NPR logo Can You Beat Out The 'Rite' Rhythm?

Can You Beat Out The 'Rite' Rhythm?

London Symphony Orchestra YouTube

Over the past few weeks, supporters of the London Symphony Orchestra (and a mysterious gent in the back of a car) have been busy teaching Londoners one of the trickiest and most compelling rhythms in all music: the famously jerky 32 beats in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring that usher in the wild "Augurs of Spring."

Once this syncopation is in your head and body, it's there for good — particularly if you go in without expectations of where the beats "should" fall. (And as for unraveling Stravinsky's incredible tonalities in this section, that's another matter.)

In any case, don't worry if you don't get it on the first go-around. You've got a whole year until the 100th anniversary of the Rite's premiere.



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