Magazine article American Music Teacher

The Musician's Guide to Rhythm

Magazine article American Music Teacher

The Musician's Guide to Rhythm

Article excerpt

The Musician's Guide to Rhythm, by Julian Gerstin and Ken Dalluge. Julian Gerstin and Ken Dalluge, 2014. www.musiciansguidetorhythm.com; 508 pp., $52.00.

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Gerstin and Dalluge wrote The Musician's Guide to Rhythm to fill what they perceive to be a void in traditional musical curricula--a detailed study and analysis of rhythm and meter, with specific applications on how rhythmic comprehension informs performance, arranging and composition. While the title and the book's introduction both state it is intended for all musicians, the contents are highly specific and are most relevant to drummers, all jazz and pop musicians, world music enthusiasts and ethnomusicologists. Composers and arrangers would also benefit from the wealth of rhythmic insight and its potential impact on their work.

Both authors have a wide range of experiences in world music, ethnomusicology and various styles of drumming, drawing upon decades of performing, teaching and studying around the world. The book is organized into 22 chapters covering everything from notation and polyrhythms to rhythmic transposition, as well as ideas on how to apply these concepts to skills like composing, arranging and improvising. Each chapter concludes with challenging exercises designed to demonstrate and develop the presented skills.

Most of the discussions and examples are drawn from styles, examples and rhythmic issues that are not pertinent to performers of Western, European-style music and would have little relevance to musicians whose sole focus is on literature rooted in these traditions. …

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