Conditions of Use
This text is concise and comprehensive in the areas of rhythm and meter. It seems the book would be excellent for someone needing extra clarification in these areas. It would serve as a supplement to a wholistic music theory text or for a... read more
This text is concise and comprehensive in the areas of rhythm and meter. It seems the book would be excellent for someone needing extra clarification in these areas. It would serve as a supplement to a wholistic music theory text or for a student who plays music but does not read it well or a student in need of a 'reset' of rhythmic understanding from the ground up.
The material covered is accurate, although, in a few instances due to brevity it could be difficult to understand.
The content is relevant and I do not foresee this changing anytime soon.
The text is clear but visually dull. The information is consistently concise which helps keep the reader engaged. The exercises are helpful but more would be nice. The links included are also helpful. I like the use of colors and shades in the online version, there could be even more variety though.
The text is consistent in presentation of terminology and framework. However, chapters 3 (Dots, Ties, and Borrowed Divisions) and 10 (Pickup Notes and Measures) seemed to be in need of deeper explanation.
The text is easily divisible into smaller sections that you can immediately refer to should there be a specific problem area for the reader.
The organization of chapters are logical and clear. Chapter 10 seems to be an odd fit within the whole text.
The text is very clear on the page. All of the links work and are very helpful. The audio examples are also good. I experienced problems getting back to the spot I was at after clicking a link and it would be nice to click on the audio and have it play rather than download first.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
It’s a concise textbook in that it’s only 63 pages, but it is not thorough. It will mention topics but not thoroughly explain that a new student could understand. I can’t entirely tell what this is intended for, because you would not normally... read more
It’s a concise textbook in that it’s only 63 pages, but it is not thorough. It will mention topics but not thoroughly explain that a new student could understand. I can’t entirely tell what this is intended for, because you would not normally teach rhythm/meter without any reference/study in pitch and otherwise. I’m not sure if you’d use it alongside a more comprehensive book or what the intention was—there is no introduction or preface explaining this either. It is simple language but it will mention things without truly explaining, such as just using the staff suddenly without talking about it at all.
There’s a few errors that are sometimes corrected later, but overall is accurate. Some topics are oversimplified/not fully explained.
I don’t see issues in this regard because this information doesn’t really change.
It is not clear enough or thorough enough for beginners (as discussed under “comprehensiveness”) to gain a full understanding. I don’t think terms are fully explained in a way that someone new to the subject would gain enough.
It is ok. The font sizes and types are consistently used and doesn’t bother your eyes/mind that way. The weight given to topics varies quite a bit. Formatting is the same, but also kind of dry black and white blocks of text. It could use some of those improvements but is overall consistent.
It is divided into smaller subsections, which is good, but the smaller ones could use larger headings to make them easier to find. The text is very self-referential with footnotes, which got pretty irritating when they would occur multiple times mid-sentence and you lose your train of thought of what you are reading. A student reading this information for the first time would not be able to follow this well if they have to click on many footnotes to understand new terms.
The organization and order of topics are decent, with a few issues, notably in the sections on meter.
Everything is clear on the page but it is a lot of black blocks of text and can be difficult to keep reading that. I don’t think the interface of the text keeps a student’s attention very well and could use more diagrams and more variance.
Very minor errors but nothing too bad.
It is describing Western music notation and makes no reference of stating that other countries (or early notation) use different styles or use examples from other areas. But then again, there is no introduction or preface to tell us the author’s intention or goals for the text.
I think it explains the topics it does explain decently but misses some detail. However, it is very technical and very definition-based. This is not very practically usable in applying to music or teaching someone about counting/playing music. Even for a music theory textbook, someone should be able to get some sense of how learning this information would help them perform or teach this and it is just too definition-based as its sole presentation. I would like to have seen an introduction or preface stating the goal of the book or if it is intended to be used with another book or exercises at the same time.
The text is comprehensive and especially concise. I appreciate that the text focuses on rhythm and meter because some subjects, such as dance, require music education, but don't need as much/any information on pitch, scales, keys, etc. read more
The text is comprehensive and especially concise. I appreciate that the text focuses on rhythm and meter because some subjects, such as dance, require music education, but don't need as much/any information on pitch, scales, keys, etc.
I believe the content is accurate.
I don't see the text becoming obsolete any time soon.
