The Complete Language of Music – Rhythm 3.

The next step to consider with Rhythm is the use of volume. By varying the volume of certain beats we can create Accents which give a second pulse to the music. The most common one of these is to accent the first beat of every bar. This gives the pulse that most people dance to. It also gives an audible reference point for various rhythms. If you take the rhythms below:-

The rhythms above all have a pair of beats joined together and 3 single beats so they are the same in that respect. However they appear in different parts of the bar. So if we play beat 1 slightly louder than all the others the rhythms sound different.

The next type of accents are found in driving rock music that has the steady beat playing all the time. To make this interesting we add accents to give the feeling of a second rhythm.

All rock, heavy rock, heavy metal and associated rock music start with the straight eight beat shown below:-

If you then take the other rhythms that you have learned and add them to this rhythm you get a multi-layered rhythm. By adding accents (beats that are played louder) you get this multi-layered rhythm. To get this rhythm I have taken the off-beat rhythm below:-

Then I added this rhythm to the straight eight rhythm as accents to get the final, multi-layered rhythm:-

If you then take another rhythm that you have learned and add it to the straight eight rhythm you get another multi-layered rhythm. To get this rhythm I have taken the off-beat rhythm below:-

Then I added this rhythm to the straight-eight rhythm as accents to get the final, multi-layered rhythm:-

Accents can be used in many forms of music and they add an extra layer of interest to the music and give it a very human feel to it. Therefore accents are a very useful tool when creating synthetic parts on a computer. Enjoy.

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