Friday, March 14, 2014

the primitive drumming of my people

Because St. Patrick's is coming up, the dance class did an Irish tune. I was, as usual, a little lost at the beginning, but I think I caught on reasonably well by the end of the song. It made me think about rhythms, and how people used to talk about "primitive" African drumming, which is actually extraordinarily complex—European rhythms are primitive.

If you want to research this, you could start at Polyrhythm - Wikipedia: "In traditional European ("Western") rhythms, the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the primary beats. By contrast, in rhythms of sub-Saharan African origin, the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the secondary beats. This often causes the uninitiated ear to misinterpret the secondary beats as the primary beats, and to hear the true primary beats as cross-beats. In other words, the musical "background" and "foreground" may mistakenly be heard and felt in reverse—Peñalosa (2009: 21)."