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4/4 Bell Patterns One Bar '.....! '.....! Son Clave (3-2) '.....! '.....! Rumba Clave (3-2) '.....! '.....! Son Clave (2-3) '.....! '.....! Rumba Clave (2-3) '.....! '.....! Cuban (rumba) #1 '......! '......! Brazil '.....! '.....! Bell patterns 1 Nigeria (juju) '......! '......! Haiti (Ibo, Congo) '.........! '.........! Cuban (Yesa) '........! '........! Cascara '..! '..! Cascara alternate '............! '............! Samba '....! '....! Samba '.... .....! '.........! Bell patterns 2 Garden variety ago-go pattern for Samba in 2/3 arrangement '....! '....! Extra cool Samba Batucada pattern in 3/2 #1 '.....! '.....! Extra cool Samba Batucada pattern in 3/2 #2 '....! '....! Samba do Morro pattern built around Partido Alto in 2/3 '.......! '.......! The very famous Partido Alto that one hears all the time '.....! '.....! Another 2/3 Samba '.....! '.....! Samba da Rua pattern in 2/3 '.....! '.....! Bell patterns 3 miscellaneous 2/3 samba #1 '.....! '.....! miscellaneous 2/3 samba #2 '...! '...! miscellaneous 2/3 samba #3 '..! '..! miscellaneous 2/3 samba #4 '....! '....! The extra-cool Samba de Roda pattern from Bahia '! '! unnamed samba #1 '.....! '.....! unnamed samba #2 '....! '....! Bell patterns 4 2-bar samba '...... .....! '...........! Afoxe '..! '..! Ijexa '.....! '.....! Ijexa '.....! '.....! Ijexa '.....! '.....! Ijexa variation #1 '......! '......! Ijexa variation #2 '....! '....! Bell patterns 5 Ijexa variation #3 '.....! '.....! Ijexa variation #4 '..........! '..........! Mambo '....! '....! Comparsa '....! '....! Gahu '.....! '.....! Haitian '....! '....! Ghana '.......! '.......! Bell patterns 6 12/8 (6/8) Bell Patterns 6/8 Short Bell '.......! 6/8 Long Bell '.......! Abakua '........! Haiti '.......! Ghana '.....! Cuban (bakoso) '.......! Cuban (rum ) ba '.....! Cuban (palo) '.......! Bell patterns 7 "Bembe Wheels" Cycling the 6 / 8 Bell Patternby various List Members as noted below Imagine the typical 6/8 bell pattern heard so often in African and Cuban music: '.......! and the bell recycles. Call this Bembe 1, others call it the 6/8 short bell. Imagine the first note that you strike is the second x which changes the orientation and creates a new sound relative to the pulse; this is bembe 2. You can keep doing this by starting at different points in the bell pattern. If you start the pattern on the 4th x, you end up with what people call the 6/8 long bell. If you start the pattern on the 7th x, you end up with a bell pattern used in jazz a lot. As you probably know, the appearance of the lst and 4th pattern in one song is quite popular and creates tension as well as melody as the first "doublet" of each pattern now sit side by side and create a roll of 4 contiguous notes between two bell players. The same effect can be created with hand drums, tom-toms, cymbals, etc.Now imagine the 1st Bembe on the Wheel is written like this: '...! where O = tone (or TANG or low or bell mouth) and X = slap (or KI or high or bell body). Now rotate through the seven bembe wheels and see what you have created. You will probably find that changing the tones and slaps for certain wheels make a better sound such as for bembe wheel 2, try '....! One could spend a lifetime on Bembe Wheels. Hello, everyone. Recent explanation of the Seven Wheels of Bembe links up with and extends a fascinating analogy I ran across on the web. Richard Hodges, the Webmaster for C.K. Ladzekpo's web site, has posted an interesting article on African music called "Drum is the Ear of God" at his own site. It includes these observations on the "standard" African/Afro-Cuban bell pattern:"It is of some interest that the pattern between strokes in this bell pattern is the same as that of the whole- and half-steps in the diatonic major scale. Here we are comparing patterns in time and pitch, which might be considered apples-to-oranges; but it illustrates the idea that African music is projected upon a richly interconnected rhythmic organization that repeats indefinitely in the dimension of time, analogous to the organization of tonal music in the dimension of pitch, with tonal pitch conceived as repeating in octaves.