Showing posts with label Ictus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ictus. Show all posts

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Ictus and the Remiss

The word ictus is derived from the Latin icere, to hit with a stroke, the stress placed upon an accentuated syllable. Etymologically speaking, therefore, ictus means accent or emphasis, and in the language of music, ictus means an accented or marked tone. In the study of prosody, dum, for instance, is a metrically strong syllable—the ictus. In contrast, de is a metrically weak syllable—the remiss. The ictus and the remiss together constitute the foot (dum-de), and hence the foot and the ictus make up the rhythmic elements of music. For music theorists, the moment prior to the initiation of the ictus represents the downbeat: the critical moment when the conductor lowers his baton. To understand fully the function of the ictus is to understand funk, with its accentuation of the downbeat (as opposed to R&B’s emphasis on the backbeat), meaning the One, the first (and occasionally third) beat of every measure (foot). George Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, and James Brown all contributed to the invention of the funk “groove”—that is, they all understood the function of the ictus.

A Baker’s Dozen Of Funky Grooves (Guaranteed To Tear The Roof Off):

David Bowie, “Fame” Young Americans
The Brothers Johnson, “Get the Funk Out Ma Face”
Look Out For #1
James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”
20 All-Time Greatest Hits
Chic, “Le Freak”
Dance, Dance, Dance: The Best of Chic
Curtis Mayfield, “Superfly”
Funkadelic, “(Not Just) Knee Deep (Part I)”
The Best of Funkadelic, 1976—1981
The Meters, “Africa”
Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology
The Ohio Players, “Fire”
Funk on Fire: The Mercury Anthology
Parliament, “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)”
Parliament’s Greatest Hits
Sly and the Family Stone, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)”
Greatest Hits
Steely Dan, “Black Cow”
War, “Low Rider”
Anthology, 1970-1994
Stevie Wonder, “You Haven’t Done Nothin’”
Fulfillingness First Finale