]  1 In western art music o o o   1.3 Composite hemiola 3 Sub-Saharan African music traditions 3. not polymeter The illusion of simultaneous 3/4 and 6/8. [citation needed] Hemiola Concerning the use of a two-over-three (2:3) hemiola in Beethoven's Sixth String Quartet.2 The generating principle 3.1 Hemiola 4. suggests polymeter: triple meter combined with compound duple meter." [4] Polyrhythm.2 Polyrhythm. Polymeter However. not polymeter 2 Cross-rhythm o o o  1. the two beat schemes interact within a metric hierarchy (a single meter). . For example. the duple beats are cross-beats within a triple beat scheme. Ernest Walker states. polyrhythm periodically contradicts the prevailing meter. The triple beats are primary and the duple beats are secondary. polyrhythm is heard in the first few minutes of Beethoven's Third Symphonyand in the first movement of Brahms's Violin Concerto.3 Adaptive instruments 4 Jazz o o       1.

Composite hemiola The four-note ostinato pattern of Mykola Leontovych's "Carol of the Bells" is the composite of the two-against-three hemiola. Play (help·info) Another example of polyrhythm can be found in measures 64 and 65 of the first movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Twelfth Piano Sonata. 5:3. quarter note triplets over 2 quarter notes within one bar of 2/4 time. 5:4. also known as a hemiola. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music states that cross-rhythm is: "A rhythm in which the regular pattern of accents of the prevailing meter is contradicted by a conflicting pattern and not merely a momentary displacement that leaves the prevailing meter fundamentally unchallenged" (1986: 216). Cross-rhythm Cross-rhythm refers to systemic polyrhythm. Three evenly-spaced sets of three attack-points span two measures. Representation of 4 beats parallel to 5 beats . Other cross-rhythms are 4:3 (with 4 dotted eight notes over 3 quarter notes within a bar of 3/4 time as an example in standard western musical notation). Mozart piano sonata K332 excerpt.Two-over-three (2:3) written within the proper metric structure. Two simple and common ways to express this pattern in standard western musical notation would be 3 quarter notes over 2 dotted quarter notes within one bar of 6/8 time. The physical basis of crossrhythms can be described in terms of interference of different periodicities. etc. [5] [6] A simple example of a cross-rhythm is 3 evenly-spaced notes against 2 (3:2). The signature repeating four-note motif is the composite of the 2:3 hemiola. 5:2.

K. the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the primary beats." 3:2 is thegenerative or theoretic form of sub-Saharan rhythmic principles. the meter is in a permanent state of contradiction. In other words. Cross-rhythm was first explained as the basis of subSaharan rhythm in lectures by C. The duple beats are primary and the triple beats are secondary. By the very nature of the desired resultant rhythm.] The example below shows the African 3:2 cross-rhythm within its proper metric structure. Many sub-Saharan languages do not have a word for rhythm. symbolizing interdependence in human relationships—Peñalosa (2009: 21). the rhythms represent the very fabric of life itself. in rhythms of sub-Saharan African origin. From the philosophical perspective of the African musician. [7] The generating principle In Sub-Saharan African music traditions. or even music. the 2:3 ratio produces the musical interval of a perfect fifth. From the African viewpoint. the main beat scheme cannot be separated from the secondary beat scheme. All these interval ratios are found in the harmonic series. because 2 and 3 belong to a single Gestalt. there is no independence here. By contrast. cross-beats can symbolize the challenging moments or emotional stress we all encounter. It is the interplay of the two elements that produces the crossrhythmic texture—Ladzekpo (1995). Victor Kofi Agawu succinctly states. This often causes the uninitiated ear to misinterpret the secondary beats as the primary beats. Ladzekpo and the writings of David Locke. [8] At the center of a core of rhythmic traditions within which the composer conveys his ideas is the technique of cross-rhythm. the musical "background" and "foreground" may mistakenly be heard and felt in reverse—Peñalosa (2009: 21). Afro-Cuban Obatalá dance (Marta Ruiz). they are an embodiment of the people.There is a parallel between cross rhythms and musical intervals: in an audible frequency range. and the 4:5 ratio produces amajor third. The technique of cross-rhythm is a simultaneous use of contrasting rhythmic patterns within the same scheme of accents or meter.. prepares one for maintaining a life-purpose while dealing with life's challenges. [Watch: Stepping to the primary beats within 3:2 cross-rhythm. cross-rhythm is the generating principle." [10] [11] Three-over-two cross-rhythm. and to hear the true primary beats as cross-beats. [9] Eugene Novotney observes: "The 3:2 relationship (and [its] permutations) is the foundation of most typical polyrhythmic textures found in West African musics. "[The] resultant [3:2] rhythm holds the key to understanding.. Playing cross-beats while fully grounded in the main beats. .. the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the secondary beats. the 3:4 ratio produces a perfect fourth. Sub-Saharan African music traditions Comparing European and Sub-Saharan African meter In traditional European ("Western") rhythms.. Play (help·info) The two beat schemes interact within the hierarchy of a single meter.

