Beat-Class

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Beat-class is a rhythmic model first created and developed by Robert Morris and Richard Cohn, used to analyze rhythmic structures and textures in the music of Steve Reich (Cohn 1993). The model is a rhythmic analogy of the pitch-class system, rhythmic onsets are classified based on their metric location within the measure within a repeating pattern. The example shown indicates the repeating pattern labeled as “Q1” from the first movement of Reich’s New York Counterpoint. Beat-class sets always begin with 0, with the eighth-note being the base duration.

 

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