Bell/clave patterns and other circles

Not to distract from the ongoing ethnomathematics thread, but thought I’d start a thread of readings on bell/clave patterns, starting with this one:

I made a clave collection in zotero for this, within the ‘music’ collection:
Zotero | Your personal research assistant

I think I remember Kofi Agawu arguing that African timelines aren’t circles… Will dig that up.


Ooh, interesting. I’d be really keen to unpack the whole claim that West African rhythmic ideas are based on circular time vs. European classical music based on linear time… this feels like a huge oversimplification, and even does some damage by trying to place West African music as other to European Music traditions…

Just to start with… the idea that “European Music = Linear Time” is already a pretty strange claim. There is circularity all over the place - in the repetition of motifs, of sections, theme and variations… just to name a few standard composition techniques from the European toolbox.


some interesting perspective here…
‘[16] Observe that all three rhythms share the same set type, number of attack points and prime form on the superficial level, but different perception of their rotations within the prime form and RTP orientations, on a deeper ethnic level. This simply implies that the Yoruba, the Ewe, and the Bemba listening to a performance of the same rhythm would each perceive it in a different way. The schematic analysis then gives us an opportunity to bring to the fore both the physical and psychological properties of set rhythms.

as a drummer, it feels like a lot of talking just playing the drums :slight_smile:
here’s some bongos from this weeks disquiet junto project (if you want to participate, please do, and put something over this track next week)

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