Pulse as Dynamic Attending

Analysing Beat Bin Metre in Neo Soul Grooves

Authored by: Anne Danielsen

The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138683112
eBook ISBN: 9781315544700
Adobe ISBN:


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Composing, arranging, and recording with Digital Audio Workstations all represent new opportunities for manipulating rhythm at a micro level. In the following, I will focus on the analysis of extended beats, or so-called “beat bin metre,” in contemporary groove-based music. One way to produce extended beats is to introduce multiple pulse locations at the micro level of a groove. As I will demonstrate, multiple pulse locations change the shape of the beats and also affect the internal beat that the listener uses to make sense of the rhythmic events. Another way to extend the beat is to introduce sounds where the location of the beat is unclear or open to several placements. I will theorise both phenomena using the theory of “dynamic attending” 1 as my point of departure. I begin with a discussion of different notions of metre, and clarify how I use the term, and proceed to offer a brief presentation of the theory of entrainment and dynamic attending, before turning to my musical examples.

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