"Discipline" is a 1981 instrumental composition by the progressive rock band King Crimson. It is the title track on Discipline, their return album after a seven-year hiatus. The piece is 5:13 in length and serves as the album's conclusion. it has a faster tempo and more of a new wave pre-techno sound compared to the preceding piece, "The Sheltering Sky". It contains heavy influences of Minimal music in the form of a repeating theme with subtle variations introduced over time, creating a hypnotic effect.
The composition undergoes many time signature changes. There are two main guitars (one played by Robert Fripp the other by Adrian Belew) which often are play each in a different time signature, giving the song a chaotic and intense feel. Many times the guitars play similar patterns, but one drops a note making them go either out of sync or change time signatures. During the piece the two guitars of Belew and Fripp, respectively, move through the following sequence of pairs of time signatures: 5/8 and 5/8, 5/8 and 4/4, 5/8 and 9/8, 15/16 and 15/16, 15/16 and 14/16, 10/8 and 20/16, 15/16 and 15/16, 15/16 and 14/16, 12/16 and 12/16, 12/16 and 11/16, 15/16 and 15/16, 15/16 and 14/16. Throughout the drums play in 17/16 - the Bill Bruford drumming video, Bruford and the Beat, builds up to an explanation of the 17/16 pattern used (including the fact that the 4/4 bass drum pattern is maintained as a "dance groove") and includes a live performance of the track interleaved with an interview with Robert Fripp about aspects of the track. In other interviews Fripp has explained that the track was composed as an exercise in discipline - no single instrument is allowed to take the lead role in the performance, nor to play as simply an accompaniment to the other instruments, but each player must maintain an equal role while allowing others to do the same.
- Category: 1981 songs
- Category: Instrumentals
- Category: King Crimson songs
- Category: Songs written by Adrian Belew
- Category: Songs written by Bill Bruford
- Category: Songs written by Robert Fripp
- Category: Songs written by Tony Levin
- album: Discipline (King Crimson album)
- artist: King Crimson
- composer: Adrian Belew
- composer: Bill Bruford
- composer: Robert Fripp
- composer: Tony Levin
- genre: Avant-garde
- genre: Instrumental rock
- genre: Math rock
- genre: Progressive rock
- performer: King Crimson
- previousWork: The Sheltering Sky (King Crimson song)
- producer: King Crimson
- record label: Warner Bros.
- recordLabel: Warner Bros.
- subsequentWork: Matte Kudasai