The mbira is a lamellophone. a Ghanaian gyil sounds a 3:2-based ostinato melody. or marimba. [12] Ghanaian gyil sounds 3:2 cross-rhythm.African three-over-two cross-rhythm written within the standard western metric scheme. The cross-beats are written as quarter-notes for visual emphasis. harp. The left hand (lower notes) sounds the two main beats. In the following example. . The left hand plays the ostinato bass line while the right hand plays the upper melody. Some instruments organize the pitches in a uniquely divided alternate array. not in the straight linear bass to treble structure that is so common to many western instruments such as the piano. The music of African Xylophones such as the balafon and gyil is often based on cross-rhythm. The composite melody is an embellishment of the 3:2 cross-rhythm. Play (help·info) Adaptive instruments Sub-Saharan instruments are constructed in a variety of ways to generate polyrhythmic melodies. [13] Kushaura mbira part for "Nhema Mussasa". while the right hand (upper notes) sounds the three cross-beats. Play (help·info) The following notated example is from the kushaura part of the traditional mbira piece "Nhema Mussasa".

and okeme. mbira huru. either smoothly or with varying amounts of syncopation. mbira nyunga. part of the harp-lute family of instruments. superimposing two crossbeats over every measure of a 3/4 jazz waltz (2:3). where you would normally tap your foot to "keep time. use of systemic crossrhythm is also found in jazz. [clarification needed] The Gravikord is a new American instrument closely related to both the African kora and the kalimba was created in the latter 20th century to also exploit this adaptive principle in a modern electro-acoustic instrument. Mongo Santamaria recorded "Afro Blue. mbila. This characteristically African structure allows often simple playing techniques to combine with each other to produce polyrhythmic music. and these can easily cross over each other from treble to bass and back. with main beats indicated by slashed noteheads. without the left and right hand fingers ever physically encountering each other. and Doussn'gouni. mbira njari. [14] On these instruments. such as the West African kora. The kalimba is a modern version of these instruments originated by the pioneer ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in the early 20th century which has over the years gained world-wide popularity. 2:3 cross-rhythm The famous jazz drummer Elvin Jones took the opposite approach." [15] "Afro Blue" bass line. This family of instruments are found in several forms indigenous to different regions of Africa and most often have equal tonal ranges for right and left hands. but both hands can play freely across the entire tonal range of the instrument. This can all be done within the same tight tonal range. The following example shows the original ostinato "Afro Blue" bass line. marimba. This swung 3/4 is perhaps the most . These simple rhythms will interact musically to produce complex cross rhythms including repeating on beat/off beat pattern shifts that would be very difficult to create by any other means. also have this African separated double tonal array structure. The song begins with the bass repeatedly playing 6 cross-beats per each measure of 12/8 (6:4)." the first jazz standard built upon a typical African 6:4 cross-rhythm (two cycles of 3:2). Jazz 3:2 cross-rhythm Polyrhythm is a staple of modern jazz. In 1959. The slashed noteheads indicate the main beats.Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba Lamellophones including mbira. Although not as common. likembe. one hand of the musician is not primarily in the bass nor the other primarily in the treble. the Marovany from Madagascar is a double sided box zither which also employs this divided tonal structure. Also. karimba. Another instrument. Signature SeriesGravikord Chordophones. kalimba. the fingers of each hand can play separate independent rhythmic patterns.

