Origins of Rhythm

We attempt to trace the origins of rhythm from a cultural/evolutionary perspective and from an environmental/developmental perspective. What is the DNA of musical rhythm? What are the building blocks of rhythm? Why do we preference some patterns of rhythmic organization over others? Why do we seek periodicity and repetition. Why to we anticipate variation and contrast?

Human Development

Music is a bi-product of our genes interacting with our environment.

Sounds heard by unborn babies in utero (from https://auditoryneuroscience.com)

 

 

2:3 Polyrhythm in ‘Carol of the Bells’

Carol of the Bells

  • Popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 (lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky). 
    • Lyrics are copyrighted, original musical composition is not.
  • Based on Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk” whose language was thought to have magical properties.
    • Traditional Ukrainian text used hemiola in the rhythm (alternating the accents within each measure from 3/4 to 6/8 and back again).

Hemiola_0001

    • Chant based on an ostinato four-note pattern within the range of a minor third is thought to be of prehistoric origins and was associated with the coming New Year in Ukraine

Carol of the Bells Hemiola Motif_0001

 

              |1 . 7 1 6 . |     do .  ti do la .
       2:     |1 . . 1 . . |     do .  .  do .  .  
       3:     |. . 7 . 6 . |     do .  ti .  la .

'Carol of the Bells' Exercises

   8 . . 8 . .    (do. . do. . )Carol of the Bells Ex a_0001
   8 . 7 . 6 .    (do. ti. la. )

   8 . . 5 . .    (do. . so. . ) 
   8 . 7 . 6 .    (do. ti. la. )

   8 . . 5 . . 
   3 . 2 . 1 .    (mi. re. do. )
   8 . 7 . 6 .

   8 . . 5 . . 
   3 . 2 . 1 2    (mi. re. dore)
   8 . 7 . 6 5    (do. ti. laso)

   1 . . 5 . .|1 . . 5 . .
   3 . 2 . 1 .|7 . 6 . 5 4     (mi. re. do.|ti. la. sofa)
   8 . 7 . 6 .|5 . 4 . 3 2     (do. ti. la.|so. fa. mere)

Carol of the Bells Exercises_0001

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