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National endowment for the arts

Welcome to Flypaper’s editorial column, Talking Points, where we revisit a lengthy lecture or Q&A with the greatest minds in music composition and production, and elucidate the most interesting details or concepts to gain a fresh perspective on the topic in question. In other words, we’ll pull out the talking points. Follow along with the series here, or sign up for our Soundfly Weekly newsletter to get more music learning like this in your inbox every Tuesday!

A great example of this is in Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, right at the beginning of the second movement (which starts at 7:41 in the below video). In the second measure, the second violin and viola continue their eighth-note pattern grouped in threes, while the first violin plays descending quarter notes, essentially groups of two eighth notes.

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