Introduction to Advanced Rhythm

The twelve-week course teaches musicians how to perform simple polyrhythms, how to play phrases in quintuplets and septuplets with complete accuracy and feeling, and very importantly, how to create a better sense of pulse in the musician. To achieve these ends, the usage of the so-called 'solkattu' (South-Indian set of rhythmical syllables) plays a very important role in order to memorize and feel rhythmic patterns and phrases. This system has enabled a wide number of Indian and western musicians to greatly improve their rhythmical abilities. 

This course is also offered online by the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Register on their website.


The expansion of rhythmical possibilities has been one of the cornerstones of musical developments in the last hundred years, whether through western development or through the borrowing from non-western traditions. In orchestral or ensemble situations most students at one point or another in their careers will have to face a piece by Berio, Ligeti, Messiaen, Varèse, Carter or Xenakis, just to mention a few well-known composers. It has become clear that this music asks for a radically new approach to training rhythm, demanding that the musician has the tools to perform it with accuracy and feeling. 


Every student, regardless his background or preferences, will sooner or later encounter music written or influenced by Dave Holland, Steve Coleman, Miles Okazaki, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Aka Moon, Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Danilo Perez, Irakere or elements of the music from the  Balkan, India, Africa or Cuba. It is clear that today’s jazz demands a completely new approach to rhythmical training, already within the conservatory studies, a training that will provide the necessary tools to face with accuracy more complex rhythmical concepts while preserving the emotional content.

Course practicalities

This subject is exclusively practical. No complex theories or concepts, only practical exercises are given in order to acquire a greater degree of accuracy without losing the sense of feeling and emotion. 

  • 3 for Bachelors students
  • 3 for Masters students (only if the first year of Advanced Rhythm is followed simultaneously)

The course can be taken either in the first or second trimester (only possible for bachelor's students) of the year. The student will have to go through a short practical exam at the end of the term and missing more than 3 lessons will not be allowed.
  • Lessons of 2 hours, homework 2 to 3 hours a week
  • Lesson material: Own hand-outs and exercises
This program can be taken:
  • As a free elective (vrije ruimte) in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th year Bachelors.
  • Within the ensemble packet.
  • As a Master's subject within the Masters program
  • Contract and exchange students.