Jim's Notes: A Course in Drumming
Shape In Rhythm

We usually do not call a series of notes occuring at random intervals a rhythm. This, of course, implies that to be called a rhythm, some type of order may be imposed upon a note sequence.

 

Since humans dance to rhythm, and since dancing is a repetitive operation, dancers need some indication from the rhythm itself, as to where a repetition is to occur. This repetition of something in a rhythm is the order to be treated first. The union, repeated dance step with something repeated in a rhythm, is a coincidental species of order.

 

This type of order, repetition, can be taken as a geometrical concept. In that case it can be a repetition of a pattern of notes, parts of a pattern of notes, a single note, a real or implied beat, or even the size of a pattern. Each is the repetition of something, and each is recognized by dancers as a repetition.

 

Repetition of part of a pattern:

 

|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|

|O   O O   O O  |O     O     O  |

 

Repetition of a note:

 

|123123123123|123123123123|

|O t tt t t t|O t t  t t t|

 

Repetition of implied beat:

 

|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|

|O O O O O     t|t   O   t   S  |