Common polyrhythms found in jazz are 3:2. Animals as Leaders. Afro-Cuban conguero. The metal bands Meshuggah. and his unorthodox fretting method. Contemporary progressive metal bands such as Tool. and was not at all common in jazz before Tony Williams used it when playing with Miles Davis). Nothingface. Threat Signal. which manifests as the quarter-note triplet. 4:3. in particular a performance of "Killing Floor" live at Winterland 1968. In 1963 John Coltrane recorded "Afro Blue" with Elvin Jones on drums. in which he would maintain rhythm and lead melodies while using his thumb to fret underlying basslines. collaborate and record with numerous jazz and rock artists. while the rest of the ensemble keeps playing 2/2. Olatunji would have a major impact on Western popular music. usually in the form of dotted-quarter notes against quarter notes. 2:3. [16] [17][18] In popular music Nigerian percussion master Babatunde Olatunji arrived on the American music scene in 1959 with his album Drums of Passion. an Improvisation during Woodstock 1969. [citation needed] Frank Zappa. Carlos Santana and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.common example of overt cross-rhythm in jazz. which was the inspiration for the like-titled documentary released five years later. especially towards the end of his career. and polyrhythms have also been increasingly heard in technical metal bands such as Ion Dissonance. The Beatles used polyrhythm in their 1968 song "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (from the White Album). Coltrane reversed the metric hierarchy of Santamaria's composition. among several other recordings. A kind of rhythmic solfege called konnakol is used as a tool to construct highly complex polyrhythms and to divide each beat of a pulse into various subdivisions. including Airto Moreira. He went on to teach. played as dotted-eighth notes against quarter notes (this one demands some technical proficiency to perform accurately. Trained in the Yoruba sakarastyle of drumming. [19] [20] Jimi Hendrix had the distinct ability to play polyrhythmic melodies on his guitar during live concerts and jam sessions. and finally 3/4 time against 4/4. The Dillinger Escape Plan. which was a collection of traditional Nigerianmusic for percussion and chanting. with the emphasised beat shifting from beat cycle to beat cycle. Textures and TesseracT also use polyrhythms in their music. such as 11:17. for example. a solo guitar jam for his song titled "Valleys of Neptune". Periphery. experimented with complex polyrhythms. Between the Buried and Me and Dream Theater also incorporate polyrhythms in their music. which along with 2:3 was used famously by Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner playing with John Coltrane. Lamb of God. performing it instead in 3/4 swing (2:3). Necrophagist. Santamaria fused Afro-Latin rhythms with R&B and jazz as a bandleader in the 1950s. Among the most sophisticated polyrhythmic music in the world is south Indian classical Carnatic music. Mustard". The [citation needed] . The album stayed on the charts for two years and had a profound impact on jazz and American popular music. The Beatles use polyrhythm again on Abbey Road's "Mean Mr. Afro-Cuban music makes extensive use of polyrhythms. and even nested polyrhythms (see "The Black Page" for an example). Mongo Santamaría was another percussionist whose polyrhythmic virtuosity helped transform both jazz and popular music. Cuban Rumba uses 3-based and 2based rhythms at the same time. Examples are live concerts from 1968 to 1970. or conga player. This ability was facilitated by the impressive length and size of his hands. the lead drummer (playing the quinto) might play in 6/8. and was featured in the 1994 album Buena Vista Social Club. Candiria. The song also changes time signature frequently. Olatunji reached his greatest popularity during the height of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and '70s.

