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Author David Luebbert
Posted 3/24/11; 11:23:15 PM
Msg# 5802 (top msg in thread)
Prev/Next 5801/5803
Reads 19119

SongTrellis Rhythm Descriptions - the simplest building blocks

A lot of rhythmic information can be captured by writing down strings of symbols consisting of the numerals 1 and 0. In this description scheme, a 1 is an instruction to make a sound and a 0 is an instruction to remain silent.

If we can assign separate one syllable word translations for 1 and 0 and then speak those translations in order, we can speak a verbal representation of a rhythm. Since we are trying to describe hand drum patterns, lets agree to say the word "hit' whenever we encounter a 1 in a rhythm symbol string and say "don't" whenever we encounter a 0 in a rhythm string,

So if we saw the rhythm description 10010101, we could verbally translate that as 'hit-don't-don't-hit-don't-hit-don't-hit" Similarly when we saw 011101 we could verbally translate that as "don't-hit-hit-hit-don't-hit".

Now if you think of each word as a instruction to perform a particular action with a rhythm instrument, "hit" instructs a musician to strike a drum with your hand or a stick. "Don't' means that during the period of time that word is spoken, no action should be taken to produce sound with the instrument, leaving a gap, which musicians call a rest, in the sequence of rhythm sounds produced.

We can make these lists of rhythm symbols arbitrarily large.

0111010111011000101

would have the verbal translation don't-hit-hit-hit-don't-hit-don't-hit-hit-hit-dont-hit-don't-don't-don't-hit-hit-don't-hit

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Last update: Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 11:23 PM.