Audio Library volume 9 “unequal beats”

by Françoise Lombard

in the purchase of the volume.

It contains explanations and suggestions for the pedagogical development of each musical track.


This piece shows measures of 3 unequal beats.

  • Firstly, step the beats spontaneously, feeling the difference between the short and long beats. The sensation of shifting weight and following the different durations engages the whole body, which helps one to become aware of the meter. Draw the attention of the students to the change of foot each measure.
  • Draw the measures in space by “painting the beats”.
    Part B is faster and more energetic; express it freely with jumps and accents in your whole body.
  • With a partner, clap the first note of each group, alternating hands. Make the quality of your gestures feel like a dance.
  • Put hands palm against palm. A leads the movement for a certain period of time and B follows. Change roles. When the partners are in tune with each other, someone watching should not be able to see who is leading. Then, allow total freedom regarding who leads and who follows.
  • By oneself, step the beats. At a signal, step all the divisions (eighth notes), showing the groupings and making one’s own pattern on the floor. Alternate beats and division.
  • Two by two (A and B). A claps the beats and B the complementary divisions (which means the divisions of eighth notes that are not heard in the rhythm). Change role: a) at vocal signal b) whenever each partner decides (one must never be doing the same as the other; nevertheless, in this case, there is always a short overlap before the partner adjusts).
  • Do the same by stepping, still in pairs.
  • Keep the ostinato rhythm by moving or dancing throughout the piece:

If you want to change the leg each time, choose to skip the trochee instead of taking two steps (skip – step – step).

10 years and up

This material is intended to promote the learning of music through body movement, but it does not constitute a professional “music and movement” training. Therefore, its use does not authorise one to use the title of Dalcroze teacher. However, the experimentation of the Library could inspire and motivate a person to pursue a more advanced training of Jaques-Dalcroze Eurhythmics, with the option of obtaining, after several years of study, professional recognition.

Improvisations : Françoise Lombard
© Les Éditions Adragante, Canada

Recording : Michel Comeau, Northmount Studio, Montreal
Mastering : TrueSound Louis Morneau
Cover photos : David Tucker    © ICDS
Cover photos : Michel Comeau    © Dalcroze Canada
Cover graphic design : Michel Comeau

The work with unequal beats or measures is more appropriate to older or more experienced children or adults. Nevertheless, some of the tracks in this volume could very well be used with younger children if they are given, as in number 6, a concrete image (the example of a machine) and if the work is kept at an intuitive level, by singing for instance the melody of track 4.

In general, and regardless of age, we always recommend using instinct and body sensations before analyzing the different types of meters.

The musical repertoire is rich in examples of unequal measures and measures of unequal beats: Béla Bartok, Greek or Balkan folklore, Astor Piazzolla, etc. We hope that this volume will allow everyone to become familiar with this musical subject and to develop with ease and pleasure an ever-increasing curiosity for the vast world of unequal time.

The pedagogical meetings on the use of each volume offer the possibility of adapting our pedagogical proposals to the teachers’ context.

This album has been created by highly qualified Dalcroze teachers and practising musicians: FRANÇOISE LOMBARD (Canada) : concept, improvisations, pedagogical guide.

Her colleagues LISA PARKER (USA), CHENG-FENG LIN (Canada) and MARY BRICE (Switzerland) contributed to the realisation of her project through their participation in the educational content.

Recording : Northmount Studio, Montreal

Artistic direction : Michel Comeau

Mastering : Louis Morneau

Production : Stareyes inc. Music and Education

Publishing : © Les Éditions Adragante/SOCAN

© This material is intended exclusively for pedagogical purposes.

All rights reserved

Stareyes was founded in 1986 in Montreal by two multidisciplinary artists. Musical and audiovisual achievements focused on education, relationships, musical pedagogy and listening.

“resonance” osteophonic voices
May 2020
Sep 2020