Great Musicianship is a Matter of Milleseconds – 5 ms to Be (Really) Exact

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Holy sh–t!! FIVE one thousandth of a second…!!!…groan….

The close-up shows that Ray Charles finger snap time deltas are less than 5 milliseconds.  Given the tight rhythmic style of this recording, and the fact that Ray Charles was one of the 20th century’s best musicians
“Fever is a classic R & B song with a strong backbeat. Ray Charles’ 2004 version is played in a very tight, straight rhythmic style.  Despite its almost clockwork precision, this song is never boring and led us to a secondary defining feature of swing (beyond inducing body movement). We found that a 14 second loop made from this recording could play endlessly and after more than an hour, still sounds incredibly fresh….Beneath the excellent musicianship, we found that there exists a strong triplet element to the rhythm….Unlike Graceland or It don’t mean a thing, this sample shows virtually no rhythmic looseness. The conga, drums, finger snaps, bass guitar are synchronized with each
other to a precision of better than 15 milliseconds in almost all cases. Contrast this precision with Graceland’s intentional variations of 50 to 80 milliseconds, and It don’t mean a thing‘s somewhat random looking variations in the 20 to 40 millisecond range.”

Holy s___t!

“A very remarkable aspect of this recording can be seen in the close-up…showing the pulse only, which is Ray Charles snapping his fingers on the backbeat. The close-up shows that Ray Charles finger snap time deltas [differences] are less than 5 milliseconds.  Given the tight rhythmic style of this recording, and the fact that Ray Charles was one of the 20th century’s best musicians”

Our analysis results clearly point to a basic inadequacy of standard Euro- American musical tablature notation to annotate many of these rhythmic styles. Comments and observations from professional musicians agree with this notational limitation…

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