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King Crimson (or prog in general) and Polyrhythms

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matt Till, Apr 30, 2006.


  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I am a musical dunce in many respects, but in my very basic math class, we've been asked to do presentations regarding math, I chose the musical connection. I want to discuss briefly polyrhythms. I listen to King Crimson, and hear polyrhythmic activity, but I can't break it down.

    Can anyone break down a couple notorious sections of King Crimson's (somewhat simple) polyrhythmic work. I want to be able to say, "The drums are in (insert time here) the bass is in (blank) and the guitar is in (blank)." And be able to count the parts for the people.

    Something not overly complex, and perhaps repetitive would be a plus. It doesn't have to be King Crimson really, hell, it could even be Tool since they are a popular example of a polyrhythmic band.
     
  2. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    We're gonna go with King Crimson, because I know how much you love Tool! I seem to be fading away from them too.

    So listen to "Thela Hun Ginjeet." Notice how the guitar in the intro (is that Rob or Adrian?) is playing in a fast 7/4. The drums, bass, and vocals are in 4/4. Providing they're the same tempo, the would meet up every 7x4 (28) notes. Every 7 measures of 4 would be in synch with every 4 measures of 7. Get it?

    I'll find some more polyrhythm examples too.

    EDIT: And what the hell is wrong with me, check out the intro of "You Enjoy Myself" by Phish. I can send it to you if you need it, just AIM me. Each of the 4 instruments are in a different time signature. I'm going to my bass lesson tomorrow; i'll have him give me each signature of each instrument.
     
  3. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Check this out too. I cut it out for you in Audacity. :)

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/bbhgay

    Don't ask me why the word gay is in there, I have nothing to do with it.

    So everything but the keyboards is in relatively slow 6/4. The keyboard is in fast 4/4. Get it?
     
  4. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    Guitar intro on Thela is Adrian btw.
    Now-anyone know what it's about?
     
  5. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    The song?

    Thela Hun Ginjeet means "Heat of the Jungle" hence when Adrian goes "Heat of the jungle streets." The recordings are from Robert Fripp getting mugged on the way to the studio IIRC.
     
  6. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    Well, the "heat of the jungle" part is right. According to Tony Levin, KC were in London recording around the time John Lennon was killed. Adrian was out for a walk recording some lyric ideas about "violence in the streets" when a few thugs mistook him for a cop. While he's trying to convince them he's just a musician, a few REAL cops show up.
    The voice in the background is Adrian talking about it.
     
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Thanks for the info Petary, Thela was the examples I was thinking of I knew the rhythm section was keeping it 4/4 so I knew that would be a good example, I just didn't know the specifics of the guitar. I'll check out that Phish song
     
  8. Listen to Arabic music. The percussion and melody instruments are almost always creating polyrhythms.
     
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    But I suck at counting polyrhythms, care to break down any arabic music?
     
  10. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    No problem. Did you check out the Dream Theater song too?
     
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Oh, I thought that was you uploading that Phish song... I'll check that out, sounds like it will be a pretty basic example. I can't play it now, my girlfriend is still sleeping.
     
  12. jeff_bass28

    jeff_bass28 Guest

    Mar 21, 2006
    So? ;)
     
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Some pretty nutty stuff, I don't really like the robotic feel of Dream Theater, but it's impressive none the less. I might use that example, it's pretty tight.
     
  14. Listen to the climaxs in any live version of any Umphrey's McGee song. There are so influenced by King Crimson and that kind of polyrhythm and poly-harmony kind of music can be found and broken down easier in UM's style.
     
  15. Not that this really helps you, but my band does some polyrhythmic stuff. We have a song with a break where I play in a moderately fast 4 and the guitar plays in three, the drums in six. We meet up every twelve notes. It's pretty cool if you ask me...
    Oh and the guitar and drums are in time with each other because 3 and 6 are monorhythmical (is that a word?) together, yet the parts separated are felt in 3 and 6 respectively.
    King Crimson has some of the best examples of this kind of stuff, as well as Tool, DT, and I'm pretty sure Deftones do some polyrhythmic stuff.
    Good Luck.
    -Alex
     

  16. In most Arabic folk music a string instrument plays a melody in 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8, most. While this is happening , percussion is beating along at double time what the tempo of the melody is, sometimes half time. Sometimes you'll have other instruments contributing tidbits in a totally off time sig, to create a droning or off balance affect.

    Not a great explanation but I'm still in high school music classes so give me a break. :D

    I believe Zappa's Waka/Jawaka album inlcludes some heavy poly stuff in the two extended works Big Swifty and the title track.
     
  17. Jontom

    Jontom

    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    On the Zappa tip... Check out Terry Bozzio(drums). He often creates polys within his drum parts(a figure for hi-hat, one for snare, and one for bass drum). Sweet!
     
  18. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    One of my favorite polyrhythmic drumming parts is from The Sound of Muzak by Porcupine Tree. The intro is in 7/4, Gavin plays quarters on the hihats and a kick/snare pattern in 7/16 underneath it. This gives it 4 perfectly spaced snare hits per 7 hihat hits - a pretty sweet application that doesn't sound forced at all.

    Some other favorites:

    Tool - Lateralus. The bridge is overlaid 3, 4 and 5.

    Squarepusher - My Sound. Reminds me of '80s Krim

    Bill Bruford continues the tradition with Earthworks as well - really fun acoustic jazz!
     

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