• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Topic: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    I have recently completed an in-depth look at how rhythm works in music. Thie resulting tutorial should be helpful to composers and students, though it is not for the faint-hearted.

    Find it at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/terence...0Tutorial.html

    and you can also see all my other tutorials at
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/terence.../Tutorials.htm

    Terry Dwyer

  2. #2

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Terry,

    This is the first I've seen of your tutorials, and I think they're very nice. I very briefly flipped through some of the older ones, but will take a better look later.

    For Understanding Rhythm, I'd like to add a couple of comments. First, you state that when deciding on the written meter earlier composers used larger note values for slower music and smaller for faster. I've found that very often the opposite was true. Composers such as CPE Bach, Scarlatti, and to some extent Haydn come to mind for me. A typical adagio movement seems more likely to be marked 2/4 (actually 4/8) and contain much in the way of 32nd notes, while an allegro will use quarters or halves for the beat. Perhaps this is what you were saying and I misunderstood?

    The other comment has to do with what you write regarding the 5/4 meter. I must say I do disagree with the notion that 2+3 is "incorrectly barred." Rebarring the Tchaikovsky passage you cited by shifting the barlines over two beats would not make sense at all when taking into account the beginnings and endings of the phrases. Moreover, the opening bars of the movement have shifting division every other measure: (3+2)+(2+3), which does not seem resolvable according to your rules. Even if you do not hear the division this way, I'm sure you agree that a piece *could* be written with this pulse. What then?

    I apologize if this seems nit-picky. Overall, I do think this is an excellent tutorial.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Terry:

    A REALLY GREAT TUTORIAL on Rhythm. Well narrated and graphically explained. Thank you for doing this for all of us, either as a review or as a first-time run through.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Orcas Island
    Posts
    11,454

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Terry,

    What a terrific group of tutorials you did on Rhythm. An excellent treatment of Time Signatures, Accents and Meter, Ssort notes-tuplets and cross rhythms, and phrase construction. We well articulated and the integration with online scorch examples allow learners to see the score while hearing it. Well-writtena and a very good choice of examples.

    This is a real benefit to anyone who wants to learn more about rhythm.

    Thanks very much for posting this.

    Gary Garritan

  5. #5

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Hi Jamie - Good of you to take an interest. May I answer your points?

    For Understanding Rhythm, I'd like to add a couple of comments. First, you state that when deciding on the written meter earlier composers used larger note values for slower music and smaller for faster. I've found that very often the opposite was true. Composers such as CPE Bach, Scarlatti, and to some extent Haydn come to mind for me. A typical adagio movement seems more likely to be marked 2/4 (actually 4/8) and contain much in the way of 32nd notes, while an allegro will use quarters or halves for the beat. Perhaps this is what you were saying and I misunderstood?

    I didn't say "earlier composers", which you have taken to mean 18c people; I said "originally" and I am thinking much further back into Mediaeval music, later Masses, even Monteverdi perhaps. They used white notes for slow music, black for fast.

    The other comment has to do with what you write regarding the 5/4 meter. I must say I do disagree with the notion that 2+3 is "incorrectly barred." Rebarring the Tchaikovsky passage you cited by shifting the barlines over two beats would not make sense at all when taking into account the beginnings and endings of the phrases.

    Why not? Many, many a piece starts with an incomplete bar and ends with a shorter bar to compensate. In this case if I shift the bar lines we begin with two upbeats and end every phrase with a dotted minim (accented into the bargain). Makes perfect sense to me.

    Moreover, the opening bars of the movement have shifting division every other measure: (3+2)+(2+3), which does not seem resolvable according to your rules. Even if you do not hear the division this way, I'm sure you agree that a piece *could* be written with this pulse. What then?

    Jamie, have you read only Part 1 of this series? Later on I quote this very opening and point out the alternating accenting.

    The crucial point I am trying to make is that not every bar line indicates a main accent, and that, either by carelessness or by deliberate manipulation, a composer will "move" the barlines and contradict the official metre. Furthermore, he can use different forms of the quasi-barring within the same piece - a point I make with many of the other examples I give. I think we see eye to eye on this one.

    Terry

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Poolman, this looks great! It addresses issues and questions I have had before regarding rhythm and time signatures; I am sure I will learn a lot from this.

    Thank you!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,932

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Greetings, Terry. I have not yet looked at your tutorial. I just wanted to comment that I am pleased to see you have appeared again.

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Terry,
    Thank for this great tutorial. Your clear explanations of thorny topics are always refreshingly excellent.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,797

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Professor Poolman,

    Thanks very much for posting this, and the link to the others. This, when i open it with Firefox browser, it suggest i click a button to find "missing plug-in" but when I click that it says "no suitable plug-in found". I'll log in later with Mac and try it with Safari broswer, if it doesn't work I'll let you know, just so you'll know, and I'll then use IE which I'm sure will work.

    David

  10. #10

    Re: New Tutorial: Understanding Rhythm

    Nice tutorial Terry.

    I particularly enjoyed the Bach right at the end.
    Some people play Bach as though it is just a never-ending stream of semi-quavers.

    But as you so ably demonstrated, there are wonderful phrases hidden in the passage-work, for those who can discern them.

    regards Joe

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •