A Pedagogical and Analytical Study of Dušan Bogdanović’s Polyrhythmic and Polymetric Studies for Guitar
By Michael J. Morey II
Polymeter has been a relatively unexplored compositional technique of music of the Common Practice Period. Dušan Bogdanović’s Polyrhythmic and Polymetric Studies for Guitar is recognized in the guitar world as not only an important theoretical treatise, but also a benchmark for more advanced levels of improvisation. Currently, his treatise remains the best source for learning polymetric improvisation on the guitar. My personal contribution stems from the idea that multiple interpretations of thought processes and technical approaches are possible when learning to play polymeters on the guitar. The first section focuses on providing an alternative technical approach towards learning to play polymeters on the guitar by simplifying selected exercises in Bogdanović’s treatise from their original presentation, and demonstrating further possibilities as to how the exercises can be applied in a practical manner to improvisation. The second part reveals through analysis of the Concert Studies 1, 2, and 5 both his innovative improvisatory use of polymeter as a stylistic device, and his ties to traditional ideas of structure.