The Kid Should See This

Visualizing Polyrhythms + Beats

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A polyrhythm is when two or more rhythms with different beat patterns are layered together simultaneously and in tempo. This creates a complex and musical texture that can be perceived as one.

Polyrhythms aren’t as prominent in ‘Western’ pop music; Happy by Pharrell Williams, for example, is in 4/4 or common time. But polyrhythms like 3/2, 4/3, and moreβ€”the second number in a polyrhythm is the primary beatβ€”are prevalent in other forms of music, including American jazz, Afro-Cuban music, West African music, south Indian classical music, and progressive rock, to name a few.

This two-minute Museong animation visualizes a series of simple Polyrhythms and Beats from 2 to 5.

2 + 3
3 + 4
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Bonus: Notes on a Triangle (1966) by RenΓ© Jodoin.

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