Discuss traditional rhythms, singing etc
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By michi
#30162
djembefeeling wrote:As for Soko, I don't think that Fadouba's intro is a paradigm for TS in Soko. It is just an intro, and there are tons of examples of bands using e.g. binary intros for ternary rhythms and vice versa
OK, point taken! :)

Here is a more representative sample: Soko, from "Rhythmen der Malinke". That's a perfect example of a swung echauffement.
Soko (Excerpt)—Famoudou Konaté
(690.86 KiB) Downloaded 362 times
But I know of soloists who like to "swing" on TI once in a while in solophrases. I guess this is due to the fact that they use to impose a binary structure on TI, and the first sub-pulse of three sounds like a strong swing?!
It's difficult to know at point one crosses the boundary between playing a swung ternary phrase and playing a four-over-three cross-meter. I don't think there is a definite point. It's all a continuum.
In Mali, the typical Wassulunka microtiming also integrates a fourth note into the big space between the pulse and the first sub-pulse. this can be confused with (a very strong) swing, as well. So there are several examples of "swing" in TI.
To my ear, the Wassolonka swing is ternary, not binary over ternary. But, with the same of the Malian playing is bent, I can't be sure sometimes…

Michi.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#30163
michi wrote:Here is a more representative sample: Soko, from "Rhythmen der Malinke". That's a perfect example of a swung echauffement.

Soko (Excerpt)—Fadouba.mp3
Soko (Excerpt)—Famoudou Konaté
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Michi, I think you attached the same fadouba intro by accident :doh:
User avatar
By michi
#30167
djembefeeling wrote:Michi, I think you attached the same fadouba intro by accident :doh:
Right you are, thanks for that! I've edited the post and attached the correct snippet.

Michi.
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By djembefeeling
#30170
michi wrote:Soko, from "Rhythmen der Malinke". That's a perfect example of a swung echauffement
But this is a perfect example of iambic microtiming, the two sub-pulses and the next pulse forming a group with some extra space before the next group starts with the first sub-pulse. Do you hear the beat/pulse different in this one? Actually, it is hard for me to hear your example from Mendiani with the right pulse, cause I miss the passport accompaniement. I hear the last stroke of the sangban on the one so the mendiani sounds to me like an example for a iambic rhythm... :|
By djembeweaver
#30176
Yeah sorry Michi I'm 100% with Jurgen on this. Soko has an elongated space between the pulse and the first sub-pulse (what the author of the article calls iambic). This is consistent across all the folas I have heard, although some swing it more than others. I have done a pollak-style analysis of this for several folas bu analysing the proportion of the total space between pulses taken up by each sub-pulse.

Conversely Mendiani has a pinched first space (what the author calls a shuffle). Again I have done the analysis and it is very consistent across djembe folas, especially in the classic solo phrases and chauf.

I repeat: every rhythm with a soko-style signal that I have come across has an elongated first space. Rhythms that use this signal always have a double on-beat bell (pulse and first sub-pulse) that emphasizes this swing. The clue is in the signal: it has a double on-beat on the 2 and the 3 which anticipates the bell parts. This is the case for Soko, Wassolonka, Tiriba, Kakalambe, Solo de Manian etc etc. Further evidence (and this links in with what Jurgen was saying about extra beat that can be inserted) is that you only play 4/4 over 12/8 on rhythms like these. It's fine to play in 4/4 over Soko (and in fact the classic Mamady solo has just such a motif...as you know Michi as I've heard you play it very well) but not Mendiani.

Jon
By djembeweaver
#30177
By the way, I tried to keep my translation consistent with the discussion we had on terminology for pulse, beat, sub-pulse etc. The author uses the words 'temp' (pulse) and syncopé (syncopation). I chose to translate 'syncope' as 'sub-pulse'. I hope that makes it clearer rather than more opaque!

