chapter  16
10 Pages

Fundamentals of rhythm

WithRick Snoman

Music and rhythm find their way into secret places of the soul. Rhythm is the central focus of most genres of music but is particularly important in electronic dance music. This chapter examines the theory of tempo and time signature. It explores the various techniques that electronic music producers employ to create music that grooves. Electronic dance music is based around a series of repeating rhythmical structures. While the various techniques aid in maintaining interest, to prolong repeated listening, they are combined with further techniques such as polymeter, syncopation, and swing. Of these techniques, polymeter is perhaps the most evident and striking. It involves one or more simultaneous conflicting rhythms extending beyond a bar. This results in a rhythmical movement in and out of synchronization between different instrument channels. The use of swing in electronic dance music is of vital importance and can be traced back to the early drum machines such as the Emu SP1200 and Akai MPC 60.