Rhythmic Harmony Part 2

Guest Blog by Finn

Music Geek Stuff

Today we will look at one of my favorite tools. The Baiou’ rhythm and its modes. Baiou’ is pronounced Bayonne (The spelling? Someone kept yelling ” I’ld like a vowel, Vanna”).

You’ll need paper and pencil for this one. This is Linear Harmony as opposed to Vertical Harmony.

Draw a square and divide it into 64 symmetrical parts. Number them down the left side 1 thru 8. Number the top this way: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, because we will be working with, you guessed it, eighth notes. The top line will be marked with dots in square 1; 2 and a half (+ of 2) and 4.

If you go to line 2 (down one), you can make the same spacing but to the right one box: + 1; 3 and + of 4. Follow this idea on lines 3 thru 8 and you will have the The Modes of Baiou’, each time moving each dot by one box. It should look like connect-the-dots.

I recently used mode number 3 as a Hi-hat pattern for the first measure of a two measure phrase, putting beat 1 at the beginning of measure two.

Feel free to make a copy of what you have drawn to take advantage of the two measure phrase. Or make a four measure model and you will be glad you did once you see the possibilities.

But lets start by making two measure examples.

Think of the odd numbered lines as resolution and the even ones as tension.

Line 6 is interresting because the two off beats would tend to make it a tension line, but it has a nice big fat 1 that makes it usable as a resolution line if you combine it with any other tension line (I tried using a pie chart but I think you can guess how that ended up).

Write a ton of your own examples.

Just for kicks, take three lines of a tension line and make the fourth a resolution line.

Take any line and make it a mirror image of itself.

Take line one and a pair of scissors and group the beats in reverse.

Anything that is musically useful goes.

Have fun! But keep a straight jacket handy…

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