Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano

Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997) turned to player pianos because they could reproduce complicated rhythms that were impossible for a human to play precisely. He also used different types of symmetry to compose pieces such as this canon. These symmetries are visually evident in the rolls themselves.

Barring It All, Part 1

Thanks to some perceptive comments on fasola-songwriters and elsewhere, I’m going to revisit my previous post on rhythm and meter.  Two comments that intrigued me were Leah Velleman’s idea that there might be a generative theory of rhythm that applies to shape-note hymnody and Tarik Wareh’s observation that rhythm and the placement of bar lines … Continue reading “Barring It All, Part 1”

Meter, Rhythm, and the Most Awkward Farewell

Here’s a sequel to my previous post on tune families.  After reading Charles Seeger’s article ”Versions and variants of the tunes of ‘Barbara Allen,’” I was intrigued by the idea of adding rhythm to my analysis of tune families.  In this post, I’m going to explore the contribution of rhythm to a tune’s identity.  Since … Continue reading “Meter, Rhythm, and the Most Awkward Farewell”

Flamenco clapping music

Flamenco is a dance form from Andalusia, Spain that is associated with the Roma peoples.  Here is an explanation of the rhythm patterns and a demonstration of clapping.

Clapping Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3qS3oc_tK4 Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music” uses a single repeated rhythm pattern.  The two players start by clapping the 12-beat pattern together in unison.  After eight measures, one performer shifts the pattern forward by one beat and they clap the new pattern for eight measures.  This process is continued until the two patterns align again. Here’s … Continue reading “Clapping Music”