Rhythm Ensemble 2

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
174RA2 exam 4 28 exercise hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 79 to 99 hours of self-study English, Czech summer

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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The student has a basic insight into the musical traditions of Ghana. Is able to transcribe the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic components of submitted recordings. Is open to experimentation. The student can work responsibly and without prejudice with unusual forms of notation. Is innovative in finding optimal solutions in the interpretation of compositions.

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites

Prerequisites: Instrument playing 1, Ensemble playing 1, Rhythm ensemble 1, Improvisation of jazz instruments 1, Jazz theory 1, Ear training 1

Quizzes: Instrument Playing 2, Ensemble Playing 2, Jazz Instrument Improvisation 2, Jazz Theory 2, Ear Training 2

Course contents

Learning objectives:

Rhythm Ensemble 2 is a course common to all undergraduate years that focuses on the teaching of rhythms, primarily using principles based on traditional West African music. Indeed, it is from this music that the basic rhythmic material originated, which eventually made its way in various forms to both North and South America as part of the slave trade, and its subsequent development gave rise to various other genres that are now a necessary part of the jazz musician's expressive vocabulary.

In the course of their studies, students seek to identify with various musical styles that are rooted in the oral tradition and where the bar line, like the first period, may not play an important role, if it exists at all. During the course of their studies, they all play a variety of traditional percussion instruments and learn to perceive irregular rhythmic patterning (called clave), into which they must then fit their own improvisational language. These rhythmic skills require several years of effort that can be further developed throughout life. The teaching of this course emphasizes musical practice, as it builds on musical traditions with a minimum of theory and theoretical material. Students learn most music by ear and are encouraged to be able to transcribe the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic components of the recordings presented on their own.

Thematic areas:

Ghana and its musical traditions

a) introduction to basic rhythmic phrases for genres such as Highlife, Agbadja and Fume Fume and their application within the musical ensemble

b) rhythmic independence within the clave - working on the ability to perform rhythmic layers based on the initial clave

c) swing - bending the smallest rhythmic values to create the right feel for the genre, being able to phrase within a given swing

d) spacing - placement of musical phrases in open spaces, ability to start a phrase at different points in a measure, etc.

Recommended or required reading

Recommended reading:

COLEMAN, Steve. Resistance Is Futile: Law of Balance [audio recording on CD]. France: Label Bleu, 2006.

HAMMOND, Doug. A Real Deal: Singing Smiles / Miss Cat / Perspicuity [sound recording on CD]. Paris: Heavenly Sweetness, 2007.

HANCOCK, Herbie. Possibilities: Sister Moon [sound recording on CD]. New York: Vector/Hear Music, 2005.

HOLLAND, Dave. Prime Directive: Looking Up [sound recording on CD]. Munich: ECM Records, 2000.

LOUEKE, Lionel. Gilfema: Tin Min [sound recording on CD]. New York: ObliqueSound, 2005.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students present the repertoire they have studied during their first year of study at the final concert.

Active participation in exercises

Other requirements: attendance of at least 70%



Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans