Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός—rhythmos, "any regular recurring motion, symmetry") may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything from microseconds to millions of years.
In the performance arts rhythm is the timing of events on a human scale; of musical sounds and silences, of the steps of a dance, or the meter of spoken language and poetry. Rhythm may also refer to visual presentation, as "timed movement through space." and a common language of pattern unites rhythm with geometry. In recent years, rhythm and meter have become an important area of research among music scholars. Recent work in these areas includes books by Maury Yeston, Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, Jonathan Kramer, Christopher Hasty, Godfried Toussaint, William Rothstein, and Joel Lester.
Rhythm is made up of sounds and silences. These sound and silences are put together to form a pattern of sounds which are repeated to create a rhythm. A rhythm has a steady beat, but it may also have different kinds of beats. Some beats may be stronger, longer, shorter or softer than others. In a single piece of music, a composer can use many different rhythms.
Famous quotes containing the word rhythm:
“Our choice is clear,
we may share
meaning and rhythm and grace
in each daily act.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“The freeway experience ... is the only secular communion Los Angeles has.... Actual participation requires a total surrender, a concentration so intense as to seem a kind of narcosis, a rapture-of-the-freeway. The mind goes clean. The rhythm takes over.”
—Joan Didion (b. 1935)
“In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)