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How important is Pulse - Rhythm

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#1 shawn


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Posted 09 March 2019 - 17:00

I’m an adult amateur pianist (50).  I have been lucky enough to have the time to learn world music history and theory over the past 13 years.  I was recently at Stratford International Railway Station London where i had some time on the pubic piano in the foyer.  I have suffered much more than others with confidence, but luckily my positivity began to recognise some weaknesses i have, and also some of my positive aspects.  I think my niche maybe in program music; i can improvise stuff in a rather random unordered expressive way, perhaps with a motif reoccurring at times.


I’m trying to work on those weaknesses, and i am curious if metered rhythm is a vital aspect of all musicianship.  I know it’s vital in an ensemble dance music situation, but i wonder if there is a regular pulse to all natural regular earth bound life, albeit at different tempos e.g. the heart beat could be considered 1-2-1-2 etc.


Say you were lucky enough to be able to paint with music – people, events, places, etc?  Should that have a regular pulse, differing tempos etc? Or is unordered perfectly fine as well?

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#2 ten left thumbs

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 16:34

Disclaimer - I'm no jazzer!


When I first saw the header - how important is pulse? my first thought was - really important! Really important to nail, get solid first, before messing with all sorts of complicated rhythms and harmonies. But, and this is a big but, I have heard some beautiful music played - solo, created on the spot - with enough rubato that you could well say it was unmetered, or almost without pulse. If one tried to write it down, one would have to change the time signature almost every bar, which makes the medium of notation feel a bit pointless. Some solo piano, but also Piazzola, and sometimes solo folk-singers would fall into this category. Actually, thinking about it, this music is not always completely contemporized, sometimes it could be described as - somewhat pre-planned, but then unfolds in the moment. 


So, for my money, keep playing! :)

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