Risset Rhythms – Beats That Accelerate Or Decelerate Forever

This beat, via chordpunch, is an example of a Risset Rhythm, a beat that seems to accelerate/decelerate forever.

It’s an audio illusion, similar to the Shepard Tone effect of pitches that seem to increase, decrease in pitch endlessly.

Here’s another example, though much less obvious to the ear – Stretta’s Calculus:

The fantastic video is by Franck Tebillac. See Stretta’s Soundcloud page for details on the music.

Risset Rhythms create the illusion of continually changing tempos by increasing/decreasing the tempo, while fading between multiple rhythms with related tempos. The illusion was originally described by composer Jean-Claude Risset.

via musicofsound

7 thoughts on “Risset Rhythms – Beats That Accelerate Or Decelerate Forever

    1. Exactly! It’s always slowing down and every last beat of each measure becomes the next full measure, or something like that. I’m listening to it right now and it’s hard to count 😀
      1_2__3___4____1_2__3___4____…

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