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A rhythm is the reoccurrence of a beat, and a polyrhythm is the combination of two or more rhythms. But here is the clever bit: in a polyrhythm, one reoccurring rhythm should not derive from the other! For example,, , and are common polyrhythms, but is not, because two divides four.
Assuming each individual drummer plays a simple reoccurring beat, a complex polyrhythmic pattern will emerge from the group as a whole. This is what our generator simulates online.
Polyrhythms are the generating principle behind many sub-Saharan African music styles. By constantly balancing the listener's attention between the individual beats and the ever-changing resulting pattern, polyrhythms offer a strong hypnotic character and can induce a trance after a prolonged period of listening.
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