Fundamentals of Rhythm

Tags: Contemporary dance, Rhythm, Modern dance


Rhythmic Activity is an activity wherein the individual response physically and emotionally to music or any rhythmic accompaniment. In all nature, every individual makes rhythm like foot tapping, head movement, body sway while music is playing.

Definition of terms

* Rhythm is a measured motion of flow characterized basically by regular recurrence of elements or features as beats, sounds, or accents. This definition implies measurement of time, space, and energy. All works of art require rhythm. Rhythm is most clearly seen through dance – the art of movement. * Dancing is a means of expressing one’s emotions through movement disciplined by rhythm. It is an art of moving rhythmically and expressively to an accompaniment. The term “Dancing” came from an old German word “danson” which means “to stretch”. * Dance refers to the rhythmic succession of body movements usually to the accompaniment of music and is used as a form of communication.

Elements of Rhythm

All movements are affected by the element of rhythm. These elements should be learned and understood in relation to dance.

1. Underlying Beat is the steady continuous sound that is heard or felt throughout any rhythmical sequence. This constant steady pulsation is sometimes called pulse beat. The underlying beat determines the time signature of a piece of music or movements. 2. Measure refers to the identical grouping of underlying beats. This group of notes is between two bar lines. 3. Rhythmic Pattern is a definite grouping of sounds or beats related to the underlying beat. It is also called melody pattern because the rhythmic pattern follows the words or melody. There is a relationship between the word pattern, rhythmic pattern and underlying beat. 4. Phrasing is a group of measures that gives a feeling of unity. Learning to identify or recognize phrases is essential to learning and creating dances. 5. Accent is the force or emphasis given to...
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