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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Note Lengths

The beat length determines how fast or slow the music is felt to be going. The relative beat length is something different—it describes the length of a given beat relative to others within a composition. Take a look at the example in Table 4.2, in which two notes of the hi-hat occur for every note of the kick drum.

Table 4.2. Kick Drum Quarters and Hi-Hat Eighths
 12345678
Kick drum<<<<    
Hi-hat<<<<<<<<

To hear what this table is trying to get across, listen to Track 7 on the CD. For your information, Tracks 8, 9, and 10, together with the text provided in Appendix B, offer further information and examples of rhythmic patterns in the process of drumming. In Table 4.2, we have all of the ingredients of an identifiable rhythm. The kick ...

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