Introduction to Volume I
Chapter 1 ~ Musical
Chapter 2 ~ 4-Way
Chapter 3 ~ Selected
Chapter 4 ~ Abstract
Chapter 5 ~ Basic
Polyrhythms & Hemiola
Chapter 6 ~ Contemporary
Chapter 7 ~ Modern
Chapter 8 ~ Soloing
Introduction to Volume II
FREE AUDIO & VIDEO COMPANION ~ CHAPTER BY CHAPTER
Chapter 5 ~ Basic Polyrhythms & Hemiola
"Poly" means many. The use of two or more metric frameworks played simultaneously-what we define as a polyrhythm-is the rhythmic foundation underlying African-influenced music worldwide. Organized musical sound is a phenomenon adapted from nature. Melody, harmony, and rhythm are all one thing-pulsating waves of sound, simply moving at different rates of speed.
In many African languages the idea of a song, a rhythm, a dance, or even a drum, are not defined as separate entities but rather parts-of-the-whole of a single concept. This philosophy is useful for embracing the importance and inseparable relationship of drumming to dancing, to create a foundation for playing polyrhythms that allows any voice in a coordinated rhythm to lead or accompany in a clear, singing, and hard-grooving, danceable manner.
Hemiola is a rhythmic form of counterpoint that introduces a new type of meter on top of a previously existing one, creating a polyrhythm. Hemiola is to rhythm what a leading tone is to melody, and a suspended chord is to harmony-each engages the listener by creating an unexpected tension, if not quickly resolved.
WATCH Applying Polyrhythms to Contemporary Backbeat Ostinatos - a FREE video demonstration spotlighting the Polyrhythms of 3:2 and 4:3, in 4/4 time, as presented on pg. 62 of the Combinations & Coordination Studies, and then incorporated into a groove ostinato context from Chapter 6 of the book.
Downloadable Click Tracks Part Two
The click tracks presented below are referred to as "Polyclicks." A Polyclick provides two pulses and tempos simultaneously. The time signature of the meter you play in, or a chosen subdivision within, defines which pulse is the foundation and which pulse is the hemiola that creates the polyrhythm.
The Polyclicks ultilized here employ variations of pitch and voice - low notes on the strong beats/higher ones on the weaker beats, with metal voicing for the duple pulses and skin for the triple pulse - to clearly outline the polyrhythm presented.
The polyclicks are primarily for use with Chapter 5, Basic Polyrhythms & Hemiola Part Two: Combination & Coordination Studies, but offer unlimited potential as a resourse for developing a deeper polyrhythmic vocabulary. Each example is roughly five minutes in length. Click on a combination to hear it.
The first Polyclick applies to "either side" of 3:2 or 2:3 polyrhythms:
The second Polyclick applies to "either side" of 3:4 or 4:3 polyrhythms:
All content presented © 2008 David Stanoch/Rhythmelodic.