Drumbeats

Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways showcasing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

Without support from authoritive references this site would not be possible.

In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

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Drums and Rhythms

The Rhythm of the Universe, a Heartbeat of Eternity, sums up the deep spiritual wisdom represented by the Sacred Drum in Native American thought. When singers align with the pulsing throb of unity felt within the heart of an Indian Drum it is a moment filled with honor and closeness. I speak from personal experience.

 

 

Earth Drum: An Eternal Cosmic Rhythm

 

Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha - Tabla Solo in Jhaptal

Notice the dialogue between voice and drum. Also, as you listen to the Tabla solo, try to keep in mind the ten beat subdivided into "1,2/1,2,3" rhythmic cycle. This will give you an appreciation at just how advanced the rhythmic techniques are in this music.

 

In contrast here is a glimpse of the good time to be had between young and old alike as they enjoy a village celebration of life and music. People of all ages are performing, dancing and singing. This is a simple fun music event.

Grand Master Djembe Player!

 

The Tabla is a versatile drum capable of many complex sounds and nuance. The following set of videos teaches both the sounds and corresponding vocal alphabet describing a particular sound. This is a fascinating series for anyone to learn from.

 

Lesson two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4JQXCrAnmA

Lesson three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4-eiZUalRU

Lesson four: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6dDx2la4LQ

Lesson five: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKkDJRKJQqY

Lesson six: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7oDqSXBrUg

fabbados January 28, 2008Virtuosity of Mridangam & Tabla. Great Indian percussionists. Put your headphones on and Listen to this.

INDIAN DRUMS - Jugalbandhi - Hari Narayanan LIVE

 

 

 

Time Signatures

Most music of Western origin has a rather simple standard time signature such as 2/4, 4/4, 3/4 or possibly 6/8. The accented beats are usually somewhat repetitious and straight forward. The emphasis in Western music lies more with harmony, chords, and melody performance more than with the rhythm itself.

The 2nd movement of the symphony #6 of Tchaikovsky is a bit different.

As you listen to the music try to make out the time signature. Not only is the number of beats per measure unusual but the accents from one measure of music to the next is different. This gives the rhythm a "lilting" quality

The time signature of this piece is 5/4. There are 5 beats per measure. The accented beats sound like 1, 2,3,4, 5, 1, 2,3, 4,5. Which translates into a 3,2 plus 2,3 pattern.

Tchaikovsky - Symphony n.6 "Pathétique"
2nd movment: Allegro con grazia.
Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala of Milan, dir. Yuri Temirkanov.

 

In music, primitivism indicates an elevation of rhythm to a place of prominence, and the best early example of this movement is Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps, completed in 1912. The work breaks with old rhythm-phrase accent structures, favoring violent asymmetrical rhythmic accents and shifting patterns. This almost determines the rest of the piece: "'chords' and melodic bits appear as individual static objects" (Salzman 29). The work is one of high artifice: everything is asserted, nothing falls into place naturally or by expectation. "Disassociated ideas appear as artifacts, set into block structures built up in layers" (Salzman 29). Volatile explosive musical energies obliterate any sense of motion directed by counterpoint and line. "Le Sacre is a work that takes shape, not through the extension of line and counterpoint, but through the juxtaposition of static levels of sound and statement, dividing up and punctuating psychological time with rhythm and accent, statement and articulation" (Salzman 30). The orchestral outbursts are unpredictable during the eighth note unit pulse. The rhythm is metronomic but the measures and groupings change. The piece is about primitivism, and is a superb example of "primitivism," but of course is not "primitive" itself, but highly sophisticated and intricate.

http://www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/20th/stravinsky.html

I put this piece here under Rhythms and time signatures because the work abounds with challenging polyrhythm patterns and texture

1913 saw a revolution in the world of European music history. Elements foreign to the symphonic repetoire of the time would descend upon the audience of the premier performance like a bombshell exploding away status quo and ushering in new era of sensibilities and interpretation.

Rite Of Spring (extract)
London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev
Barbican Centre London 2007

 

 

The element of time is an essential component of music. Sound is generated by vibrational disturbance. Pitch is produced by soundwave frequency while loudness is a result of  wave amplitude. Music therefore is a function of time. All performances must have tempo and duration.

Rhythm is a way of packaging time into measured subdivisions. styles range from a very simple "thump" beat to highly complex cpolyrythmic interchanges. Meters, such as 4/4, denotes four beats to a measure. A standard emphasis would be on the first beat per measure but any combination of accented beats is possible.

The video to the right does a nice job of teaching about basic polyrhythm combinations. Remember, some music traditions develop rhythm to a very high degree. Many variations within a Western "set" time signature can occur. Syncopation and masterful variation could become a main tool of musical expression.

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Polyrhythms themselves offer a fascinating example as to how the same fundamental elements of music have been utilized, developed and refined around the world. Good descriptions and inotated examples of polyrhythm types and use are found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyrhythm

 

 

 

Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.

Sincerely

David