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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
wouter79 #2595970 12/18/16 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
Is 4 against 3 "complex polyrhythm"? I thought you were referring to 5 against 6 against 7 or so eek


I certainly think it is, at least in teaching the neophyte who has never encountered it before.

If I can get a student to master 3 against 4, then the more exotic combinations are much much less of a problem.

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2595987 12/18/16 10:20 PM
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Complex can depend on the circumstance. Playing 3 against 2 is complex if you have to do it in the same hand.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
BDB #2595996 12/18/16 10:36 PM
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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
BDB #2596112 12/19/16 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Complex can depend on the circumstance. Playing 3 against 2 is complex if you have to do it in the same hand.

Lera Aurbach, Prelude in f minor: quarters, eights, and triplet eights in the right hand at the same time, for four measures. At least the left hand voices the melody.

Seems impossible at first, but once it "clicks" in one's head, it's not so bad. Oh, and all a semitone apart, too, making my ears swoon with pleasure. smile

Back in college, we would practice our scales 7v6, 5v7, 4v7, just because we can. All you need to do is calculate where the hands eventually play together and go for it. Seems like such a waste of time now though, but hey, we were young.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
SonatainfSharp #2596359 12/20/16 01:45 AM
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I was thinking of one of the Brahms Cello Sonatas. I think it is the first one.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596373 12/20/16 02:32 AM
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Polyrhythms are even more fun when there are rests inserted in both figures.

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596377 12/20/16 02:48 AM
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I too was assigned to learn Fantaisie-Impromptu in university and felt like a failure because I never mastered the rhythms and it was assigned to me as an easier piece.

A year or two later I was playing something else with the 3 vs. 4 polyrhythm, and had no problem with it. I'd like to think that all that time struggling to play it helped for future use. In my current rep, I'm able to let the left hand play go on autopilot for the 4 sixteenths while hearing the melody in triplets. Being able to hear the melody in triplets allows me to play that part in time.

Even now I think there is something funny with my 2 vs. 3 polyrhythm because the duple always messes with my melodic shaping.

Hope I never have to play polyrhythms with rests!


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596463 12/20/16 10:58 AM
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I just realized that no one has mentioned Barber's 3rd Excursion yet.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
SonatainfSharp #2596511 12/20/16 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I just realized that no one has mentioned Barber's 3rd Excursion yet.


Not to mention Godowsky's 45th transcription study based on the Chopin's A flat major posthumous etude. It definitely teaches you that one of the most successful ways to handle polyrhythms in tonal compositions is to pay attention to the counterpoint control of consonance and dissonance.

Last edited by anamnesis; 12/20/16 01:37 PM.
Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596517 12/20/16 01:52 PM
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Other than Scriabin, are there any other composers pre-1950 who regularly use in their piano music polyrhythms more complicated than 4 vs.3 ?

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596521 12/20/16 01:57 PM
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Other than Scriabin, are there any other composers pre-1950 who regularly use in their piano music polyrhythms more complicated than 4 vs.3 ?

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
pianoloverus #2596538 12/20/16 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Other than Scriabin, are there any other composers pre-1950 who regularly use in their piano music polyrhythms more complicated than 4 vs.3 ?


All the major ones from Beethoven on. Bach writes a 2 vs.3, but the practice of the time required that you play the 2 as a dog-legged triplet so I'm pretty sure that doesn't count.

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596547 12/20/16 03:10 PM
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Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
SonatainfSharp #2596550 12/20/16 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.

That's right - even an early piece like Op.9/1 has 11:6 in bar 2.......


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
SonatainfSharp #2596557 12/20/16 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.
Yes, I wouldn't call those fiorituras polyrhythms because I don't think they're usually played or meant to be played with perfect rhythm.

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
SonatainfSharp #2596564 12/20/16 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.


I disagree. Many examples from his output, in particular the ballades and nocturnes come to mind, are not fioritura but are written out as exact polyrhythms to be played as written.

Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
laguna_greg #2596597 12/20/16 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.


I disagree. Many examples from his output, in particular the ballades and nocturnes come to mind, are not fioritura but are written out as exact polyrhythms to be played as written.

Sure, but I sure hope you don't play them mathmatically perfect against each other...that would be anti-Romantic period.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
laguna_greg #2596629 12/20/16 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Chopin uses complex polyrhythms all the time, but they are intended to be ornamentation and flourishes, so maybe people don't think of them as polyrhythms.


I disagree. Many examples from his output, in particular the ballades and nocturnes come to mind, are not fioritura but are written out as exact polyrhythms to be played as written.

That would certainly be the exception rather than the rule, unless you are taking into account very simple types of polyrhythms.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596655 12/20/16 07:05 PM
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Charles Griffes's Roman Sketches has a bunch of complex polyrhythms. I dusted off Nightfall about a year ago. It has a couple of 7:5 and 7:6 sections, but nothing more than a measure at a time. They go by quickly and you can just sort of plow through them.

My teacher at the time told me to learn each hand separately and completely. Then "just play them together." Oh, okay.

I think most people will focus on one rhythm to the detriment of the other. The trick is to "check in" with the other part often enough that it will still sound steady enough to be a recognizable grouping.


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Re: Complex Polyrhythm: How Detrimental is Failing to Master It?
StartwithBach #2596656 12/20/16 07:07 PM
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The more difficult complex polyrhythms are the ones in which the two figures in question have less similar numbers of notes. For example, an 11 against 10 polyrhythm would be much easier than a 7 against 10.


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Polyphonist
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