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Rhythm is the variation of the length and accentuation of a series of sounds or other events. It is inherent in any time-dependent medium, but it is most associated with music, dance, and the majority of poetry.


  • drums - bass - beat - the breaks - dance music - groove - syncopation - rhythm and blues - riddims - monde

Rhythm sections

  • Sly and Robbie - Edwards and Rodgers - Baker, Harris Young
"It must be said that the West has a rather repellent history of reducing African and Afrodiasporic culture to its rhythms. At the same time, we should not let Hollywood images of "savage" and "frenetic" drumming (or the more subtle distortions that emerge with over-generalized discussions such as my own), obscure the pivotal role that rhythm plays in West African aesthetics, social organization, and metaphysics. Nor should the evident psycho-physiological power of drums and their intimacy with dancing bodies obstruct their more abstract, conceptual, or virtual powers. As I hope to imply throughout this paper, West African drumming can serve as an excellent analog model for a variety of pressing technocultural discussions about distributed networks, the philosophy and perception of multiplicities, and the emergent properties of complex systems."-- Erik Davis in "Polyrhythmic Cyberspace and the Black Electronic"

Rhythm in music

All musicians, instrumentalists and vocalists, work with rhythm, but in modern music a rhythm section generally consists of percussion instruments, bass and possibly chordal instruments (e.g., guitar, banjo) and keyboard instruments, such as piano. In recent years, music theorists have attempted to explain connections between rhythm, meter, and the broad structure and organization of sound events in music. Some have suggested that rhythm (and its essential relationship to the temporal aspect of sound) may in fact be the most fundamental aspect of music. Hasty (1997, p. 3), for example, notes that "Among the attributes of rhythm we might include continuity or flow, articulation, regularity, proportion, repetition, pattern, alluring form or shape, expressive gesture, animation, and motion (or at least the semblance of motion). Indeed, so intimate is the connection of the rhythmic and the musical, we could perhaps most concisely and ecumenically define music as the 'rhythmization' of sound." Rhythm is likely the most fundamental aspect of music, because percussion instruments were likely in use long before stringed instruments. Tribal groups dancing to music made only with percussion instruments is an ancient human practice, which reportedly continues today in primitive groups. The three fundamental elements of music are rhythm, melody, and harmony. Rhythm is the only essential element of these three, because Music can be played with Rhythm only, as in the aforementioned case of ancient and modern tribes. Try playing Music with only melody or harmony, or both (without rhythm), it can't be done.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rhythm" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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