An ostinato is a repeated rhythmic pattern. One pattern is fine, but when you combine two or more together, it gets interesting – and people like interesting rhythms, not boring, predictable rhythms.

We can write percussion ostinatos on music paper just like any other instrument – with a few exceptions. For example, most drums don’t have notes. They are called unpitched instruments (a pitch is a note).

 Here is a sample of how musicians would write their rhythms:

We can do this with software, online webpages, or with pencil and paper.

Useful for writing ostinato patterns is the repeat symbol that goes at the end of the line:

Best of luck writing your ostinatos!
Mr. Kozak


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