The proper way is to establish sound bases for both the quarter-notes. notably from songs such as "Sleepwalker" or the ending of "My Last Words".Contortionist andTextures. Ide Chiyono. quarter note. most notably on their 2014 mini-album "Love Letter". This song indeed does use polyrhythms in its melody. time progresses from the left of the diagram to the right. on their album Interloper. and the triplet-quarters. forming multiple rhythms. the simultaneous beats occur on the word "not". the second and . Much minimalist and totalist music makes extensive use of polyrhythms. and then to layer them upon each other. [22][citation needed] Japanese girl group Perfume made use of the technique in their single. each box represents a fixed unit of time. given in time unit box system (TUBS) notation. rests are indicated with a blank. [citation needed] Carbon Based Lifeforms have a song named "Polyrytmi". Henry Cowell and Conlon Nancarrow created music with yet more complex polytempo and using irrational numbers like pi:e. One notable appearance is in the song "La Mer" from the album The Fragile. [citation needed] [citation needed] King Crimson used polyrhythms extensively in their 1981 album Discipline. which are both played in 2:3. 6/8 in the vocals. included on their second album Game. which features five songs that all include several rhythmic references to the number 3776. Talking Heads' Remain in Light used dense polyrhythms throughout the album. [citation needed] [citation needed] Megadeth frequently tends to use polyrhythm in its drumming. [citation needed] The band Queen used polyrhythm in their 1974 song "The March of the Black Queen" with 8/8 and 12/8 time signatures. A secret track on the album has the group's leader. It is in bad form to teach a student to play 3/2 polyrhythms as simply quarter note. [21] Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor uses polyrhythm frequently. most notably on the song "The Great Curve". The bridge of the song incorporates 5/8. explain some of the uses of polyrhythm to the listener. Above all Bill Bruford used polyrhythmic drumming throughout his career. The Japanese idol group 3776 makes use of polyrhythm in a number of their songs. Examples The following is an example of a 3 against 2 polyrhythm. The Aaliyah song "Quit Hatin" uses 9/8 against 4/4 in the chorus. eighth note. Finnish for "polyrhythm". 3 against 2 polyrhythm 3-beat rhythm X 2-beat rhythm X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X A common memory aid to help with the 3 against 2 polyrhythm is that it has the same rhythm as the phrase "not difficult". [24] The outro of the song "Animals" from the album The 2nd Law by the band Muse uses 5/4 and 4/4 time signatures for the guitar and drums respectively. common time (4/4) and 3/2 in the drums. [23] The Britney Spears single "Till the World Ends" (released March 2011) uses a 4:3 crossrhythm in its hook. The piano holds a 3/4 riff while the drums and bass back it with a standard 4/4 signature. eighth note. Beats are indicated with an X. appropriately titled Polyrhythm.

"come. [1] [25] 4 against 3 polyrhythm 4-beat rhythm X 3-beat rhythm X X X X X X X X X X X X X A 3 against 4 polyrhythm Polyrhythm 4/4 with 3/4 simultaneously (cross rhythm) as bounce inside oval MENU 0:00 Problems playing this file? . Now try saying the phrase "not a problem". if you please". This will emphasize the "3 side" of the 3 against 2 feel. This will emphasize the "2 side" of the 3 against 2 feel. "four funny frogs"." Try saying "not difficult" over and over in time with the sound file above. respectively. The second 2-beat lands on the "fi" in "difficult. Similar phrases for the 4 against 3 polyrhythm are "pass the golden butter" or "pass the goddamn butter" and "what atrocious weather". The 4 against 3 polyrhythm is shown below. stressing the syllables "not" and "prob-".third of the triple beat land on "dif" and "cult". More phrases with the same rhythm are "cold cup of tea".

Other instances occur often in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. and one of the main themes in the piano. fits 52 notes into the space of one measure. [citation needed] Polyrhythms are quite common in late Romantic Music and 20th century classical music. To count 4 against 5. A good example is in the soloist's cadenza in Grieg's Concerto in A Minor. requires a total of 20 beats. for example.3) = 6 (123456 and 123456). as the total number of beats rises quickly. so if one wishes to count 2 against 3. The piano arpeggios that constitute much of the soloist's material in the first movement often have anywhere from four to eleven notes per beat. which uses whole notes. the left hand plays arpeggios of seven notes to a beat. making for a glissandolike effect while keeping the mood of the music. However this is only useful for very simple polyrhythms. which imposes an eighth-note melody on a triplet harmony. such as classical Indian musicians. However some players. and triplets. 2.See media help. dotted eighth notes. as lcm(2. the right hand plays an ostinato of eight notes per beat while also playing the melody in octaves. the piano's opening run. Another example is the fluid 7:3 polyrhythm at the beginning of Charles Griffes' The White Peacock. Other instances in this movement include a scale that juxtaposes ten notes in the right hand against four in the left. and counting thus slows the tempo considerably. or for getting a feel for more complex ones. marked 'quasi glissando'. In the last movement. one needs to count a total of 6 beats. As can be seen from above. the counting for polyrhythms is determined by the lowest common multiple. can intuitively play high polyrhythms such as 7 against 8. Works for keyboard often set odd rhythms against one another in separate hands. [citation needed] [ .