The text may be clear enough to more advanced readers, but for the true novice, much of what is covered will have to be read multiple times and very slowly. More audio examples and worksheets will help clarify concepts and illustrate concepts in multiple ways. I believe it would be especially helpful to hear audio examples of various rhythms and meters in their most straight-forward forms before linking to examples of the same rhythm as part of a complete orchestration.
The text seems consistent.
The text is easily and readily divisible. The sections are very manageable and easy to navigate. The text is somewhat self-referential, but since sections are so short, it's not a great difficulty to refer to the other section.
I would start with rhythm, then proceed to meter, then time signature, and then introduce written notes. However, there isn't so much content that it would be difficult to rearrange the order of this text for one's own teaching order preference.
I did get a little "lost" at times and when I clicked the links to additional materials. Also, music samples, sometimes showed up in another tab and sometimes a file was automatically downloaded. I preferred them to open in a new tab. I did not see how to choose this option.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
I did appreciate that Western music was identified, described, and compared to other music styles. I would like even more instances of illustrating similarities and differences between musical styles including Western music. Audio examples would be especially helpful.
Overall, I appreciate that it is comprehensive and succinct. Dancers do take music classes focusing on rhythm and I found this text to be probably too difficult to digest without many more audio examples and worksheets.
While this book serves as a great introductory source for basic concepts in rhythm and meter, it also brings in more diverse perspectives than some other, more watered-down introductory texts tend to do. Whenever possible, the authors discuss how... read more
While this book serves as a great introductory source for basic concepts in rhythm and meter, it also brings in more diverse perspectives than some other, more watered-down introductory texts tend to do. Whenever possible, the authors discuss how the concepts compare in other musical styles, such as in jazz, percussion, and non-western music.
I felt it was very accurate and straightforward. This book contained very basic information and I have a Master's in Musicology, and yet I STILL learned new things from it!
There are great, approachable analogies used throughout that make learning more fluid and easy, and are more or less timeless.
This text is incredibly concise, and yet not so to-the-point that concepts aren't clearly defined. Complex subjects are delved into enough that most misunderstandings can be clarified, but it's not too overwhelming. That being said, there are a few times when concepts are explained in a way that seems out of order to me. For example, the [important] paragraph explaining that metronomes with tempo markings are not 100% accurate comes before the section that explains what tempo markings are.
While I feel that some of the ways in which the compound meter section is described could get confusing, I think it's overall pretty consistent. Almost to a fault.
I feel that the text could be overly self-referential at times, as sentences are interrupted (sometimes MANY times) by references to which sections concepts were originally discussed in. That being said, this could be helpful for new students to music, and otherwise the book is chunked very, very well.
Very logical organization.
The exercises throughout the book are really great, and don't require anything more than a paper and pen (a student would not even need to print out the pages of the book). The only criticism I have related to the exercises is that there probably could have been more!
I noticed a few minor typos throughout the book, but nothing that got in the way at all.
The book covers such rudimentary material that it would be hard to be offensive/insensitive. That being said, as I mentioned earlier there are diverse perspectives brought in whenever possible, which I loved.
As a former student of Dr. Ewell, I found this book to be just as engaging and straightforward as his musicianship classes were. Glad I can keep learning from him even after graduation! :)
This text is a good beginners introduction to terms, concepts and fundamentals of musical rhythm and meter with bonus links to such topics as conducting patterns. The overall layout works well with an understanding that the sections can be used... read more
This text is a good beginners introduction to terms, concepts and fundamentals of musical rhythm and meter with bonus links to such topics as conducting patterns. The overall layout works well with an understanding that the sections can be used in different order rather than sequentially. The simple index links materials very directly. Each section is easy to follow and is of digestible length for a beginning student. Moderate to advance students would move through this material very quickly while gaining bits and pieces of new information, especially in regard to the section on simple and compound rhythm and time signatures.
Overall accuracy of the text is solid.
The study of Western notation rhythm and meter is and will likely not change much any time soon. The text makes reference to non-tonal instruments, such as the snare drum, not always using standard note heads. Percussion instruments have begun to standardize in this regard to notation, but this text has made general notes to inform of the possibility of such note head replacement occurring in written form.
Yes, the text is very clear in its delivery. It has very little added detail. It is direct and to the point, explaining or linking vocabulary that my confuse a beginning music student.
