Weedon’s Wanderings: 11th July 2019

Snare drum


We’re probably all familiar with the sight of dozens of feet tapping in time to a march or dance number at a concert. But is rhythm the fundamental aspect of music? Music could be said to consist of pitch (how high or low a note sounds), beat (the steady pulse that ticks away in the background, like a metronome), rhythm (the varying pattern of a tune which we can copy by clapping it), harmony (the combination of notes sounded together with pleasing - or less pleasing - results) and timbre (recognisable differences in sound such as volume, different instruments, acoustics etc). Which one is the foremost?

It’s worth considering this: if I play you a tune with all the rhythm removed - in other words, all the pitches there but otherwise a long string of regular notes - you are unlikely to recognise it. But if I tap...

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