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polyrhythm and polymeter in pop music?
Old 10th September 2012
  #1
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rockstarforlife's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
polyrhythm and polymeter in pop music?

hey just wondering if polyrhythm and polymeter are used in pop music today!? if so can u provide a example.

tthnx
Old 10th September 2012
  #2
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pinkheadedbug's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Depends what you mean by 'pop'.

There's 'pop' as in commercially successful 2012.

And 'pop' as in catchy melodic **** played by the likes of New Pornographers, Pernice Bros, Sloan, and tons of others, generally not very commercially successful, but carrying a torch for several decades of pop music starting around 1960.
Old 10th September 2012
  #3
Deleted 56021e5
Guest
Some EDM features rhythmical displacement but not in current pop music
Old 10th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstarforlife ➑️
hey just wondering if polyrhythm and polymeter are used in pop music today!?
Not really.

"Pop" is short for "popular" and hence, the general "populace" wants songs that they can tap their feet and/or sway their hips to. Polyrhythm doesn't lend itself to that.

Polyrhythm + polymeter is cerebral music. Cerebral is good, and it will always attract an audience. It just won't be a mainstream popular audience -- at least not in our lifetimes.
Old 11th September 2012
  #5
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Depends on your definition of Pop music.

Good examples in popular (not really pop) music:









Old 11th September 2012
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Perhaps not polymetric but Pink Floyd's "Money" changed from 7/4 to 4/4 meter.
Old 11th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam ➑️
Perhaps not polymetric but Pink Floyd's "Money" changed from 7/4 to 4/4 meter.
That example of "Money" actually helps prove the point that polymeter songs (in general) do not find mass appeal on mainstream pop charts. See: Pink Floyd discography - singles

On the other hand, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" in common 4/4 time with a compelling anthem of teenage rebellion charted all the way to #1.

Anyone curious can look at look at the list at examples of songs with unusual time signature combinations and see what songs meet their definition of "pop". If the net is cast wide enough, one can find a satisfactory example to meet their personal criteria.

Does "pop" mean mainstream Billboard Hot-100? Then examples will be virtually non-existent.

Does "pop" mean anything that's not polka, African tribal music, industrial atonal, and unreleased singles? The examples will be plentiful.
Old 11th September 2012
  #8
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rockstarforlife's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Top 40


Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com
Old 11th September 2012
  #9
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pinkheadedbug's Avatar
 
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Suspicious Minds changes from 4/4 in the verse to 6/8 in the bridge and back again.
Old 11th September 2012
  #10
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pinkheadedbug's Avatar
 
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And this is in 13/8 and poppy as hell in its way.

Old 11th September 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Not really "today" but Barracuda by Heart made it to #11 on the charts while slipping a measure of 5/4 time into each verse so smoothly that I didn't even notice it til I had to learn the song in a cover band. It also has a few measures of 7/4 towards the end.
Old 11th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If OP is using the word "polymeter" as defined by wikipedia , some of the examples don't meet the criteria.
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Which is why I qualified my post thus:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam ➑️
Perhaps not polymetric but Pink Floyd's "Money" changed from 7/4 to 4/4 meter.
Old 27th May 2013
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
There are probably plenty of pop songs that use polyrhythms, but its way easier to just diss pop music than actually try listenning to it with an objective ear.

Here is an awesome evolution of music I have been looking at:

1st) Diana Ross with "I'm coming out"

2nd) Notorious B.I.G. with "Mo' money mo' problems" featuring the Ross sample and an infectiously funky rhythm

3rd) K-os with "Look but don't touch" with his own obviously slighty borrowed polyrhythm beat, but interesting anyway

there is probably way more, and if you don't believe that pop or popular hip hop could have proggy elements, another one to check out is Kanye West in "Space ship" which is an interesting hip hop song in 3/4... not exactly prog lol, but def different than the norm for pop
Old 1st June 2013 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkheadedbug ➑️
And this is in 13/8 and poppy as hell in its way.

That's a 6/8 plus 5/8 pattern, which adds up to 11/8 if you are looking for a single time signature.
In 80's pop there were some acts that used polyrhythms in cool, catchy ways. XTC comes to mind. Their stuff would would add up to 4/4 but within series of bars it could be easily counted like 7/8 + 9/8 or 3/4 + 5/4. Their music also syncopated a lot, which divided the bars into smaller yet odd parts.
Another act I remember doing a lot of this was Level 42.
Old 2nd June 2013
  #16
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stclair's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The reason why you don't find a lot of this in pop music is because, people don't gravitate towards it. It doesn't gel with the human condition. People look to find patterns, this is ingrained in the natural thought process.

It can make people uncomfortable, confused. In music it can cause a lot of tension, but judiciously it can provide some contrasting interest and when it returns to say a familiar 4/4 time a great relief. I like the "touch and go" by the Cars as a good example.

Polyrhythm is used quite often in dance music, where the measures are preserved providing a sense of order in the finality. The subtle often provides some interesting grooves without feeling chaotic.

For pop music I suppose its a dangerous and powerful ingredient.
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