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Maybe why Avante-garde looping in US...

 Mike called our attention to this article:

Study: Why Americans Have Bad Rhythm

.............which took a study of balkan immigrants and compared their 
experiences with a group of
native north americans and concluded that north americans are bad at 
grokking syncopation.

I'm sorry but I have to say that this study reflects western  science's 
compulsion to categorize at the expense of
accurately understanding reality at it's worst................there are so 
many factors
that relate to how a people percieve different kinds of rhythms that you 
would have to have a much
better designed experiment to make the case that is made here.

also,  they talked about North Americans......................well  North 
Americans come from Africa, Europe, Aisia
and all over the world.   Which Northern Americans  are they talking about?

I suspect they mean Caucasion people with primarily British/European 
heritage who were Canadian (as it turns out).

There are lots of different kinds of complexity in rhythm from around the 

I"ve met a lot of Balkan drummers and MiddleEastern drummers who are great 
with odd time signatures and
what I would call 'linear complex rhythms' who are really bad at playing 
funk rhythms of the African Diaspora,
innovated in the United States.

Odd time signature dance rhythms, spread mostly by the Ottoman turks and 
to many of the countries in the Middle and Near East and in Eastern Europe 
are, for the most part,  very minimalistically played
and fairly conservative in syncopative application.

 There are great tradtional African drummers who are completely incapable 
holding down a simple techno groove or disco groove.

The Indians are famous for having some of the most sophisticated rhythmic 
expressions and tradtions on the planet but those traditions are mostly 
linear.   There is just as much sophistication in the polyrhythmic rhythm 
interplay in a large West African pop band as there is in a ripping tabla 
player's performance..............it is just sophistication of a different 
kind and order.

Can you make a case in each of these instances that either of these 
are rhythmically challenged?   Hell no.  They just reflect the cultural
sensibilities of each region they came from.

Let us not forget that the whole concept of Funk was innovated in the 
States, ableit in the expatriated African Amercican communities
of the great Diaspora.

It didn't originate in Africa and if you study it carefully, it has West 
African (and Middleastern) roots rhythmically speaking but it is a 
phenomena that the traditional musics of those regions.

Funk is, like many things specifically American,  a fusion of styles: 
Without the marriage  to the repressived non-syncopated traditions
of the dominant paradigm (which all come, originally, from the Shamanic 
pagan tradtions of the tribes of Northern Europe) there would be
no Funk, per se.

Mercifully,  we now live in a world where it is very easy to find out 
information about other cultures so the styles of all of these great 
are merging into the most sophisticated pop music traditions in the 
of the planet.

If you study just the mathematics of the proliferation of popular rhythmic 
expression from Western culture there has been an almost geometric
increase in the sophistication of rhythms found on commercial radio.

Sure there's still a plethora of four on the floor rhythms on the radios 
the world but just sit down and analyze the rhythmic complexity
of a Timbaland production of a Missy Elliot song and compare it to 
commercial Western music of, say the early 1960's.

The information age and the jet airplane has resulted in people from all 
over the planet increasing their rhythmic sophistication and their access
to sophisticated world musical instruments.

You can buy Irish bodhrans that kick butt, made in 
Pakistan...........................Indian Kanjira's made excellently and 
innovatively on the East Coast of the U.S.

I remember 25 years ago when I first saw a real Djembe for the first time. 
I was amazed and in awe.   Yet I had been playing West African
djembe rhtyhms for a few years thanks to the proliferation of radio and 
cassette technology.

This is all a long winded way of saying that the study of world rhythm and 
how it's performed and felt:  how and in which ways it is sophisticated is 
just too complex a phenomena to put down to a study of 75 balkan 
and presumably white Canadians and it's irresponsible to publish
tripe like this.

Sorry but that article really got under my skin and pissed me off.

lol.................with indignant rhythmic righteousness,

Rick Walker
(a Northern European drummer who should be retarded rhythmically speaking
since he spent so much of his youth in the suburbs of San Jose)