Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rhythmic Canon Project

For the next several entries, I'm going to work with rhythmic canons.

Because of the lack of pitch and harmony, rhythmic contrast takes on the utmost importance when it comes to keeping the parts distinct. This is more difficult when the variety of note lengths is limited.

That's exactly what my challenge will be. For another project in which I am currently engaged, I'm writing rhythmic studies for ear training classes to sight read. Since the level will need to progress from easy to difficult, these will necessarily have fairly strict limitations in rhythmic values.

My task is to make enough contrast within these limitations.

Simple canons are fairly easy to manage when working solely in rhythm. Minor complexities are added by the use of hocket (having one part play in the rests of the other in an interlocking manner). Other difficulties arise when working in mensuration canon or retrograde.

Today's canon #1 is a simple canon with no note values shorter than a beat. This was very simple to achieve by just being certain to make the parts contrast each other within a measure.

Canon #2 has some hocketing, mostly in the second half and features rhythmic values that divide the beat in half.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

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