2

In my research on polyrhythms I have discovered the term "nested polyrhythm" with regard to some of Frank Zappa's works. I have not been able to find a clear definition of it or any examples.

Would someone please explain the term to me and show me some scores where they are heavily employed?

  • 1
    I posted a question asking about the simplest possible nested polyrhythm - actually nested triplets. See music.stackexchange.com/q/38434/9426 – Brian THOMAS Jan 15 at 12:52
  • Thank you! Your question doesn't exactly picture a nested polyrhythm, but it does mention the other instruments' parts playing 4/4 straight, which does a good job at explaining to me what it would be like. I am not certain if the score you got from your local composer qualifies as a "nested polyrhythm". Do 2+ voices have to have nested tuplets for the polyrhythm to be considered nested? I don't know. But I don't think it matters. I will try to respond to my own question later and wait for any more input in the meantime. – Pyromonk Jan 15 at 13:19
2

Judging by the information Brian has kindly linked me to, the notion of "nested" polyrhythms relies on a tuplet subdivision inside of another tuplet, for example:

Tricky Rhythm

If the second voice were to play straight quarter notes in the second bar, it would create a nested polyrhythm. It is unclear whether both voices need to have nested tuplets for a polyrhythm to be considered "nested", but I assume they don't.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.