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Can You Beat Out The 'Rite' Rhythm?

Over the past few weeks, supporters of the London Symphony Orchestra (and a mysterious gent in the back of a car) have been busy teaching Londoners one of the trickiest and most compelling rhythms in all music: the famously jerky 32 beats in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring that usher in the wild "Augurs of Spring."

Once this syncopation is in your head and body, it's there for good — particularly if you go in without expectations of where the beats "should" fall. (And as for unraveling Stravinsky's incredible tonalities in this section, that's another matter.)

In any case, don't worry if you don't get it on the first go-around. You've got a whole year until the 100th anniversary of the Rite's premiere.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.