This web site was originally set up to record a major research project which I began in the 1960s while still at Oxford University. I have continued to work at this for most of my life.

It concerns a practice called ‘rhythmic inequality’: this is a scholarly term describing a feature that we now associate chiefly with jazz and popular music but which, surprisingly enough, was in use back in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jazz players call it ‘swing’ and it involves playing the short notes of a piece of music in slightly unequal rhythm.

For years the world of music was unaware that this style had been used at such and early date, and it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that musicologists began to explore it seriously.

Lately I have written up my research in a book called An Unequal Music and this web site has become a supplement to this publication. Its main function will now be to allow readers to listen to experimental performances illustrating points that I make in the book.

John Byrt