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Osvaldo Glieca

Metrical Structures!

Percussion Sextet

Generative Rhythm Algorithm based on the !


Schillinger System of Musical Composition

2014 Osvaldo Glieca!


osvaldoglieca@gmail.com

Metrical Structures

Essay of a rhythm generative system based on the principle


of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition
2014

The most fundamental feature of music and one which is, by


its

very

nature

mathematical,

is

rhythm.

Primordially,

music

arises from rhythm and it is probably the most relevant feature


in

music.

latest

This

advent

has
of

particular

music

relevance

sequencers;

popular genres take rhythm or beats

the

nowadays

composition

with
of

the
many

as the very first parameter

to begin with. Music can be summarized as a temporal art in which


the

organization

metrical

of

framework.

pulsation

is

Compositional

defined

techniques

within
in

rhythm

given
are

generally quite flexible enough to create intuitively, rhythmic


patterns that may be based on various combinations of short and
long sounds.
This essay focus on diverse metrical arrangements as the
basis

for

the

formation

rhythmical

structures

formed

phrases

by

of

rhythm.

expressed

with

pauses,

as

The
if

approach
is

is

written

pulse-inflections,

to

build

language
stresses,

cadences, and accents; all of these which are present in music as


well. (See Schoenberg on his Fundamental of Musical Composition)

The arrangement of rhythm can be associated at first glance


to

metrical

process

made

by

different

pulsation.

These

pulsations are arranged into a timeframe of a certain number of


beats.

Essentially,

it

is

like

working

with

different

time

signatures at the same time; this creates a cross-metre and can


produce poly-rhythmic results even when the figures are quite
simple in their own nature.
Metrical

Structures

is

divided

into

structure

of

12

crochet beats. Then a first subdivision take place to form two


structures which determine the pulse-length inside the dominant
metre (the 12 crochet beats); the first one is based on a 5+3+2+2
pattern,
define

the

the

second
pulse

on

of

4+5+3. A

these

bars

second
to

subdivision

better

occurs

accentuate

to

their

different length and relation. The third subdivision shapes the


rhythm in the whole structure of the dominant metre. Here, the
formal numerical subdivision, and by having a clear structure, it
is

possible

against

the

approach

the

system

that

rhythm
has

creation

generated

working
a

intuitively

logical

metrical

arrangement, but keeping the reference framework. Once the rhythm


section is established marimba and vibraphone can add a touch of
colour and interplay. The technique of shifting or phasing the
rhythmic

figures

sporadically.

borrowed

However,

particular textures.

it

is

by

Steve

Reich

interesting

to

is

see

also

how

used

creates

A
rhythmic

further

implication

complexities

is

combining

to

introduce

the

two

range

of

subdivisions

poly-

at

the

beginning one against the other. Here is a good practical common


sense assigning to an instrument - the triangle and clave in this
specific case - the responsibility of signaling the strong beat
of the time-frame so that the players have a fixed point to refer
to. (See also Gamelan players where gongs signal the entrance of
new sections)
Once the poly-rhythmic structures are established, and the
players are accustomed with it, more complexities can be brought
on

easily.

Note

also

at

the

final

section

smooth

ending

composed by a time-frame of only 3 and 4 beats in order to have a


regular repeated pattern. Finally, the pitch material used for the
marimba, an A minor pentatonic scale and for the vibraphone, a F#
minor pentatonic scale.
London, August 2014

Metrical Structures
Osvaldo Glieca
Triangle and Cowbell must be placed on a stand
Dynamics should be mezzo forte for all the ensemble
except for the Cowbells which should be mezzo piano

>

Triangle

Woodblock

>

Cowbell

>

&

&

>

>

>

Woodblock

>

Cowbell

>

&

Clave

Vib.

Mar.

Clave

Triangle

>

J >

>

>

>

>

>

>

>
j

b
b

>

J >

>

>

>

>

>
j

b
Vib.

b
b

b
Mar.

&

2014 Osvaldo Glieca

>

Woodblock

>

Cowbell

>

Clave

Triangle

Vib.

&

Mar.

&

Clave

>

>

J >

>

>

>
j
j

>

>

>
j

>
j

>
j

>

>

>

Triangle

Woodblock

> > >

J > > J >

Cowbell

>
J J

> >
J

Vib.

&

Mar.

&

>

Clave

Triangle

Woodblock

Cowbell

>
j

>

>
j

>

J >

>
J

J >

Vib.

&

Mar.

&

>

>

>

>

Woodblock

>

>

Cowbell

&

Clave

Triangle

Vib.

Mar.

&

>

>

>

>

>

>

bJ

bj

Clave

>

>
j

>
j

j J

>

bJ

Woodblock

>

Cowbell

&
b
Mar.

Triangle

Vib.

>

&

j
b

Clave

Triangle

Woodblock

Cowbell

Vib.

&
b

Mar.

&

b
J

bn
J

>

Clave

>

>

/
>
j

Triangle

Woodblock

Cowbell

>
j
j

Vib.

Mar.

bbb

& b
b

&

U
b
bw
w
w
U

>

>

Triangle

>
j

Woodblock

Clave

>

>
j

>

5:3
3:2
3

Cowbell

5:4

3:5
3

&

Vib.

&

Mar.

Clave

Triangle

>

>
j

>

>

>

>

4:5
3:2

Woodblock

5:3

3:2
3

Cowbell

5:4
3:5

b
Vib.

&

b
b

b
b
Mar.

Clave

Triangle

&

>

>

>

>
j

>

j
j

>

4:5
3:2

Woodblock

5:3
3:2

Cowbell

5:4

3:5
4:5

Vib.

&

b
b b

b
Mar.

&

33:2

5:3

3:5
5:4

Clave

Triangle

>

>
j

>
j

>

>

>

4:5
3:2

Woodblock

5:3
3:2

Cowbell

5:4
4:5

3:5
3:2

Vib.

&

b b


b b b

b
3:2
5:3
3
3

Mar.

&

3:5
5:4

Clave

Triangle

>

>
j

&

&

>
j

>

>

>
j

>

3:4

Woodblock

3:4

4:3

Cowbell

4:3

b
bJ
b

4:3

4:3

Vib.

Mar.

b
b

3:4

3:4

Clave

>

Triangle

Woodblock

Cowbell

&

b
b

b
bJ
b

j>

4:3

Vib.

>

4:3

>
b

b
3:4

Mar.

&

3:4

>

>
J

Clave

Triangle

Woodblock

Cowbell

4:3

Vib.

b
b

&

4:3
b

J
b

> U

b

b
3:4

Mar.

&

>
>
J

3:4