The music in Synchronized Swimming is very important, the movements and rhythm of the choreography depends on it. And for that, it is important that you understand the rhythm of the music. We have already dedicated other articles to the performance of choreography. Today we explain the importance of understanding music for synchro.
Have you ever shared the written score of the music you selected for your athletes? Do they know the types of notes that are on the page? Do they know the how to clap the rhythm of the music? This is different than just moving or clapping to 1-3-5-7.
The example above shows a 12/8 tempo. To the ear you probably hear 4/4 time (1-2-3-4) per measure or you hear 6/8 time (1-2-3, 4-5-6) per measure. The reality of this piece is that it’s time is in compound meter. There are 4 beats per measure or 12 eight notes in the bar. It’s just a matter of which notes are accented. Clapping this rhythm may be difficult, but when put together with other instruments, you will recognize this piece from The Pirates of Caribbean.
If we minimize ourselves to only moving to 1-3-5-7, we minimize our ability to connect fully with the music. We minimize the ability to connect the pillars of choreography: Body, Effort, Shape and Space, also known as Weight, Time, Space and Flow.
When studying rhythm, you study how your body reacts to the music you are hearing. Then it’s time to fine tune your instrument, your body. It’s time to get back to your technique and get back to the fundamentals of you training day, whether at the pool or at the barre. Your job is to learn something new each day.
When you’re with other athletes the most important part is the synergy between each of you. Devote as much of your time to create and experiment. When you’re creating something new, you might not know what it’s going to be, because it’s all about the process. Doing this will stimulate your mind with new information, corrections and new choreography. It will make you want to strive for more.
You need to be able to express yourself with something more than just words. Music and water with the body do just that. When you hear 1/16th notes in the score, then move your arms or legs to match the notes. When there’s a whole note, try an off angled open spin. When you hear 1/8th notes, think about how fast or slow, light or heavy you can move your legs. Move to the notes, because when I judge artistic impression I am looking for that as a part of your choreography, not just 1-3-5-7.
As you know, in Synkrolovers you can find specialized products to train and compete in our synchronized swimming store.