Show off your theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. Please comment to post your reply.
This week’s challenge:
In this music, what rhythmic device is being used in the measure with the red brackets?
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ANSWER for 5/31/21
This is a HEMIOLA, a cross-rhythm that creates the effect of changing meter. The first three measures have a conventional 6/8 feel (two accents, on 1 and on 4). But in the fourth measure, we have three accents (on 1, 3, and 5). This makes the measure feel like 3/4, even though the time signature remains unchanged.
For a more modern example, check out “America” from Leonard Bernstein’s Westside Story. He constantly shifts back and forth between the 6/8 and 3/4 feel.
Make your rhythm skills ironclad with a whole series of lessons in the Rhythm Module! Sign up for a monthly subscription for full access to all video lessons, worksheets, and answer keys. Also, this year I’ll be adding new lessons on modes. I created Breaking Barlines with one thing in mind: making music theory effective and FUN!
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