Music Theory for Recorder: Rhythm
This page is dedicated to various topics related to rhythm - that aspect of music that has to do with time. How long does a note last? How fast do the notes change with relation to each other? How do we define the various rhythmic patterns that our brain detects? Topics here include meter, tuplets, hemiola, rubato and syncopation.
It is highly recommended to work your way through this page starting at the top, as each installment builds on the previous one. It is also recommended that you consult the NOTES where you will find more detailed information regarding these topics.
Reading Time Signatures
YouTube Video: Music Theory Crash Course
Explains time signatures, beats, and simple and compound meters.
Meter - Simple and Compound
Score and Audio File
Listen to the meters; not for playing along.
How to Decipher Tempo Markings in Music
YouTube Video: Odd Quartet
Tempo tells us how fast or slow the beats of our chosen meter should go. Words in various languages are often used, but we can also be very precise by giving a Metronome marking.
What are Tuplets?
YouTube Video: Basic Music Principles
Tuplets: It's Complicated
YouTube Video: 12tone
More advanced application of tuplets and polyrhythms.
YouTube Video: Drew Nobile
Defines hemiola - the shift in pulse from triple to duple meter (or vice versa) and includes examples in pieces of music ("America" from West Side Story and "Zamacueca" by José White). In this video the presenter uses the term 'straight duple' instead of the more common 'simple duple.'
YouTube Video: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Defines hemiola, includes examples ("Concerto Grossi IV" by Geminiani), and describes its effect on a piece of music. Contains juggling.
A Guide to Rubato
YouTube Video: Josh Wright
The presenter approaches the subject of rubato using a Chopin waltz for solo piano, but the concepts can be adapted for both solo and ensemble recorder playing.
CHOPIN Prélude 7
CHOPIN Prélude 20
Score and Audio Files
Here are two Chopin Préludes scored with lots of rubato. The attached Sibelius scores demonstrate how intricate rubato is and how difficult it is to get a computer to sound like an ensemble of humans.
Rhythm - Accent & Syncopation
YouTube Video: arXter
This video explains syncopation and how it was used in various periods of music. It is an excerpt from a much longer documentary.
Level 8 - Syncopation
YouTube Video: Rich Gordon
This is a very lively interactive video that asks you to try to create syncopated rhythms on your own.
Syncopation made easy!
YouTube Video: Josh Wright
Another interactive video that delves into more complex syncopations to practice on your own.