ISSN 2158-5296
  AAWM JOURNAL Volume 6, No. 1 (2017)
Volume 6, No. 1 (2017)
Experimentations with Timelines in Afro-Bahian Jazz: A Strategy of Rhythm Complication
Juan Diego Diaz (University of Essex)
Timelines are well known temporal organizers in various types of African diasporic groove-based musics. But what happens when they are deliberately cut, rotated, or staggered? This article explores some compositional techniques used by Orkestra Rumpilezz, a big band from Bahia, Brazil, that combines jazz with Afro-Bahian carnival and sacred music and that bases its compositions on traditional and modified timelines. The paper offers metric interpretations of the orchestra¡¯s timeline experimentations and relates them to their stated goal to ¡°dignify and demonstrate the high level of rhythmic complexity of Afro-Bahian music.¡± The main demonstration is that the composer¡¯s experimentations with timelines are a technique to increase rhythmic complexity and to elevate the status of Afro-Bahian music. Additionally, I propose a way to expand existing timeline models to account for more subtle and implicit relationships of timeline alignment found in Brazil. The main goal is to discover how the orchestra¡¯s claimed rhythmic complexity is expressed through arrangement. This is achieved by combining music theory, analysis, and ethnographic work in Bahia.... more >>

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