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The Black Experience / Blog

"Two Beat" Lectures Ready!!!

"A practical study of 'Two Beat Feel' as a vertical rhythmic phenomena in various Jazz settings." According to the Jazz Glossary at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, "two beat feel" is defined as "A form of rhythm organization in which the first and third beats of the bar are emphasized (particularly by the bass), often leaving the second and fourth beats silent, with a resulting 'boom-chick' feel. Two-beat was especially common in early jazz, but can be found in all eras." Examples include Jelly Roll Morton's (Black Bottom Stomp), Louis Jordan's (Beans and Cornbread), the Oscar Peterson Trio's (How High the Moon), the Miles Davis Sextet's (Love for Sale), and Joe Henderson's (Tetragon). By emphasizing the first and third beats of the bar, the pulse groups are shifted upward to the multiple level (i.e.half notes) in the metric structure resulting in the beat level (initial quarter note pulse) "feeling" like it is the division level (eighth note pulse). This lecture serves to observe this phenomena in a variety of Jazz settings and discuss how vertical rhythmic phenomena as a whole is used as a tension and release rhythmic device in Jazz music.