Rhythm to go

A manual of rhythm for music students and professional musicians and a concert piece for any number of musicians

John Palmer

Fourth Edition, 2017
© 2013-17
ISMN: 979-0-9002315-3-6


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As a manual of rhythm, Rhythm to go is now an expanded concise course including 399 rhythm exercises of a modular and extendable nature. The book is designed for ear-training programmes at music colleges, conservatoires, universities and for all those musicians who wish to improve their rhythmic skills. It comprises four chapters covering the course-work of four semesters. They are divided into 10 levels, each level being divided into seven exercises, one a day! By practising each exercise 10 to 15 minutes a day, within a few weeks your control of beat and rhythm will improve dramatically! All the exercises can be used for both home and class-work, including dictation, sight-reading and examinations. They are deliberately short, and due to their modular nature may be joined together in longer segments. Each bar may also be repeated as an independent rhythmic pattern. New musical elements are always indicated by a rectangular box. The book includes 1- and 2-part exercises. Levels 1 to 5 consist of one rhythm. A major feature of Rhythm to go is training how to feel and keep a regular beat while speaking a rhythm.

The coaching of pulse precision is considered to be as important as accomplishing a precise execution of rhythm. All the exercises have been designed in such a way and the students are strongly encouraged to conduct themselves while speaking the rhythms. Levels 6 to 10 include two rhythms to be played simultaneously. The exercises may be also be executed by two or more students in order to foster precision and coordination within a group since the early stages of the course. One of the strengths of Rhythm to go is that the exercises have been designed to allow a creative approach to the teaching material and the learning process. For example, all the exercises may be played on an instrument. This practice will promote a stronger awareness of rhythmic structure as an essential component of a musical piece. Another feature of Rhythm to go is training polyrhythmic awareness, that is the ability to speak or play one rhythm and listen to other rhythms simultaneously by superimposing two or more exercises. More creative applications can be found in the book description. The book is available from CE Books. This fourth edition includes improvements of graphics and notation throughout the book, the inclusion of a chart of comparing rhythmic notation (page ix) and a substantial extension of Chapter 5 including nine newly designed sets of exercises for contemporary music (5.9 to 5.17) based on rhythmic and metric models used by major composers of the 20th century such as Babbitt, Barrett, Bartók, Bartolozzi, Birtwistle, Blacher, Boulez, Cage, Carter, Copland, Feldman, Ferneyhough, Hallfter, Harvey, Ives, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Maderna, Maxwell-Davies, Messiaen, Ravel, Stockhausen, Stravinsky and Varése. Two new sets of exercises (5.10 and 5.11) have been specifically designed for serial rhythms, while two other sets (5.14 and 5.15) deal with irregular subdivisions. Finally, two more sets of exercises (5.16 and 5.17) include irregular rhythms over bar lines. Another major improvement of this fourth edition is the availability of selected audio files of the exercises of chapters 1 to 4. The soundfiles are available from the publisher, downloadable from the website and can be used as dictations for both classwork and homework as well as for personal study. For further information please contact info@visionedition.com. As a concert piece, Rhythm to go may also be performed by any number of musicians and instruments.

Italian Edition