The Rhythms of Life


4 hands drumming_square

Rhythm Quartets series Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Rhythm-Quartets-Series-1216767075015524/timeline/

Being able to read music is a part of the language that can initiate many possibilities for the performer and give the active listener more of an insight into the intentions of the composer. It is a skill that takes some dedicated study and I have found with regular reading many patterns in music become instantly recognisable and the comprehension of the music becomes more fluent. The precursor to the elusive concept that many students aspire to – sight-reading.

Music is an international language and I have been part of many conversations with musicians that have relied on musical terms rather than a knowledge of each other’s language.   The piece of paper with some directions as to rhythm and pitch becomes a familiar starting point for collaboration through music without the need for translations of explanations.

Working with pitch frequently gives a shape to the music, in the form of a melody, that can be remembered with the duration of the notes defining the rhythm. Reading without pitch is often less memorable and many teachers use the syllables of words to assist in the reading and remembering of rhythmic patterns. This can be effective although how each syllable is stressed and what dialect is used can affect the accuracy of this process.

When I compose for unpitched percussion I try to consider the rhythmic writing in the same way I would a melody. The figure, pattern or phrase has a shape and during the composition these shapes develop yet the association with other similar sections of music is apparent.

In the Rhythm Quartets series I have divided the rhythmic elements into simple patterns and as the series progresses have added new rhythmic cells to those from the previous books.

 

Rhythm Quartets 1 is written using

 RhythmsInPart1 with their corresponding rests
Rhythm Quartets 2 Plus quaver with corresponding rest
Rhythm Quartets 3 Plus 4semiquavers with corresponding rest
 Rhythm Quartets 4    Plus quaver2semis with corresponding rest
 Rhythm Quartets 5 Plus 2:16_1:8 with corresponding rest
Rhythm Quartets 6  Plus 1:16_1:8_1:16 with corresponding rest
Rhythm Quartets 7 will bring in the concept of the . to all the note values used in the previous books. with corresponding rest

Each book in the series follows the same format with five shorter exercises followed by a longer ‘concert’ piece. The time signatures included are all simple with a selection from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 beats in the bar used in the complete series. From my own teaching experience I have found that the early introduction of different time signatures has meant less difficulty for the student with more complicated rhythmic concepts as they progress.

Designed and drafted for tablet and/or print the books also introduce the student to a variety of staff and notation styles, five line and single line, stems up, stems down, notes placed on different lines and spaces and also rhythmic notation. Without a universally accepted method of notation for percussion instruments/parts the percussionist is expected to be adept at translating the composer and/or arranger’s directions whatever system(s) used.

Priced in £

Rhythm Quartets 1 http://payhip.com/b/nQO9

Rhythm Quartets 2 http://payhip.com/b/m8ZM

Rhythm Quartets 3 http://payhip.com/b/0Rav

Rhythm Quartets 4 http://payhip.com/b/7fUX

Rhythm Quartets 5 https://payhip.com/b/s6lU

Rhythm Quartets 6 available soon, follow the Facebook page for announcements

Rhythm Quartets 7 available soon, follow the Facebook page for announcements

Priced in $

Rhythm Quartets 1 https://sellfy.com/p/rHFU

Rhythm Quartets 2 https://sellfy.com/p/Cj5y

Rhythm Quartets 3 https://sellfy.com/p/sGao

Rhythm Quartets 4 https://sellfy.com/p/ukhc

Rhythm Quartets 5 https://sellfy.com/p/eFuq/

Rhythm Quartets 6 available soon, follow the Facebook page for announcements

Rhythm Quartets 7 available soon, follow the Facebook page for announcements

These downloads alongside the Scales and Modes series on iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/scales-and-modes/id502409245?mt=11 should provide the music student with an experience of the majority of rhythmic patterns and pitch combinations found in the majority of music.

© Peter R. Birkby 2015

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About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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