uh, wasnt quite sure where to post this, so in here'll do.

But yeah. what IS the difference between polyrhythms, and polymeters?
is polymeters just two time sigs played on top of each other or something retarded like that?
all help would be appreciated on this matter.
Polymeter, two different time signatures laid on top of each other. Y'know, guitar in 4/4, drums in 7/8, or even kick drum in 7/8, snare in 23/16 (lulwut?)

Polyrhythm, can include polymeter, or two different pattern's/rhythms in the same time signature, but each a different pattern. For an example of the latter, listen to the last minute of Them Crooked Vultures 'No One Loves Me And Neither Do I.' Every instrument is playing in 4/4, but the guitars play a 3 measure long pattern, while the drums play a 2 measure pattern.
I think the difference is, a polyrythm resolves after one bar whereas a polymeter can last for several bars.
Not 100% sure though.
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Resolves?

A polymeter is two time signatures against each other, no need to elaborate on that.

A polyrhythm is where the rhythms form a ratio against each other, like 3:2. An example would be quavers against triplet quavers.
``````1  2  1  2  1  2  1  2
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3``````

Freepower can probably explain much better than I can though.
Last edited by Jesse Clarkson at Jun 23, 2011,
What? Polyjuice potion?
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
Resolves?

By 'resolves' I mean the rhythm restarts. So like, in a 3:2 polyrhythm, it resolves after 3 triplets or 2 minims depending on how you look at it.
A polymeter won't resolve after one bar because the bars are 2 different lengths.

What you said was probably closer to the actual definition than what I said.
Quote by Jaymz_515
I pretend I'm a huge spider laying eggs, then when I flush the toilet I fall to floor screaming "MY CHILLLDRENN!! NOOOO!"

If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.
- Mitch Hedberg
Quote by morrock
Polymeter, two different time signatures laid on top of each other. Y'know, guitar in 4/4, drums in 7/8, or even kick drum in 7/8, snare in 23/16 (lulwut?)

Polyrhythm, can include polymeter, or two different pattern's/rhythms in the same time signature, but each a different pattern. For an example of the latter, listen to the last minute of Them Crooked Vultures 'No One Loves Me And Neither Do I.' Every instrument is playing in 4/4, but the guitars play a 3 measure long pattern, while the drums play a 2 measure pattern.

this is the correct definition of polymeter. polyrhythm, not so much. the 2 measure long pattern/3 measure long pattern isn't a polyrhythm.

assuming two independent parts -- say a violin and a guitar:

a polymeter is when, on the written music, the violin and guitar do not play in the same meter. if the violin was written in 4/4 and the guitar in 3/4 (or any other combination where the meter is not the same), it would be polymetric.

a polyrhythm has nothing to do with the actual meter. they can both be in 4/4. if the violin is playing a melody based on eighth notes and the guitar was simultaneously playing a melody based on triplet eighth notes (i.e. 2 against 3 for every beat), that would be polyrhythmic.
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Quote by AeolianWolf
this is the correct definition of polymeter. polyrhythm, not so much. the 2 measure long pattern/3 measure long pattern isn't a polyrhythm.

A polyrhythm doesn't have to be a single measure long. 2 measures vs 3 measures isn't always a polyrhythm, yeah, but listen to the example, there's a clear cross rhythm going on, I'd say it qualifies as a polyrhythm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S93MHjpQBd8&feature=player_detailpage#t=291s
Quote by AeolianWolf
this is the correct definition of polymeter. polyrhythm, not so much. the 2 measure long pattern/3 measure long pattern isn't a polyrhythm.

It's basically a long hemiola at that point. I tend to hear those as not being polyrhythms, but other people hear the polyrhythms

a polymeter is when, on the written music, the violin and guitar do not play in the same meter. if the violin was written in 4/4 and the guitar in 3/4 (or any other combination where the meter is not the same), it would be polymetric.

I have always wondered this..

For writing polymeters in written notation, do you write the instruments in actual separate time signatures or do you choose a "parent" time sig and just superimpose the rhythm of the other one onto it?
Quote by morrock
A polyrhythm doesn't have to be a single measure long. 2 measures vs 3 measures isn't always a polyrhythm, yeah, but listen to the example, there's a clear cross rhythm going on, I'd say it qualifies as a polyrhythm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S93MHjpQBd8&feature=player_detailpage#t=291s

like D5 said, that'd be more of a hemiola than a polyrhythm. just because there are patterns of different length doesn't make it a polyrhythm.

Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's basically a long hemiola at that point. I tend to hear those as not being polyrhythms, but other people hear the polyrhythms

I have always wondered this..

For writing polymeters in written notation, do you write the instruments in actual separate time signatures or do you choose a "parent" time sig and just superimpose the rhythm of the other one onto it?

they hear it as being polyrhythms because they don't know what polyrhythms are. so they internalize the sound of a hemiola as being a polyrhythm, and label it as such.

as for your second question, either/or. but i find that the people who genuinely use polymeters for their sound tend to do the first, where people who just want to use a polymeter for the sake of using a polymeter do the second. i can't say that either group would do it exclusively, because that's just brandishing useless and lightly offensive labels around. but there's certainly a moderate tendency to fit in that generalization, in my experience.

but really, either of them will work.
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Quote by AeolianWolf

as for your second question, either/or. but i find that the people who genuinely use polymeters for their sound tend to do the first, where people who just want to use a polymeter for the sake of using a polymeter do the second. i can't say that either group would do it exclusively, because that's just brandishing useless and lightly offensive labels around. but there's certainly a moderate tendency to fit in that generalization, in my experience.

but really, either of them will work.

I fall into the second group

Oh well, the problems with GP. I do love the Polymeter sound though, but rarely do I find an actual place to use one nicely.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
I fall into the second group

Oh well, the problems with GP. I do love the Polymeter sound though, but rarely do I find an actual place to use one nicely.

which group you fall into hardly matters - if you use them and they sound nice, it's all good.

see, i don't use GP. i handwrite everything on staff paper. if i want to hear it played back (assuming it's some crazy multi-voice shit i can't play out on keyboard), i'll take what i've written and put it into sibelius.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Quote by AeolianWolf
which group you fall into hardly matters - if you use them and they sound nice, it's all good.

see, i don't use GP. i handwrite everything on staff paper. if i want to hear it played back (assuming it's some crazy multi-voice shit i can't play out on keyboard), i'll take what i've written and put it into sibelius.

I would love to do that!

If I could play keyboard/piano. Right now, I'm limited to one guitar and my imagination and my imagination is bigger than my skill, it seems.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
I would love to do that!

If I could play keyboard/piano. Right now, I'm limited to one guitar and my imagination and my imagination is bigger than my skill, it seems.

just use a piano. feels good man.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
I really want to! Just don't have the money for one!

i use a synthesizer. still no go?
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
I found my roommate a keyboard on craigslist for \$10, I'm sure you can find something.
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Quote by AeolianWolf
as for your second question, either/or. but i find that the people who genuinely use polymeters for their sound tend to do the first, where people who just want to use a polymeter for the sake of using a polymeter do the second. i can't say that either group would do it exclusively, because that's just brandishing useless and lightly offensive labels around. but there's certainly a moderate tendency to fit in that generalization, in my experience.

but really, either of them will work.

I don't think a conductor would be very pleased with the first though. A marking with the implied time signature should be enough, then just write under the "parent" time signature.
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
I don't think a conductor would be very pleased with the first though. A marking with the implied time signature should be enough, then just write under the "parent" time signature.

you're probably right. then they'd have to actually WORK to do something -- god forbid they actually earn their salary. i mean, yeah, a conductor is absolutely essential, but conducting is nowhere near as difficult as conductors say it is (unless you're going on conducting 4+ hours of music, and there aren't many concerts that do that).
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Oh, man! Could we be seeing conductors with two sticks!?
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
just because there are patterns of different length doesn't make it a polyrhythm.