DarkEco

Polyrhythms & Cross-Rhythms - Clarification

5 posts in this topic

I'm having a difficult time getting a solid answer on this from Google (or i'm just not understanding it). I'm trying to find out if something i've written falls into either category.

From what i've gathered:

- Polyrhythms are triplets over duplets organised in a way that both rhythms will always land on beat 1.

- Cross-rhythms are just two independent rhythms that can be duplets or triplets and don't really have any rules.

The things is, i'm finding conflictions in various sources and i'm just confused now.

 

Is this rhythm i've made an example of either a cross or polyrhythm? Audio file included.

https://soundcloud.com/darkeco/rhythm-example/s-V5Lkc

Rhythm%20pic.png

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polyrhythms are just two disparate rhythmic features being used simultaneously. doesn't have to be triplets, duplets, or whatever. crossrhythm is when the clashing of the two rhythms is the point of the piece (see most of the phases that glass and the other minimalists did 50-60 years ago). apples and elephants.

just looking at the piano roll you included - it appears you've got a beat every four beats, one every three, and one every two (on the off beat). does that sound right? it's a polyrhythm, yes, albeit a fairly tame one. most of the time when someone bothers to use a big word like that it's for 7 over 13 or something nuts.

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Ok thanks for clarifying! I'll be sure to try out some odder time signatures too. The fact it seemed somewhat "tame" was one of the reasons I wasn't sure if it would be considered polyrhythmic.

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polyrhythm as a term doesn't necessarily imply any level of difficulty. three over two can be polyrhythmic.

if you want to get really weird, charles ives is one of the original classical composers known for doing crazy stuff. beyond that...well, music still needs to be musical, and it's not always easy if you're focused on numbers and not how it actually sounds.

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I think I've done a polyrhythm before; an example is at 1:59 - 2:15 in this mix, I have triplet eighths (on the arpeggio) against regular eighth notes (the piano). Hope it helps!

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