Category: rhythm

  • Tempo and Rhythm in Cassandra’s Dream Song

    Tempo and Rhythm in Cassandra’s Dream Song

    In previous posts on Ferneyhough’s music, I describe my approach to his complex rhythms. It is worth noting again that his music is not pulse based; rather, the measure is considered a “domain of a certain energy quotient”. In Cassandra’s Dream Song we are presented with freedom from measures, time signatures, or metronome markings. The […]

  • Polyrthythms IV – Practicing Tempo Modulation

    This is a continuation of my previous post, where I use Taffanel/Gaubert’s Exercises Journaliers no. 1 to practice polyrhythms. Check that out before trying these! It will give you the correct placement in the measure for 4:3 and 4:5, which I have not notated here. In these exercises, the metronome stays the same but the […]

  • Polyrhythm III Exercise with Taffanel/Gaubert

    Here is the third of my posts on rhythm. You can read the first post here and the second here. I wouldn’t proceed here unless you can perform the exercises of these previous posts. What I like about using Taffanel/Gaubert no. 1 from Exercices Journaliers is that it is a melodic study. In my first […]

  • Polyrhythm II

    To read my first post on how to figure out polyrhythms, click here. To internalize an unfamilar polyrhythm, I suggest the following steps: 1) clap and tap the rhythm away from your instrument 2) play it on your instrument, using a single pitch (no moving notes yet) 3) if it’s a difficult passage, play it […]

  • Polyrhythms I

    This is the first of a series about practicing complex rhythms related to a pulse, a.k.a. polyrhythms. Why bother practicing polyrhythms? Some of us have been taught that our metronome is our best friend, but how useful is it really? Do we bother to listen to it? If we do, does it ensure us a […]

  • Tips for Complex Rhythms à la Ferneyhough’s Superscriptio

    Below is some advice for works by composers (such as Brian Ferneyhough) who use complex rhythms not based on pulse-centered activity. I spoke with Mr. Ferneyhough about this subject and he was very clear that in his music, the measure is a “domain of a certain energy quotient” not related to a pulse. In other […]