rhythm studies 1 (fall 2012)

A playlist of video demonstrations of the Ewe instruments is here.

The Wesleyan University Virtual Instrument Museum is a great reference for Ewe instruments, but there are other sites which describe these instruments.

online rhythmic reading and dictation practice:




online and (some) open source (free as in speech) music notation editing tools:






there are more, check out this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scorewriters#Free_software

there may be varying degrees of steepness to the learning curves for any of the above. i can't speak to the usability or stability of any of those programs, but i do use this program for all my own music notation: http://www.lilypond.org/ which was difficult for me to learn, but now very easy for me to use.

the john cage organ piece actually lasts 632 years and you can hear it right now at:


i just missed the last note change (july 5) but the next one isn't until 2013...

3/4 reading exercises — don't forget to try some online practice in 3/4 both reading and dictation

African Bell Pattern — This is a variation of the pattern we will use for the Ewe drumming ensemble. Underneath the bell pattern (the low bell hits on the beginning of the phrase) you can hear subdivisions of 4 and 6 played by shaker and claves.

Assignment #1 — due at the beginning of class on Tuesday September 11

Assignment #2 — Due at the beginning of class Tuesday Sept 18

Assignment #3 — due at the beginning of class tuesday sept 25

Assignment #4 — Don't forget you can recycle transcriptions from Assignment #3! Please make sure to follow the directions closely.

Assignment #5 — due at the beginning of class on Tuesday October 9

Assignment #6 — due when you come in to do your midterm on Thursday Oct 18

Assignment #6

Assignment #8 — Due Nov 20. There is a written and performance part to this assignment.

Course Outline

dots and ties — practice early and practice often!

Example Composition For Assignment #6 — Your assignment should look like this, only with better notes and syllables.

Note Values — definition of different rhythmic values and subdivision

Reading 16th notes in 2/4 time — practice with a partner! sing or clap, and use a metronome

reading in 6/8

Reading Simple Rhythms in 4/4 — practice makes permanent!

Simple reading in 2/4 — use this to practice reading, and as a reference for musical notation

Skills exam practice tracks — Here's some audio to practice along with for the skills exam. Follow the written part also available here. Pay particular attention to how the parts fit together, as you need to coordinate with your classmates to make the parts happen.

Tempo Markings — Italian descriptions of tempi

Time Scales

Your Midterm Material — Practice with a metronome! Practice with a partner!