Jon
User avatar
By michi
#30186
djembeweaver wrote:Yeah sorry Michi I'm 100% with Jurgen on this.
Yeah, me too :)

Brain-fart on my part. I posted the intro, then Jürgen correctly pointed out that the intro doesn't mean much, then I went to look for another echauffement in the rhythm, and completely forgot that Soko has the swing on the other side.

I'll let this horribly embarrassing mistake stand for posterity :)

One observation though: at least with the way Mamady teaches, Soko has both bells: the one for the sangban starts on down-beat and finishes on the micro-pulse after the down-beat, but the dundunba bell start on the third micro-pules before the down-beat and finishes on the down-beat.

Soko is one of the very few rhythms I've come across where both those shuffles are played simultaneously.

Michi.
By djembeweaver
#30190
I'll let this horribly embarrassing mistake stand for posterity
10 out of 10 for humility then!
One observation though: at least with the way Mamady teaches, Soko has both bells: the one for the sangban starts on down-beat and finishes on the micro-pulse after the down-beat, but the dundunba bell start on the third micro-pules before the down-beat and finishes on the down-beat.

Soko is one of the very few rhythms I've come across where both those shuffles are played simultaneously
Every Soko I've ever learned has the same combination of basic bell parts (i.e a double on-beat bell with a swing bell) I'll have to wrack my brains to see if I can think of any others with the same combination.

I think it is a truism though, that you can have double on-beat + swing (which gives the iambic swing like in Soko) or double off-beat + swing (as in Mendiani or Dununbeng) but never double on-beat + double off-beat. I'm sure someone will provide a counter-example if one exists!

Jon
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By michi
#30198
djembeweaver wrote:
One observation though: at least with the way Mamady teaches, Soko has both bells: the one for the sangban starts on down-beat and finishes on the micro-pulse after the down-beat, but the dundunba bell start on the third micro-pules before the down-beat and finishes on the down-beat.
Soko is one of the very few rhythms I've come across where both those shuffles are played simultaneously
Any others? I can't think of any right now, but I expect that there might a few.
I think it is a truism though, that you can have double on-beat + swing (which gives the iambic swing like in Soko) or double off-beat + swing (as in Mendiani or Dununbeng) but never double on-beat + double off-beat. I'm sure someone will provide a counter-example if one exists!
I can't think of any rhythm that combines double on-beat and double off-beat either. That's not surprising, really. If the whole thing about the two distinct ternary rhythm families is right, combining those two bells is meaningless because they would send conflicting messages, one suggesting a smaller gap between the down-beat and the first micro-pulse, and the other suggesting a larger gap. It would work only if you played the rhythm perfectly straight, without any swing in either direction.

Michi.
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By Mikeleza
#30271
Hi all, happy new year! :dundun

I'm sure you would have talked about this before on another thread but I thought I'd share my recent investigations into these swing concepts.

In ternary rhythms there are FOUR main mathematical possibilities for different types of swing. Put in the simplest form I can manage;
* The first possibility is by delaying both offbeats slightly. (I relate this to Soko)
* The second possibility is that you delay the first but "tighten" (play earlier) the second offbeat (I relate this to Zimbabwean ternary rhythms)
*The third possibility is if you tighten both offbeats.
*The last main possibility is if you tighten the first and the delay the second off beat.

I would like to know the your thoughts on shuffle ternary rhythms and whether or not you think they fit more commonly into the 3rd or 4th category I've outlined above. I have noticed that between different players you will hear different kinds of inflections of this, sometimes you hear the kenkenney part of mendiani quite stretched as though the second offbeat is coming earlier but then the same player (in the same recording :P) might "tighten" the groove and delay the second offbeat giving that more classic blues shuffle feel.

It certainly is interesting! :idea:
These concepts have lead me to practice really new ideas, for example, it opens up all the doorways between rhythms for practice. For example to master samba swing I use ternary rhythms to help inflect the rhythm correctly. There are rhythms between ternary and binary that relate to each other in this mathematical approach. The 4/4 passport accompaniment being just like the (m. keita) soko accompaniment 1 is a perfect example of what I'm talking about...

