Milonga Syncopation

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by AndaBien, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Because you don't have to count.

    I teach rhythm using these vowels and it's something very young children and adults without music background can learn in just a couple of repetitions. Musically it has value since it is inherently musical. In contrast, saying numbers isn't since there is numerical meaning behind the numbers.
     
  2. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Also, the clave rhythm that is sometimes used is:
    TA-te-ti, TA-te-ti, TA-te-dum TA, TA.
     
  3. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    As opposed to:
    1 (2) & (3) 4 (5) 6, 7 (8).
     
  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    is not relatable to

    I'm familiar with the system, in a slightly different form: we used to say ta fa te fi. But I don't see anything inherently musical in it, nor do I see a ready system to anchor stress patterns related to particular beats in a recurring pattern - a job numbers can do very well.
     
  5. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    They are the same if you read "ta-te-ti" as triplets (taking one beat.)

    It's inherently musical because of it's percussiveness. "Ta fa te fi" is too soft sounded, and "ba pa be pe" is too difficult to say quickly because of the curled inward lips slow it down.

    Numbers do help keep the place in the measure, however, since music in not heard intellectually in measures, it's best to opt for something more simple.
     
  6. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    There are no triplets in the clave.
     
  7. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    It's implied by the rhythmic subdivision. It's also simply easier to teach the rhythm like this since even beginners can say/play the clave rhythm correctly and evenly, as it can be excruciatingly hard to learn using numbers since they tend to try to stress the whole numbers.
     
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    But certain whole numbers probably are stressed. That's how music works. If you watch the syncopation video mentioned earlier, you seen that people perceive a metronome beat to have stressed beats even when they are not there.
     
  9. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    The clave adds a polyrhythmic dimension to the music, either as the principal rhythm or as a secondary rhythm. But either way, the easiest way to play/step to the clave is to hear it as a separate part, where the first three beats are heard as Ta Ta Ta, instead of 1 (2) & (3) 4. If using numbers, there is a tendency to miss the & of 2. By using triplets, the subdivision is still aligned with the 4/4 timing.
     
  10. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    This post has nothing to do with tango, but since one of our moderators enjoys swing so much (Steve Pastor, of course) I thought I'd pass this along...

    Dave Brubeck died yesterday, at 92. He was a jazz great; an innovator and creative genius in the genre. "Take 5" was his signature piece; revolutionary in it's day. It isn't a true "swing" bit of music in terms of dance-ability (extended drum solo a bit much...), but it does swing most of the time. It's in 5/4 time, rare and unique. And a play on the title. Notice the drummer hitting the symbol at the start of the clip and you will see perfect swing being tapped out.

    The forum software keeps giving me an error when I try to embed the link - don't know why - here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&v=SVGotpIxkGU
     
  11. Mladenac

    Mladenac Active Member

    @TM
    you got wrong link link format. ;)

    Here is the proper one :cool:
     
  12. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Member

    I do not know WHY but it is easier to me just make sounds for rhythms. I have a feeling of that the counting is produced in other part of brain than the sounding of the same rhythm; counting feels like a separate skill you need to learn and when it is properly learned you are producing it as if it was a natural process.

    Today I can count beats in my head when sitting, but I can not yet count the rhythm when walking. And deffinetly not aloud! I am a slow learner.....

    Counting is not needed for dancing, but it is sometimes needed for learning and communication purposes. But for me and many others a Suzuki collection of rhythms for tango dancers would be the most wonderful alternative! Thanks LKSO! Tangmonkey some more suggestions?
     
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Different people learn in different ways, and they understand instructions in different ways. For the best teaching it's useful to use a variety of methods. Some people will understand counting, others will be confused by it. Some will understand musical rhythm methods, others just plain sounds. Some people will be better off with telling them which foot to use, or which movement to do.
     
  14. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member


    This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought. In fact, we are pretty much the same across the board. The difference, however, is the amount of background knowledge and skill between people which makes it seem like we learn differently, some faster and some slower.

    I'm quite a good musician, but I'm a terrible counter of rhythm. Somehow, I lose track of the numbers and worry about which number is next. But if I use syllables such as "Ta" or something, it's so much easier because I'm not counting in terms of numbers; I'm not counting at all. If you forced me to count, I'd be dreadfully slow.

    Many of the musicians I know don't count and will almost always use some syllable to express the rhythm, the sound of the rhythm often expressing the character of the music. This is how we hear it, not through a number system. This is also how most people hear it as well.

    For a person to be able to count well requires a lot of practice to memorize the many possible sequences. But in the end, saying "one and uh two and uh three e and uh four" isn't as musically satisfying as saying " Ta - tepe Ta -tepe tapa-tepe ta".
     
