What Do I Mean by Rhythm?

Rhythmic processes can be understood as vibrational phenomena, as described in the example of mechanical oscillations. Beyond this physical case, one will have to look for the peculiar nature of oscillation in everyday life, for which physical vibrations can only be models.


Thus, rhythm can be understood as a continuous movement between polar opposites, which is regularly repeated in similar time conditions. Traversing opposites leads to accentuation, and the connection of these opposites through the movement of the whole process leads to coherence and wholeness. The principle of movement is inherent in all rhythmic phenomena, whether they are expressed in the spatial material or in the mental realm.


From Bernd Rosslenbroich, On the Concept of Rhythm. In: The Rhythmic Organization of Humanity. Stuttgart 1994. – Translation: Monika Werner

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