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Music: 04 Rhythmic Innovations

Adventures in Music

Dave Brubeck
(Cover by Artzybasheff)

One of the things about “bad” music that drives me up the wall is unimaginative rhythm… boom, boom, boom… everything on the same beat… sequencers repeating the same simple patterns over and over again with no variation. It’s downright inhuman. That said, most popular music from the past 100 years or so seems to invariably fall into standard 4/4 time. The interest is created by the way the musicians work around that familiar beat.

But some musicians go further… In rock music, Frank Zappa experimented with all kinds of time signatures and musical forms. In Jazz, the innovator of this unique concept was Dave Brubeck. Brubeck’s album “Time Out” had music in a variety of time signatures, none of them typical. It’s probably his most famous album- odds are you already have it.

Dave Brubeck Quartet (with Paul Desmond) live in Belgium 1964

Animators can fall into rhythmic ruts too. It’s hard to create a spontaneous and textured performance by plugging together the same old formulas over and over. Some of the most original animators, like Jim Tyer, never approached the same action or pose the same way twice in their entire career. For them, forcing themselves to do something they had already done before was impossible.

If you love jazz as much as I do, get over to Amazon and get a pile of the Naxos Jazz Icons DVDs. They’re incredible.

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources

Adventures in MusicAdventures in Music

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Adventures in Music.

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