[repeat ... CC# DD# EFF# GG# AA# B [C...chromatic octave do .re .mi fa .so .la .si[do ...diatonic scale |_____|_____||_____|_____|_____|whole steps |__| |__| half steps ^^"intervals" x x xx x x x [x...strokes of bell pattern X..X..X..X.. [X...Main beats and pulses '.......! Bell patterns 8 "The bell pattern can be heard as two distinct sections which connect to each other through the "intervals." This creates a sense of alternation between outward and inward movements, evocative perhaps of breathing or of the two directions of consciousness. The same device is also used at a larger scale. A rhythm may have a "front section" and a "back section" each of which is constructed upon a similar rhythmic idea, but with mutations of weight and syncopation that express movement out and return home."If you know western music theory, you know where I'm going: The procedure of cycling through starting points to create different bell patterns is exactly the same as shifting to different modes in western harmony:CC# DD# EFF# GG# AA# B [C...chromatic octave C.D.EF.G.A.B [C...C major (diatonic) scale |_____|_____||_____|_____|_____|whole steps |__| |__| half steps Above is a major scale in the key of C--the Ionian mode. However, if you use the same collection of notes to form a scale (still going upwards) with D as the root, you get the D-Dorian mode, which is a minor scale. Start on A, you get the A-Aeolian mode or natural minor scale. Each starting note creates a different mode which sounds and feels different, to a greater or lesser degree. (Alternately, you can leave C as the root note for all modes/scales and slide the sequence of whole and half steps around. Same scales or modes, different root notes or keys.)C.K. Ladzekpo has provided a lot of information from his ethnic background as an Ewe about the meaning and life-lessons contained in African rhythmic principles. Hodges is probably thinking about these same ideas in this footnote to his article:"According to Ouspensky, following the teaching he received from Gurdjieff, the diatonic scale is the survival of a very ancient metaphysical symbol representing the structure of a process of any nature: cosmic, psychological, organic, etc. The pattern of long and short steps has a specific significance which is at the heart of the meaning of this symbol. The short steps, which Ouspensky calls the "intervals" of the octave, represent the points at which a process can change its direction, or at which a new influence can enter."Making that little change at the "interval" changes your direction, but paradoxically leads you back where you began--only at a higher level. (Betcha didn't think "do-re-mi" had any life lessons in it...) If you compare the arrangement of these whole and half steps to the strokes of the 6/8 Bembe Wheel #1 (aka 6/8 short bell), you will notice that the organization is the same. The intervals (wholes and halves) between tones are the same as the temporal sequencing of the stokes of the bell pattern. Viola! An obvious interpretation of this is that our Western/European concept of "scale" derives from organizational elements deeply rooted in African musical systems that go so far into the past that we can't readily see them. Since the Darwinian theory of evolution and anthropological evidence from archeological digs place human origins firmly in Africa, this can come as no surprise that the earliest musical sensibilities come from there as well. For those of you who have glimpsed this thread about Bembe Wheels but have not grokked it from an experiential point of view, sit with thine own djembe, conga, etc. and work through the 7 possibilities and interchange tones, slaps, and bass sounds. You will find that this dramatically enhances your possibilities to create leads while playing in 6/8 while maintaining the same "structure" of the bell pattern. Here's my challenge to you for when you play with your next group or on your next gig: merrily play along in 6/8 using either the short (Bembe 1) bell or long (Bembe 4) bell pattern. This works best when you are the bell player and the group is hanging on to you. When the groove is well established and rock solid (!!!), spring into Bembe 7 which actually starts the 6/8 bell on the pick-up note by placing it on the "One." Hang here for just a few bars and watch what it does with your fellow/fella rhymatists. A lot of tension gets created but it takes a few seconds to realize the bell pattern shifted. Before the eyeballs start drifting your way, make sure you have returned to the original short or long pattern. They'll know something was Bell patterns 9 up but may not be able to identify it. The groove will still be happening and you just boosted your ear-training and pattern generation abilities to the next levelP.S. there are more than 7 possibilities but that's another posting These Bembe wheels are great! After you go through them in 4: 1..2..3..4.. '.......! You can go through them in three: 1...2...3... '.......! and they feel completely different. Fourteen wheels actually, depending on your paradigm. Then you can add various combinations of those... Very deep stuff. Thanks for some very valuable info. The "long" bembe bell is the "short" bembe bell backwards. Anyone else >notice this? (And I challenge anyone to perceive this without >notation!)I'm not up to wading into the notation vs. not controversy but the relation of these to patterns is pretty obvious when one is played against the other, as is pretty common agbe or bembe rhythms, and a fe