17 sept. 2011

Por bulerías

The basic 12 part count of Flamenco rhythm:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

See here for more details.

What's interesting here is that rhythms divided into 6 (or 12) beats are divisible by both 2 and 3, so they lend themselves to polyrhythms. Notice the way the accent on the third beat throws the whole compás into asymmetry. Otherwise all the beats would be on the even-numbered offbeats.

Compare the afro-cuban bell pattern in 6/8 time:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 .

Something similar happens there. One, three, and five are accented in the first part of the pattern, then the last note of that first part fall on 6, then 2, 4, and 6 in the second half. Both are twelve-beat cycles, so counting them as two groups of six or one of twelve is six of one thing and half dozen of the other.