Overall the flow of the text remains consistent in terms of terminology and framework, although not all sections have the same weight of new information. For example, section 2 "Rests" could include additional examples of rests with dots or in several other time signatures. Section 10 "Pickup Notes and Measures" seems out of place in this text. I regard this as a performers need rather than a specific use in a fundamentals course/text.
Yes, this text really accomplishes the ability to use it in smaller or larger sections- while also being flexible to assign section out of order. Very easy to reorganize- well done.
The textbook flows naturally for the most part. I would not use it in its current order. For example, I would teach section 4 "Rhythm" first. Then thereafter begin note values from section 1.
All links work well. I particularly like the audio examples. The visual examples are sufficient and simple.
Grammatically the textbook is free from any minor errors.
This book takes a direct Eurocentric approach. As far as other influence of race, ethnicity and background- there is none.
Overall I like the book from a Western Classical Beginning Rhythm and Meter resource. I gained from preview its content.
While the book has fairly comprehensive coverage of rhythm and meter, this is never the only topic covered in a class. You will need at least another book to teach any music class. And since most textbooks cover rhythm and meter in addition to... read more
While the book has fairly comprehensive coverage of rhythm and meter, this is never the only topic covered in a class. You will need at least another book to teach any music class. And since most textbooks cover rhythm and meter in addition to other topics, this book would only be useful if you were only going to use this book and the specific textbook paired with it on this site.
The book was generally accurate, but there is a significant problem with its coverage of compound meter that I address below.
Information on metric notation is unlikely to change.
I think the book is generally not confusing, although I did not find it particularly engaging. At the same time, it is a very introductory book intending to address the most basic aspects of a limited topics, so I don't expect it to be exciting.
A big concern that I have about this book, which only covers rhythm and meter, is that the author(s) provide conflicting information about compound meter. When the topic is first introduced, it says that compound meter signatures work just like simple meter signatures, meaning the top number tells you how many beats are in a measure and the bottom number tells you what note value is a beat (so, a measure of 6/8 has six beats and the eighth note gets the beat). However, this is not the case. Later in the book this is corrected, but I am concerned that students will be confused about this topic (which is already confusing to many students) because their first introduction to the topic is incorrect.
The book is divided clearly into small, digestible sections.
The organization generally makes sense, but sometimes topics are introduced more than once (and as I mentioned, sometimes conflicting material is provided in each appearance).
I worry about this book being used on a computer--part of what students need to do when studying the topics covered in this book is to practice writing musical notation. You just can't do that on a computer. Perhaps if they are reading it on a tablet they could use a stylus to complete the activities, but otherwise they are going to have to print the pages to complete them.
Overall this looked good.
There is nothing in this book that could cause offense.
This would be a decent quick reference for the studio instructor who wants a free book to suggest to students who are just learning to read music. However, its scope is very limited (by design, it should be said--this is not intended to be a comprehensive theory text). Further, since most books that address music fundamentals include many more topics than those covered here, I would prefer to send a student to one of those more comprehensive books, even if they had to pay for it. Finally, I am concerned about the presentation of compound meter in this text. Since this book is so limited in scope, problems here impact my feelings about this text much more than they would in a more comprehensive text--it only covers a few things, and one category of things is, in my assessment, confusing/inaccurate.
Table of Contents
- 1. Duration: Note Lengths in Written Music
- 2. Duration: Rest Length
- 3. Dots, Ties, and Borrowed Divisions
- 4. Rhythm
- 5. Time Signature
- 6. Introduction to Subdivisions in Simple Meters
- 7. Simple and Compound Time Signatures
- 8. Meter in Music
- 9. Introduction to Subdivisions in Compound Meters
- 10. Pickup Notes and Measures
- 11. Tempo
About the Book
This collection is the second of five dealing with the rudiments of music.
About the Contributors
Terry B. Ewell, professor, Department of Music, Towson University Former President, International Double Reed Society
B. M. University of Washington; Bassoon Performance, magna cum lauda
M. A. University of Washington, Music Theory
Ph.D. University of Washington, Music Theory
Terry Ewell is Professor of online instruction and bassoon at Towson University Department of Music. In his 30+ years as a professional musician he has received recognition as a performer, teacher, scholar, and administrator.
Catherine Schmidt-Jones graduated from Rice University in 1985, completing a BA in chemistry, a BA in music and a Master of Music in French horn performance.