Daniel Laberge

Rhythm exercise 4-1

The master figure of the division by four

Featured figure
Name Symbol Duration

Four sixteenth notes



¼ of a beat,
¼ of a beat,
¼ of a beat,
¼ of a beat 

 

Graphic
representation

 

Division by four is an evolution of binary rhythm.
It has appeared during the last millennium.
For a long time, the master figure, containing all the elements, was the only one used.
The other possibilities, derived from it, have appeared one by one.

Division
by
four

 

 

The
rhythmical
weights

The new notes, those introduced by the division by four, have a lesser rhythmical weight than the old ones.
This is normal since they are placed on the ¼ and ¾ of the beat.

This grid combines with the two we've already seen:


The result is this suite of sixteen values that repeats for each bar.

Approximative grid of rhythmical weights

 

 

Sixteen combinations or rhythmic possibilities can be achieved using the division by four.
However, they were not all used before 1975-85.
A sudden evolution occurred during this period and the population of the whole world started feeling the rhythm like never before.
Previously,
music based on the division by four only contained twelve figures, at least in popular culture.
This revolution has permitted some kind of parity of the sixteen figures.

The end
of the
70s

 

 

How to
perform
the
division
by
four

A: Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, aloud, making sure you space the numbers equally, be curt and precise.

B: Beat your foot on number 1 only.

C: Say Ta, Ta, Ta, Ta, instead of 1, 2, 3, 4.

 

Press the "Play" button on any of the three players below to hear this exercise performed:
•Slowly
At medium speed
•Fast

Audio
renditions


Stereo field

Stereo disposition

Tempo 70 bpm  
Tempo 90 bpm  
Tempo 110 bpm  

Count 1, 2, 3, 4, before you start

 

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Try this exercise in double swing feel
Daniel Laberge

 

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