View Full Version : Accent/ Rhythmic Displacement

06-30-2002, 03:13 AM
I am posting this simple exercise / demonstraton of accent displacement. I was trying to play fast sequences, a few years ago, and found my self doing this to make the lines less boring. It is a little tough at first. The idea is to take a phrase that is a duple pattern and execute as though it were a triple pattern, by either changing the accents or by actually changing the note type.
I also did the reverse, played a triple pattern with duple accents and as duple.

This opened my ears a bit to why certain phrasing sounded so different with the same notes.

06-30-2002, 03:16 AM
Here it is

06-30-2002, 03:43 AM
The next cool thing I remember learning was to shift the patterns in time. I remember how cool it was to start a pattern on the off beat. So here is an example of the sequence being shifted.

07-02-2002, 09:08 PM
Hi Szulc,

This is great stuff. I was quite surprised to see this as I thought I'm the only one who's doing such stuff :-) just kidding.

I think these are such important exercises. I actually got the idea through polyrhythms. But it's also a great way to get to feel polyrythms. So to me your first exercise is derived from 3 against 4.

For quite some time I've been thinking about writing an article about this........

Maybe we both should write some stuff and compare notes?


07-03-2002, 12:36 PM

I thought this was a good topic since the people who are trying to expand their improv would benefit from this way of thinking. I suffer from thinking guitarists disease.

The first part with accent displacement covers the basic idea so I am at a loss to write more since all patterns can be broken down in to duple and triple, the same goes for the second part sice it shows how to generate all possibilities of this tranform.

The last one can be endless depending on how you limit you note choices ( the rules of the line game). The rules I normally use:

When permutating the same number of notes as the universal set
(ie. 3 note groups of 3 notes)
No note can be used more than once per permutation.
(Each group MUST use All notes)

When permutating the more notes than the universal set
(ie. 4 note groups of 3 notes)
separate repeated notes ( ie. 1231 or 1213 not 1123 etc..)
Only 1 reptition allowed
(Each group MUST use All notes)

When permutating the less notes than the universal set
(ie. 3 note groups of 4 notes)
No note can be used more than once per permutation.

These rules keep the lines interesting and limit the possibilities to managable quantities ( for small universal sets).

Thanks for replying to this thread, it seems so few people reply to my threads.


07-03-2002, 04:51 PM
yeah, well I do think that this is a topic that isn't 'hip' enough for readers. I wouldn't know of any article that really uncovers this and shows its importance.

Furthermore, it's really rare that you hear great players talk about this stuff (although they all went through this, in some way or another).

Maybe if we would call it phrasing techniques or so it would be more attractive. But hey, iBreathe is here to uncover all those hidden secrets nobody ever talks about :D

Slowly an article (or more) about such stuff is taking shape in my mind, based on your posts. Thanks for that. I hope I'll be able to package this all.

Anyway, maybe I should explain my polyrhythm approach with an example based on the 4 note sequence. So we are accenting every 3rd note. The important thing is that someone extends this over the barlines to get the real feel for 3 against 4.

Here's a 2 bar example.

07-03-2002, 07:17 PM
My intent was that someone would continue this sequence ad infinitum.
Do you think I was not clear in conveying that?

07-03-2002, 09:37 PM
To me it was pretty clear as I went through this stuff. Maybe to someone else it becomes more obviouse when viewing a 2 bar example.


07-04-2002, 02:24 AM
A couple examples of polyrhythm
the second example is from an old 'Dokken' Song it seems 8 beats were commonly broken into two groups of three and one group of two in that era.

The Bash
07-04-2002, 09:29 AM
Very cool stuff there (maybe not cool in an impress your friends kind of senses, but Hey I donít have any! :)). But cool in a very useful musical sense.
So first great job!
Second Iíd personally love to see more of this kind of stuff.
And maybe you could pass that universal set thing by me again (I follow the basic concept, at least on paper, I think.
Example you can arrange the notes A-B-C total of 6 ways in a 3 note pattern (basically 3 ways and the other 3 are inverses of the original permutations).
Ok, so If I basically just repeated what you had initially said only wording it different then Iím good to go. If not I fell off the train somewhere.

