ISSN 2158-5296
Volume 6, No. 1 (2017)
Discovering Flamenco Metric Matrices through a Pulse-Level Analysis
Bernat Jiménez de Cisneros Puig (Independent Researcher)
Recent flamencology has made significant strides in demonstrating the sophisticated and rigorous musical language of flamenco, which is based on its own particular grammar and syntax. However, the analysis of such language, regulated by codes and guidelines that are not usually made explicit, requires an insider’s knowledge. This article first presents the results of combining a pulse-level analysis according to the model developed by Lerdahl and Jackendoff (1983) with explicit and implicit criteria from flamenco performers themselves. This mixed approach, systematically applied to each genre or palo, leads to a holistic classification of pulsed flamenco, arranged into five metric groups according to the presence of metrical tension. Then, in light of the metrical and syntactic homologies within these groups and between them, two metric matrices of flamenco are featured, both of which include hemiolic features that may support the idea of flamenco as being entirely Hispano-American. In offering a blended musical analysis as the guide to both the essential traits and the roots of flamenco (instead of overstating the relevance of non-musical items such as the name, the lyrics or the emotional character of each palo), this paper also aims to provide an alternative departure point in phylogenetic studies of flamenco.... more >>
Experimentations with Timelines in Afro-Bahian Jazz: A Strategy of Rhythm Complication
Juan Diego Diaz (University of Essex)
Timelines are well known temporal organizers in various types of African diasporic groove-based musics. But what happens when they are deliberately cut, rotated, or staggered? This article explores some compositional techniques used by Orkestra Rumpilezz, a big band from Bahia, Brazil, that combines jazz with Afro-Bahian carnival and sacred music and that bases its compositions on traditional and modified timelines. The paper offers metric interpretations of the orchestra’s timeline experimentations and relates them to their stated goal to “dignify and demonstrate the high level of rhythmic complexity of Afro-Bahian music.” The main demonstration is that the composer’s experimentations with timelines are a technique to increase rhythmic complexity and to elevate the status of Afro-Bahian music. Additionally, I propose a way to expand existing timeline models to account for more subtle and implicit relationships of timeline alignment found in Brazil. The main goal is to discover how the orchestra’s claimed rhythmic complexity is expressed through arrangement. This is achieved by combining music theory, analysis, and ethnographic work in Bahia.... more >>
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