Musical Idea 26: Interruptlets
04.02.2014 § 1 Comment
“Tuplet” is the general term for the rhythmic device where a beat is divided into a number of equal subdivisions, generally used when the traditional method of dividing a beat by powers of two will not do. Specific terms like “quadruplets,” “quintuplets”, take the prefix of the particular number of divisions. “Interruptlets” is just my silly name for the disorienting effect you can create by using tuplets, but not in a durational amount equal to a whole number of beats (or divisions of them by small powers of two).
For a simple example, after a series of quarters, throw in two triplets, then keep doing more quarters, so that the second set of quarters will be a triplet off. Or you could use like eight septuplets; even though it’s bigger than one, and thus that seventh septuplet will still align with the steady pulse, it can have a disorienting effect since eight is a power of two and it may feel instead like thirty-second notes with a tempo change.
You can also do this in pitch, like say if you throw in some accidentals that appear to be adding up to an interval that has been existing in your tuning, but then you don’t go far enough or go too far and just stay in that offset place.