07-04-2002, 12:56 PM
When permutating the same number of notes as the universal set
(ie. 3 note groups of 3 notes)
No note can be used more than once per permutation.
(Each group MUST use All notes)

I am trying to use concise mathematical terms to describe this.
Universal Set decsribes the Domain or all members of a given set, in the example case 3 ( in the case of a chromatic scale 12, or major scale 7, or pentatonic 5)

123, 231, 312
This is just note displacement shifting left by one note each time.

321, 132, 213
Are just reversing (retrograde) the order of the notes.

You get 3 x 2 x 1 (6) permutations.

Following the Rule above this is all the possible permutations of the set order (3)

If you use 4 notes as your US and take them in groups of 4, you will get 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 (24) permutations.

If you collect 2 of three objects:
you get 12, 23, 13 possible combinations, which then can be arranged (ordered) into 12, 21, 23, 32, 13, 31 (6) possible permutations.

If you collect 2 of 4 objects:
you get 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 34 combinations which can be arranged into (12) Permutations.

Enough of this ......

07-06-2002, 06:56 PM
I moved the rest of this to a new thread in Learn called " Mathematical Composition/Improv Ideas"
Since it really didn't belong here.

08-08-2002, 01:09 PM
Here is one Based on the A Aeolian-Harmonic Hybrid Scale.
This first one shows the duality of motives with multiples of 12 notes. Meaning since the common multiples are 2, 3 and 4, the idea can be played as duple or triple.

08-08-2002, 01:10 PM
This one shows the displaced versions of above.

08-09-2002, 03:16 AM
Hey! A topic I dig!

I believe this stuff is often referred to as "hemiola". At least the first few licks you guys posted could be categorized as such. Al Di Meola performs some cool licks of this nature near the end of "From The Ocean To The Clouds", from the Land of The Midnight Sun album.

08-09-2002, 04:18 AM
I am glad you like it and replied.
Maybe you can add some of your ideas.

12-21-2002, 02:41 AM
Since this topic has come up so much in the forum lately I decided to give it another chance at life and also since I promised to write an article about this I wanted to solicit ideas from the forum. So please comment, post examples etc... i need all the feedback I can get before I try to capture this into an article or several articles.

12-22-2002, 03:05 PM
Executing a phrase with the implicit meter but changing the accents to simulate a different meter.
Executing the same phrase as a different meter.
Shifting the phrase through the possibilities of starting note.
Ambiguous metered phrases.
Subdivisions of meter 8 = 3 3 2 etc...

THe following are not actually disscused here but alluded to.
Rubato slippery time interpretation.
Playing sextuplets but allowing the time to slide enough for them to become septuplets or quintuplets, with or without accent displacement.

So far these are the topics disscussed here.
Does anyone have anything to add to the mix?

01-04-2003, 04:32 PM
Now that my work load has calmed for a while I want to get started on this. Can those of you who are interested in this topic and the ensuing article post your ideas and comments so I can get started with this?

01-04-2003, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by szulc
[B]Executing a phrase with the implicit meter but changing the accents to simulate a different meter.
Executing the same phrase as a different meter.
Shifting the phrase through the possibilities of starting note.
Anbiguous metered phrases.
Subdivisions of meter 8 = 3 3 2 etc...
To me this sounds pretty much complete. The only other thing that comes to mind are actual polyrythms but that is probably going too far.

Looking forward to this one.


01-04-2003, 09:02 PM
I don't really see how to discuss this without bringing up polyrhythm, since it is so closely related.

01-04-2003, 09:16 PM
yeah, I agree.

01-11-2003, 04:00 PM
Ok, I have submitted this article and Guni is putting his finishing touches on it. It should be up some time this week.
I have changed the title to "Meter, Phrase Displacement, Accent Displacement, Polyrhythm".
I hope it is well received.

01-12-2003, 03:58 AM
Great article szulc,this is gonna help me alot! For someone like me who is trying to learn all of this for the first time I think it makes alot of sense and you did a great job explaining this.

Just wanted to say thanks !

Chim :)

01-12-2003, 05:00 PM
Thanks and don't forget to vote!

01-12-2003, 05:07 PM
I agree. Nice article and good work explaining concepts which are often difficult to explain concisely (or clearly).