Sonic Elements


Matrices, Cosmograms, & Ostinatos of Circularity
for Instrumentalists, Percussionists, Composers and Music Educators

 (121 page spiral bound book)

Excerpts from the Book
| Purchase Sonic Elements 
| Pure Rhythm Book

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Sonic Elements Book Cover

"Mr. Adam Rudolph, over his entire creative life, has engaged in a large research concerning music and sound. In particular, he has investigated musical elements used in the context of performance and the philosophic meaning inscribed in rhythm.

It's my great pleasure to highly recommend this book. Sonic Elements should be read and studied by every creative musician.”

- Wadada Leo Smith
Instrumentalist and composer
Professor Emeritus, California Institute of the Arts

"Adam Rudolph is a master musician and story teller with decades of performance and teaching skills. I have no doubt that you will learn much of value upon reading and studying Sonic Elements."

- Dave Liebman
Multi-wind player, NEA Jazz Master

I think Adam has found the connectedness of his quest involving intervals and scales. Serious students of music will find much of interest in Sonic Elements."

 - Henry Threadgill
Instrumentalist, composer, Pulitzer Prize recipient

With "Sonic Elements: Matrices, Cosmograms and Ostinatos of Circularity," author, composer, conductor and percussionist Adam Rudolph presents powerful and innovative ideas about intervals, harmony, and rhythms. The 121-page spiral bound book also expands on Rudolph's rhythm concept of "Cyclic Verticalism," which he first presented in his 2006 book "Pure Rhythm."

Written for performers, students, educators, and composers, as well as anyone interested in music, "Sonic Elements" is a unique and profound contribution to books on music pedagogy and philosophy.

In the introduction Rudolph writes: "The purpose of this book is to inspire both instrumentalists and composers to look at musical elements in new ways. This is not a 'how to' book, nor is it meant as any kind of music theory dogma. It is simply another way of looking at music materials. When we can think and hear in new ways, we can expand our creative approach and concept."


Excerpts from Sonic Elements: 

(please click on a link to view the page)

Preface - iv
Introduction - 1
Matrices and Cosmograms - 2
How to Use a Matrix or a Cosmogram - 3
Hexatonic Matrices - 5
Nine Tone Matrices - 8
Raga Matrices - 15
Mirror Matrix - 17
Egyptian Scale Matrices - 20
Clustonic Matrices - 22
Octatonic Matrices - 27
Ralph M. Jones's Synthetic Scale Matrix - 32
Yusef Lateef's Nine Tone Row Matrix - 34
Tree Matrix - 37
Whole Tone Clusters - 39
Pentatonic Matrices - 41
How to Make Your Own Matrix - 48
Introduction to Cyclic Verticalism - 50
Signal Rhythms and Ostinatos of Circularity - 52
Signal Rhythm Mandalas - 61
Ostinatos of Circularity Mandalas - 68
The Ambiguity of Ternary Periods - 78
Triple Diminished Cosmograms - 83
Double Intervallic Combinatoric Cosmograms - 97

Organic Music - 118
About Go: Organic Orchestra - 119
Discography - 120
About the Author - 121



"As well as being an all-encompassing musical artist, i.e., composer, conductor, instrumentalist, and philosopher, Adam Rudolph is a scientist of sound. In this current text, Sonic Elements, he illustrates the visual equivalents to sound, especially patterns or systems of sound as they create, transform or cycle through time.

There is also a carefully inventive, but potentially productive, use of clarifyingly intense language, well worth the work to understand and profoundly important for conscientious musicians. But, more importantly for us as an audience, Adam Rudolph's analysis of the association of sound matrices and visual symbols has the capacity to expand and enrich our appreciation of what music is, as well as what it means to exist as artistic human beings trying to cultivate our lives and creative visions."

- C. Daniel Dawson
Columbia University, African American and African Diaspora Studies Department


Adam Rudolph

Adam Rudolph


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