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About Rythm
 

 
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By Lawrence Schenbeck
 
Boulez called it duration. By that he meant the whole spectrum of ways that music moves through time. (Jazz and rock musicians often refer to a sense of proper rhythm, or even rhythm itself, as “time,” e.g., “That cat has no time.”) Time really is of the essence. As music moves through time, it may also present with tones of higher or lower frequency (pitch), with pitches and beats that occur by themselves or in simultaneity with others (texture), using tone colors of one hue or another (timbre) and with varying degrees of loudness (dynamics). What it must do, however, is move through time. Time is prime. It’s the organizing factor, the true first dimension, the story.
Most of us learn about musical time via group activities like marching and dancing. You do these things with others, which is to say with some degree of coordination. Your partner—or your 140 marching-band partners—will want to hook up with you rhythmically. (One of the saddest scenes in a recent film, The Lobster, shows a rebellious group of outcasts, the Loners, dancing together but separately, each person tuned in to his or her own dance rhythm via smartphone and earbuds. Obviously pathological.) Rhythm can keep us all together; it’s a metaphor for social cohesion.
Immediately and as a matter of course, clever cultures find ways to complicate rhythm. Take the many survivals of West African polyrhythms in music of the Western Hemisphere.

 
 
Please go to the full article for further discussion and many more examples
 
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