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LESSON XXVI
Rhythm (Resumed from Lesson VII)
Rhythm, or diversity of time-value, is perhaps the most vitalizing element of modern music. Derived, as it is, from the movements of the body in marching and dancing, it has latterly reached such a point of com­plexity as to present a wide field for separate study and research.
It will here be advisable to confine our attention to some of its more obvious features.
In connection with melody, we have hitherto dealt with uniform rhythm—one note .to a beat. This is varied by groupings of twos and threes, which by multiplication become fours, sixes, nines, twelves, etc. Other groupings, though used occasionally by modern composers, need not be considered here.
It is always assumed that the first beat of a group is the 'accent.' Care must be taken, however, to distinguish this from stress. The normally accented beat is simply primus inter pares. It holds the importance inherent in the fact that it commences a group. Exaggeration and emphasis should be carefully avoided by the cultured performer.
Diversified rhythm is produced when the normal beats are divided or added. Astonishing variety can be obtained by merely taking the next larger and smaller values in this connection. Anything further should be regarded as exceptional. For instance, supposing the time is duple, we can obtain the following developments:
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III