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Related: drums - bass - beat - the breaks - dance music - groove - syncopation - rhythm and blues - riddims - monde
Rhythm sections: Sly and Robbie - Edwards and Rodgers - Baker, Harris Young
Contrast: melody - harmony
Reggae is a product of the union of West African rhythms and European melody and harmony.
It must be said that the West has a rather repellent history of reducing African and Afrodiasporic culture to its rhythms. At the same time, we should not let Hollywood images of "savage" and "frenetic" drumming (or the more subtle distortions that emerge with over-generalized discussions such as my own), obscure the pivotal role that rhythm plays in West African aesthetics, social organization, and metaphysics. Nor should the evident psycho-physiological power of drums and their intimacy with dancing bodies obstruct their more abstract, conceptual, or virtual powers. As I hope to imply throughout this paper, West African drumming can serve as an excellent analog model for a variety of pressing technocultural discussions about distributed networks, the philosophy and perception of multiplicities, and the emergent properties of complex systems.-- Erik Davis in "Polyrhythmic Cyberspace and the Black Electronic"
Rhythm (from Greek tempo) is the variation of the duration of sounds over time. When governed by rule, it is called meter. It is inherent in any time-dependent medium, but it is most associated with music, dance, and the majority of poetry. The study of rhythm, stress, and pitch in speech is called prosody; it is a topic in linguistics. All musicians, instrumentalists and vocalists, work with rhythm, but it is often considered the primary domain of drummers and percussionists. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhythm [Feb 2005]
Dance musicIt is probably the fault of our Eurocentricism that dance music's importance has been downplayed for so long. Just as copyright laws protect the western ideals of melody and lyric but largely ignore the significance of rhythm and bassline, musical histories have avoided taking dance music seriously for fear of its lack of words, its physical rather than cerebral nature (hip hop, with its verbal emphasis, and techno, with its obsessive theorizing, are the rule-proving exceptions). And surprisingly, most writers who have explored dance music have written about it as if nobody went to a club to dance before about 1987.
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