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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:50 pm 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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No offence taken, I was just concerned that I came across the wrong way - which really wasn't my intention at all. I didn't have any malice in what I meant. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:48 pm 
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mnml newbie
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Different strokes for different folks :D

It really all is subjective. However when I first encountered poly-rhythms I was like uggggh WTF is this? It was a bit jarring, but I've grown to appreciate it more and more.

However, it definitely kills the "groove", but through that death another groove is born :D

I appreciate 'em, will I ever use 'em? Probably when I've run out of ideas that I'm still trying to get out in a standard 4/4 format. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:14 pm 
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mnml maxi
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AK wrote:
Now I'm not saying all tracks which feature polyrhythmic stuff are going to be un-danceable but there is going to be a point where the merging of odd-time signatures in dance music makes it become armchair music because the rhythms lose repetition and dance-ability

If you can't dance to an odd rhythm then you can't dance. Flex your mind at least as much as your body, and then some.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:08 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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AK< you made some decent points, but just because you aren't interested in something doesn't necessitate a judgement. a good portion of the music i listen to is not in 4/4 or 3/4, or it is beatless. and most of this music isn't what i consider "accesible", and most of us know that accessibility is not a good indicator of quality.

any musician benefits from study, and studying polyrythmns and their use. learning to "say something" in music requires that you develop your expressive musical language around music theory and techniques. people whom compose in 7/8, or 13/4 aren't doing it just for shits and giggles, or to impress a "chinstroker" they just have something to express that 4/4 fails to convey to their liking. anyone can compose in 4/4, especially in techno. the technology is such that knowledge of music theory is no longer a requirement, but that doesn't mean that people shouldn't study it.

plus there's a glooming bias here, currently, where we all live and enjoy music, 4/4 is the prevailing paradigm. but simply because technology is biased to composition in 4/4 does not follow that anything outside of our rythmic comfort zone is "nonsensical" or "pointless".

if things were any different, and the first drum machine you used was a 14 step sequencer we'd be here arguing that 7/8 just makes sense and that other timings are "pointless" and "silly".


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:44 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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pafufta816 wrote:
AK< you made some decent points, but just because you aren't interested in something doesn't necessitate a judgement. a good portion of the music i listen to is not in 4/4 or 3/4, or it is beatless. and most of this music isn't what i consider "accesible", and most of us know that accessibility is not a good indicator of quality.

any musician benefits from study, and studying polyrythmns and their use. learning to "say something" in music requires that you develop your expressive musical language around music theory and techniques. people whom compose in 7/8, or 13/4 aren't doing it just for shits and giggles, or to impress a "chinstroker" they just have something to express that 4/4 fails to convey to their liking. anyone can compose in 4/4, especially in techno. the technology is such that knowledge of music theory is no longer a requirement, but that doesn't mean that people shouldn't study it.

plus there's a glooming bias here, currently, where we all live and enjoy music, 4/4 is the prevailing paradigm. but simply because technology is biased to composition in 4/4 does not follow that anything outside of our rythmic comfort zone is "nonsensical" or "pointless".

if things were any different, and the first drum machine you used was a 14 step sequencer we'd be here arguing that 7/8 just makes sense and that other timings are "pointless" and "silly".


very well said mate.
i think the funny thing is, there's polyrhythms everywhere in dance music, to a greater or lesser extent, and to say you cant dance to 'polyrhythms' or its for chinstrokers, means you dont really understand the concept fully.
if you go to techno or house clubs i guarantee you will have danced to polyrhythms whether you knew it or not.
i dont understand why people think that polyrhythms = chaotic and un-danceable. there's a huge difference between a nice 5/4 clave pattern laid over a 4/4 groove and a challenging avant garde piece. they may both incorporate polyrhythms, but you cant compare them at all.
some of the most danceable music of the twentieth century is full of polyrhythm, latin american, detroit techno, the funk of people like george clinton, theres an endless list, its not just about african / indian music.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:32 am 
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mnml mmbr
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hey peepz, moving into polyrhythms, found a nice paper from godfried toussaint which got me started, wrote up my initial impressions up here: http://ruinwesen.com/blog?id=216

Cheers :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Not sure if anyone has suggested this yet, but it's a lot of fun playing two copies of the same loop in Live, one detuned from the other and playing at different loop lengths (that are not multiples of one another). Makes for some extremely entertaining polyrhythmic workouts when you move the loop braces around and record the results.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Location: Oxford, UK
I'm not really sure what the rules are on whether I should be bumping this old thread or starting a new one...

But anyway, I'm just beginning to delve into polyrhythm by reading some of these older threads, and I have a quick question that relates to the conversation here. Am I right in saying that technically you could have a 4/4 "standard" beat with kicks and snares in all their usual boring places, but layer over 6/8 (or whatever) percussion loops? Wouldn't this be a good way to keep the ordinary "dancable" beat going whilst exploring the more interesting possibilities of polyrhythm?

Or have I got the whole idea of polyrhythm wrong? I'm self taught in all aspects of music, so I have some trouble understanding this stuff.

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