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Polyrhythm and the Valorization of Time in Three Movements

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Article of journalRobbins, Dylon L. (New York University, Estados Unidos). Polyrhythm and the Valorization of Time in Three MovementsIn  The world of syncopation: dynamics in music and culture Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies, 2015 vol. 4 no. 1 p. 82-109. Keywords:
Polyrhythm; Mário de Andrade; Antonio Benítez Rojo; Jazz; New Orleans


This essay examines three instances in which polyrhythm serves as a metaphor for thinking through relations of difference. In the thought of Mário de Andrade, polyrhythm serves as a mechanism for situating musical creation within a logic of production and accumulation. In the work of the Cuban writer Antonio Benítez Rojo, polyrhythm becomes a model for thinking about the Caribbean and its geography in relation to the performing arts. Finally, in early twentieth-century New Orleans, the musical feel associated with polyrhythm would contribute to a highly sexualized rhythmic feel that relates musical intensity to the smell of dancers’ bodies.

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