Is Rhythm Elastic.

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I had this discussion with a Mandolin player who is adamant that Rhythm is completely structural and cannot " Stretch " like Pizza Cheese! I disagreed of course. Wondering if there is a Musical Word in the Italian Language that speaks of Elasticity. Like "Arpeggio" for instance.. "Del Stretchio" maybe. Well i should have done the Googles first but it's fun to hear what you guys think. Here's one ! "Accompagnato" to follow the singer who may speed up or slow down.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Wondering if there is a Musical Word in the Italian Language that speaks of Elasticity. ... Here's one ! "Accompagnato" to follow the singer who may speed up or slow down.
Here's another:

Tempo rubato. Tempo rubato [ˈtɛmpo ruˈbaːto] (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Of course. Even with a click, you can play behind the click, in front of it or dead on. You can drift behind the click and then drift back, it adds interest and feel.
 

MustangMick

Senior Member
Yes they can be.

A lot of authentic Latin rhythms are not strictly metronomic time wise. Patterns such as the Cascara rush and drag within their 2 bar phrase.
If you programme the strict notation into a drum machine it just sounds wrong.

Mick
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I am human...I am superior to the machine, and always will be. I have the authority to tell the machine to "stuff it" if I "feel" like it. The machine is a tool. I USE the machine-the machine does not use ME. My timing will be as elastic or as ridgid as I want it to be, or make it to be in the moment.

As composer, as conductor, as songwriter, I determine meter-from note to note if I deem it so. As a drummer-within the context of the people I am percorming with WE determine the rules of engagement with the machine. But the machine will never set the rules of engagement with us.

And it was so...

Lol
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I had this discussion with a Mandolin player who is adamant that Rhythm is completely structural and cannot " Stretch " like Pizza Cheese! I disagreed of course. Wondering if there is a Musical Word in the Italian Language that speaks of Elasticity. Like "Arpeggio" for instance.. "Del Stretchio" maybe. Well i should have done the Googles first but it's fun to hear what you guys think. Here's one ! "Accompagnato" to follow the singer who may speed up or slow down.
Well, there are structural tempo changes. Both, metrically specified and left to the performers discretion. It isn't peculiar to traditional Chinese music, but many of the metric forms have sections of different meter as well as sections of free meter, parts of the melody are expected to change tempo in certain pieces and the drummer who is actually also the conductor is expected to accent these metric changes. These forms are used across melodies and are actually a more general structural element. Unfortunately these things are passed on performer to performer and there aren't resources for learning these other than listening to performances. These metric forms are almost like rudiments in western percussion.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Well, there are structural tempo changes. Both, metrically specified and left to the performers discretion. It isn't peculiar to traditional Chinese music, but many of the metric forms have sections of different meter as well as sections of free meter, parts of the melody are expected to change tempo in certain pieces and the drummer who is actually also the conductor is expected to accent these metric changes. These forms are used across melodies and are actually a more general structural element. Unfortunately these things are passed on performer to performer and there aren't resources for learning these other than listening to performances. These metric forms are almost like rudiments in western percussion.
Here is an example on western instruments of "General' Order", the drumset drummer is pretty weak compared to the traditional, but you get the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opWPl5Np6NI
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Rhythm...actually time....can be as elastic as the player wants it to be.

In my world there is no elasticity, except when I lose focus for a split second lol. My opinion is elasticity is a quality of higher forms of music. Like top 40, if there is still such a thing, it's all click. I'd say there's little to no elasticity in pop music.

The best example of elasticity in music among all the choices IMO, is the lone piano player. Lone piano players can employ elasticity to great effect.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
If it isn't elastic than Kansas would be one band that did it all wrong. Unless that's not the type of elasticity we're talking about.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The best example of elasticity in music among all the choices IMO, is the lone piano player. Lone piano players can employ elasticity to great effect.
I use a lot of tempo rubato when I do solo acoustic guitar expositions. I slow down to convey an air of solemnity, and speed up certain parts to bring life and end energy to the phrase.

There's also compositional tempo changes. A good illustration would be "The Little Engine That Could", which has the phrase "I think I can" in repetition at a gradually increasing tempo to convey the engine's increasing velocity.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Playing with a big band you learn all about "elasticity" in the time feel. Both intended and not intended.
 
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picodon

Silver Member
I had this discussion with a Mandolin player who is adamant that Rhythm is completely structural and cannot " Stretch " like Pizza Cheese! I disagreed of course. Wondering if there is a Musical Word in the Italian Language that speaks of Elasticity. Like "Arpeggio" for instance.. "Del Stretchio" maybe. Well i should have done the Googles first but it's fun to hear what you guys think. Here's one ! "Accompagnato" to follow the singer who may speed up or slow down.
Lots of Italian words for tempo changes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempo#Terms_for_change_in_tempo

Tempo has been elastic for millennia. (I think. I wasn't there.) It's been rigid only since half a century or so. It might well be a temporary craze.

Whatever it is, if it's intentional it's OK.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
In my world there is no elasticity, except when I lose focus for a split second lol. My opinion is elasticity is a quality of higher forms of music. Like top 40, if there is still such a thing, it's all click. I'd say there's little to no elasticity in pop music.
Then again, the old hits pushed and pulled plenty and were usually much better music on almost all levels than the ugly, dumb, heartless, one-dimensional overcompressed artificial music-like products that large companies produce today.
 
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