  15. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    I think of counting as a spectrum. The need, and how to do it, depends on a person's prior experience and training. The syllables/sounds used are immaterial - use whatever works; whatever gets the rhythm embedded in your inner ear, and feet.

    The habanera rhythms are relatively simple. Once learned, once they are in your head and can be tapped out or vocalized, there isn't a need to count them - just listen and dance. When I play them I don't count. I hear the notes (the actual pitches) in my head, with the inflections - the amount of stress I intend each note to have, and the shape, ie getting louder or softer. It's different, even for experienced musicians and dancers (I assume), when learning something new or practicing. Counting and using a metronome to ensure a steady beat is standard practice for musicians.

    LadyLeader, try using the Suzuki sounds I mentioned before: ta-ka-ta-ka ti-ti (1-e-and-ah 2-and) for the habanera rhythms. Beat 1 is ta-ka-ta-ka, beat 2 is ti-ti. Make the divisions equal in length (into 4 on beat 1, and 2 on beat 2). Walk forward on beat 1 and say ta-ka-ta-ka and forward again on beat 2, saying ti-ti. Say the syllables out loud as you walk. Repeat the steps and keep the beat (your steps) steady. Once you're comfortable splitting the beat into 4 and 2 try stepping in double time, on the tas, then on the ti-ti (as before). You will become comfortable hearing and feeling the beat and the sub-beats, and timing your steps around them.

    Something to practice for the traspie (which is danced to habanera 1: ta-ka-ta-ka ti-ti). Step forward with your left foot on beat 1 and say ta-ka-ta-ka. This time take a quick small step forward with your right foot on the last ka. That's the "stumble" step. Then forward left on the ti and collect the right and transfer weight to it on the second ti. You are now in position to repeat the exercise

    The exercises don't have to be fast at first, just evenly spaced sub-beats and primary beats. A metronome, if you have one, is a great tool for this. Gradually increase the tempo until you can do the exercises at a normal milonga tempo. Eventually you wont need the syllables (or the metronome) at all, you'll just dance it.
     
  16. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Dude... you're not winning any friends or influencing any people with this attitude of "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" with almost every post. Without any supporting evidence either. Just saying.

    There are in fact many ways to learn. I used to be a musician, and counting 1-e-&-a-2-e-&-a worked fine for me, especially if I had a lot of rests in between playing. I don't diss anyone who counts differently, a lot of time with dance and music, it's a matter of whatever works for the individual. A good teacher will try several methods until one sticks.
     
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Rather than address someone who takes the time to contribute to our discussions as "Dude," it might be more productive to ask a question, such as, can you reference an article or url that supports your opinion? ​


    LKSO said:
    This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought. In fact, we are pretty much the same across the board. The difference, however, is the amount of background knowledge and skill between people which makes it seem like we learn differently, some faster and some slower.

     
  19. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    How can what I said be interpreted as I'm right and your wrong? I'm stating something that psychologists and neuroscientists have found based on the evidence that brains function very similarly between people. The difference in rates of learning are background knowledge and skill.

    The old school of thought, that people learn differently, is outdated. This would be the multiple learning modalities that have been used for a couple of decades based on flawed psychological research.

    "Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely"
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/201...or-visual-learner-scientists-say-its-unlikely

    I wasn't saying that the syllables I used in the examples are the best but it is better than using numbers since numbers have discreet areas in the brain that differ from music processing. The extra burden of processing both numbers and music overloads short term memory making it difficult to process both at the same time.

    The following articles are only two of those thousands of articles on the subject of learning and memory.

    "A Head for Numbers." Number processing differs from symbolic number representation. Parietal cortex.
    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/47720/title/A_head_for_numbers

    "Music and Language Are Processed by the Same Brain Systems." Temporal lobes help memorize language and music. Frontal lobes help learn underlying grammar.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070927121101.htm
     
  20. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member


    Not relevant to playing music or dancing. Musicians and dancers are not doing mathematical calculations. Nor are we associating the number 4, for example, as representing a collection or group of 4 things. It is simply the beat that follows number 3. Counting the beats with numbers is precisely what permits all the players in the ensemble to be at the same place at the same time. Everyone knows what beat number they are on. Someone who does not is lost. Music is much more than repetitive rhythms. How would you count a melody that spans several bars, one without any of the easily recognized rhythms? How is a pianist able to play completely different rhythms and melodies in each hand? I cannot imagine playing an entire piece of music without ever using a number. If the primary beats are not counted, good luck performing in an ensemble with other musicians.

    Using numbers to mark the beat is how musicians are trained. Far from creating problems, numbers solve them. There really is no alternative.
     

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