Interestingly, in binary rhythms, there also seems to be FOUR main possibilities for swing, although one of them is something I've never heard in music. In saying that, I have heard some pretty way out stuff these days in the American R&B scene where they are messing with a lot of these kinds of ideas.

Happy drumming! :smokin:

Mike
By djembeweaver
#30335
Hi Mike.

As we've found in other threads even talking about these concepts is difficult because there is no established terminology that everyone understands.

The best system I have come across is that proposed by Rainer Pollak in his paper "Rhythmic Feel as Meter: Non-Isochronous Beat Subdivision in Jembe Music from Mali".

Basically Pollak analyses the echauffements of different djembe folas across different rhythms, then assigns a value to each of the spaces between pulse beats. The values are S (short), M (medium), L (long), and F (flexible).

Pollak does extensive analysis of Mendiani and concludes that the basic structure is SFL. Within that there are variations across different folas and even within the solos of the same folas. Two commonly played structures are SML and SLL (achieved by really squeezing the first two beats).

The other main ternary structure Pollak proposes is LFF, which is obviously characterised by a long first space (what we have been calling iambic in this thread). Again there are several possibilities within this basic structure.

Looked at like this there are more than even four possibilities for ternary, and more again for binary. Of course not all of them are used.

Pollak then goes on to look at how each of the ternary structures can be nested within a corresponding binary structure and this accounts for some of the more bizarre sounding rhtyhms that are half way between binary and ternary.

You should read the paper if you're into this sort of thing. It's easily available online.

Jon
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By Mikeleza
#30348
Thanks, this does answer my question.

People explain things in different ways, the paper you mention is a big more kind of abstract and therefore the possibilities seem endless.

What you said about Mendiani does answer my question because if the last spacing is always long, that means that the last offbeat before the down beat is played earlier. This means that Mendiani and probably a lot of dunumbas fit in to the my category system which has both off beats coming earlier.

I don't think I've ever heard a swing that has SLM or SLS as the feel. With my thinking, this doesn't happen because you don't find rhythms that have the sangban playing off beat bells and the dun playing the swing bell. It's a mind boggle to think why I come to that logic but I think it has something to do that with many rhythms the sangban is the lead (melody) and the dun an accompaniment.
By JSB
#34088
I see time as an elastic cloth. If You stretch it in a way, for example by bringing the first offbeat closer to the beat (Suku family), the second offbeat will also be anticipated, but more slightly.
If You stretch the first offbeat further from the beat (denba family), the second one will be delayed closer to the next beat.
tan - ti ta - tun ta - ti ta ... is the standard accompaniment for both families but should sound a bit differently, and the feeling should also be heard in the dunun. The devil is in details like this.

For the solo phrases, there's no unique grid: inside a single phrase, there can be different feelings.
By different feelings, I don't say that You change family, but the distinctive stretching may be more or less emphasized.
By djembeweaver
#34093
Mikeleza wrote:
What you said about Mendiani does answer my question because if the last spacing is always long, that means that the last offbeat before the down beat is played earlier. This means that Mendiani and probably a lot of dunumbas fit in to the my category system which has both off beats coming earlier.
- In my experience Mendiani always has a long final space, which is why we hear the first three notes group together perceptually so we hear 123 123 123 123. You can clearly hear that in the chaufs on this vid for example:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cukX4AsYMUk[/video]

I've never heard SLS or SLM either but I can imagine how it would sound (12 312 312 312)

Jon
User avatar
By korman
#37323
This is a very interesting thread! However, I find the names "iambic" and "shuffle" strange and even a bit misleading.
Name "iambic" does not comes from music, but poetic metre, and refers to line where unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable.
Name "shuffle" does come from music, where it refers to pairs of eight notes being played such that first is long and second - short.
So both of these terms relate to binary structures, implying that ternary is derived from from binary. "iambic" also implies stress, but accents and microtiming are two different aspects of music that can be analysed separately.

Until someone comes up with better names I think most precise are the abbreviations from Polak's works - SML, LFF etc.