Aksak Patterns and Entrained Interaction in Transylvanian Village Music

Martin Clayton


In this response to Filippo Bonini Baraldi, Emmanuel Bigand and Thierry Pozzo’s article ‘Measuring aksak rhythm and synchronization in Transylvanian village music by using motion capture’, I present supplementary analyses of (a) the ratio between Short and Long beats, and (b) the entrainment between the two musicians in the motion capture recordings. The main findings reported are: the mean S:L ratio is close to 1:√2, although there is some evidence for the role of 2:3 as an attractor ratio; the distribution of S:L ratios and other measures vary depending on whether the period is taken as S+L or L+S; and the S:L ratio varies with tempo. Since the viola part is much less variable than the violin part, the former should be taken as a reference; the violinist tends to play ahead of the beat articulated by the violist, significantly so except for the Short beat in one recording (Duo 14), in which the musicians exhibit a form of soft entrainment, alternating between small and large phase differences.


aksak; nonisochronous rhythm; entrainment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/emr.v10i4.4886


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