35 votes

Tapping 3 times on one leg and 4 times on another leg in 4 beats. What is it called and how to do it?

Polyrhythm. It's good thing to learn to do. 4 against 3 is nice, before that you should normally try 3 against 2. Normally it's hard to do at the start. I had to break it down, splitting the beats. ...
danmcb's user avatar
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19 votes

Tapping 3 times on one leg and 4 times on another leg in 4 beats. What is it called and how to do it?

There is a common mnemonic for learning the 3:4 poly-rhythm. Apologies for the minor profanity, but it goes like so: Get two people, call them "3" and "4" and give them the following instructions: ...
Darrel Hoffman's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

How should I approach getting used to a wonky syncopation?

The general problem: This is a specific case of the more general problem: you're having trouble playing a rhythm which you haven't encountered before. The solution is not surprising: Learn the rhythm ...
Edward's user avatar
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13 votes

Were there any automatic timekeeping devices prior to the metronome used for setting and maintaining tempo (BPM) and pulse?

One consideration is: Asking "What did people use to keep the musical pulse steady before the technology was available" might be an anachronistic angle. Richard Taruskin talks about an "...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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12 votes
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How to play this passage precisely?

Where did you find this? It is notated extremely poorly and the division of the beats is not intuitive by looking at it. I am not surprised you are having trouble with it. I would, too, and I am an ...
Heather S.'s user avatar
  • 5,567
9 votes
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What is the difference between syncopation and poly-rhythm?

It's a bit simpler than that. Syncopation is accenting the off beat, especially accenting in between beats. For example, "Superbad" or "Mother Popcorn" by James Brown. A single rhythm can be ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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9 votes

What is it called when a sequence of notes lands on a different beat every measure?

If you want a hyper-fancy academic term, this falls under the umbrella of what Harald Krebs calls "metrical dissonance." Specifically, this is what is called a "grouping dissonance,&...
Richard's user avatar
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8 votes

How would you derive accurate tempos if you have a clock with a second hand but no metronome?

Well, this is a fun math problem. If you clap n times for every m ticks of your clock, then this corresponds to 60*(n/m) beats per minute. It's not too hard to assemble a list of values between 30 ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
8 votes

Counting 2+3 and 4 over a beat of 4 at the same time

Three against two is really easy for any experienced musician. If you were going to write seven against five, most people would have trouble playing it accurately.
PiedPiper's user avatar
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7 votes

Is "Polyrhythm" a melodic principle?

Is “Polyrhythm” a melodic principle? Not specifically, but as melodies have rhythm, any rhythmic considerations can apply to melodies. What is a polyrhythmic melody? It could mean a couple of ...
Нет войне's user avatar
7 votes
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Triplets against twos in Bach's music

It appears that there is not consensus on how these polyrhythms should be played. I have not yet found anything on your (a) case, but have some information about your (b) case. The quotes are long, ...
Josiah's user avatar
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7 votes
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How can I count 17 against 3 polyrhythm?

Polyrhythms, especially more complex ones like this, make much more sense if you chart it out. Find the least common multiple. In this case, its 51. List out all numbers between 1 and 51. Circle ...
MitzeMitchell's user avatar
7 votes

How to play this rhythm in Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata? as a 4/3 polyrythm or as 6/16?

This is a notorious question, and has been asked many times in the last 2 centuries - you are not alone! You're right in suggesting a polyrhythm - 4 against 3. The difficulty is to play it musically....
Peter's user avatar
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6 votes
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Learn music with odd rhythms

The way I approach polyrhythms is this: I break them down much as you do, in terms of their lowest common denominator, but I try to memorize the sound of the pattern right away and not rely on seeing ...
Scott Wallace's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What is the name of this rhythm? (embedded 4:3 polyrhythm)

I personally call rhythmic patterns like that systematically according to the number of rhythmic pulses in each note. This one would be 3-3-3-3-4. Other examples are 3-3-2 and 3-1, which are common ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

What is it called when a sequence of notes lands on a different beat every measure?

This is an example of 5:4 polyrhythm. The melodic phrase creates a dynamic accent every five beats, and the primary pulse has a metric accent every four beats. The composite of the two accent patterns ...
Aaron's user avatar
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6 votes
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Which notes should be played together? - Polyrhythm

Here is an explanation of the correspondences, which are illustrated in the image at the end of the post. Beat 1 RH: The "6" indicates that the beat will be divided into six parts, and the ...
Aaron's user avatar
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6 votes

Were there any automatic timekeeping devices prior to the metronome used for setting and maintaining tempo (BPM) and pulse?

It is a simple question and the answer is yes. Thomas Mace suggested using a pendulum for specifying pulse in late 17th century. An early attempt at a timekeeping device was made by Abbas ibn Firnas ...
Lazy's user avatar
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5 votes

How should I practice the piano piece Fantaisie-Impromptu?

Fantasie Impromptu contains polyrythms. A "Polyrythm"is the use of two different rythms playing together, and the Fantasie Impromptu also has a Polyrythm. The right hand plays semiquavers, while the ...
Isaac Yang Hao Tung's user avatar
5 votes

How should I practice the piano piece Fantaisie-Impromptu?

I am doing this piece, and have "finished" the piece within 5 months (1h/day) and am right now polishing it. This is how I attempt most pieces. Note that this post is not a "for dummies" guide. (Note ...
Ditto's user avatar
  • 103
5 votes

How should I practice the piano piece Fantaisie-Impromptu?

I am just now wrapping up this piece, and have my recital in a month. I am not a professional musician by any means, and I have a day job, so I can only get a few hours of practice per week. I've ...
mjuarez's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes

How to play this passage precisely?

Bars 1 through 5 are identical rhythmically. I suggest just playing the 1st (or 3rd) bar over and over until you get it. then move to bar 2 (or 4). This will remove one thing to think about making it ...
b3ko's user avatar
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5 votes

How to count odd tuplets?

Sadly, I can't answer your question in whole. In fact, I would love to see a good, definite answer on this myself. But I think I can address at least some parts: Am I missing any special tuplets? ...
Ramillies's user avatar
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5 votes

Tapping 3 times on one leg and 4 times on another leg in 4 beats. What is it called and how to do it?

The late drum teacher Charles Dowd called this the Rhythm of Life. [I assumed this was in reference to a song utilizing this rhythm.] He taught it in the context of an Afro-Cuban-style pattern on drum ...
user138719's user avatar
5 votes

What is rhythmic counterpoint?

This post comes in three parts: 1) basics 2) techniques 3) examples Rhythmic counterpoint basics Rhythmic counterpoint requires one of two conditions: Pulse onsets occur at different times, Pulse ...
Aaron's user avatar
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5 votes

How should I approach getting used to a wonky syncopation?

I guess I heard syncopation starting at approximately the one-minute mark. It sounded to me like the sort of thing one could get comfortable with after playing it more slowly, to get the contours and ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 4,578
5 votes

Were there any automatic timekeeping devices prior to the metronome used for setting and maintaining tempo (BPM) and pulse?

When music is played for dancing, usually the musicians have a pretty good sense of the tempo the dancers will want. The optimum dancing tempo depends on the nature of the dance movements and the ...
Mark Lutton's user avatar
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