Suomeksi | In English


In polymeter, two meters usually have a common initial accent (bar 1). If this is not the case, notation becomes imperceptible (bars 2 and 3).

When two meters share an accent, as in bars 4-5, notation is relatively readable. The readability is further advanced by choosing a time signature that allows writing both meters without tuplets (bars 6 and 7).

Popular music often contains rhythm structures with syncopated triplets, which resemble the polymetric asynchronism mentioned above. An example of this is Noro Morales' piece Maria Cervantes, performed by Tito Puente, among others. Part B of this melody contains both syncopated and other triplets. The four-note sequence marked with brackets creates jazz polymeter, sometimes referred to as horizontal polymeter, wherein with each repetition, the initial note of the sequence is located differently in the bar.

Exztended rhythms

Extending the rhythm implies writing music with slower time values and often with a different time signature.

Fast time values are written twice or three, four, six, or eight times slower to avoid, for example, tuplets or very fast time values.

Example 1 below shows the fifth bar from Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu with eight semiquavers against a quaver triplet. When practicing slowly, it may be difficult to synchronize other than the strong accents. When the rhythm structure is extended sixfold, semiquavers become dotted quavers. Triplets become semibreves. With the 6/8 time signature, the rhythm structures on top of each other are easily readable even if the tempo drops to a fraction of that given.