Rhythm in Communication LO23714

From: Bruno Martins Soares (bmartins.soares@mail.EUnet.pt)
Date: 12/31/99

Replying to LO23694 --

Dear Leo and Barry and Organlearners in general,

I have been learning a lot from all of you in the past weeks and I have to
say, Rick, you have some kind of a beautiful thing going on here!

Now, I have been thinking on everything it has been said on this topic and
would like to summarize some of it and give it all a new meaning, if you
don't mind. I'm thinking as i'm writing so please bare with me and point
out inconsistancies as they come out, ok?

Let us imagine a path where on one side we have total uncontrollable
movement with no pattern at all (let's call it absolute chaos), and on the
other side a pole with no movement at all, a pause pole (let's call it
absolute order). It's very rare or impossible in this universe to be in
one or the other extremes. We move somewhere in this line, never in total
chaos or total order. In each of the poles, time does not make sense. In
one because there is no change, in the other because change is so much and
so indiscriminate it can't be measured. Time itself is an abstract concept
to pertain to movement and change all in all. if you wish, it is the
holistic view of change. Now, the only way to effectively measure time and
movement is to understand or relate to some kind of pattern in it. This
pattern of movement we can call rhythm.

Now, I've characterized rhythm as a study concept, Barry reacted to this
and I now believe this is wrong. In fact, rhythm as a pattern, is
ontologically linked to movement, it seems to me, though it is the only
way we have to effectively understand movement and change as a whole.

I also characterized rhythm as feeling. I now think this is wrong for the
exact same reasons I gave in the previous paragraph. Feeling is a process
as studying and reasoning, while rhythm is a pattern. Although I do
believe that we are better able to perceive rhythm intuitively than
rationaly. Winifried actually linked me with a brilliant article from
Prof.Boos, on his page, which helped a lot.

Thus coming to Barry's last msg.

>Earthquakes cause by slipping faults or overriding plate sections generate
>rhythms on the seismograph. this one example supports your thought that
>rhythm (as in discernable wave patterns) is a result of the more basic,
>lower abstraction, movement. But that's dehumanizes one aspect of the
>I am seated on the ground beneath a small spruce tree, leaning against its
>trunk. A passing downpour has soaked me, and I'm awaiting the sudden
>storm's passage. The sun is already shining on close-by fields. From this
>young tree, water droplets fall from a series a branches and perform a
>percussive dance in a puddle the size of one's hand atop the sandy soil.
>The rhythm changes, speeds and slows. But most importantly, it captures my
>attention. I am captured by something intuitive, I think.

Barry, I do not believe that seeing rhythm as pattern is dehumanizing. In
fact, the way we can perceive rhythm so well without thinking it is also
very interesting to me, and adds to my firm belief that it is essencial to
good communication and art.

Your second paragraph actually makes my point. If you study it carefully
you will find you have not described rhythm. In fact, you described
movement, changes, some of them in a very beautiful way. Remark this

>From this
>young tree, water droplets fall from a series a branches and perform a
>percussive dance in a puddle the size of one's hand atop the sandy soil.

See how you described the movement? And yet, you found the intuitive urge
to create to us the sense of the movement, the rhythm of the movement. If
I'd change the phrase like this:

«From this young tree, water droplets fall from a series a branches. They
perform a percussive dance in a puddle. This puddle was the size of one's
hand atop the sandy soil.»

the whole idea of the rhythm would have been lost. You did it, I believe,
because you wanted us to feel the same as you had, to sense the movement
as you had. Am I wrong? But, yet, what you wanted to describe was the
movement. Rhythm, the way you use the word, is a conceptual illusion (much
like an optical illusion) caused by the fact that you use the pattern to
perceive the whole being, meaning the movement. No?

Now, Leo's contribution on attractors and rejectors has been magical for

If we say that movement is the the dynamics between attractors and
rejectors (order and chaos, Leo???), we can set rhythm to be the pattern
in these fluctuations. This means that if we can understand and measure at
which rate something is atracting and something is rejecting, we can
understand the velocity and the pauses which are, IMHO, the essence of
movement and, thus, rhythm. This can lead us then, to understand movement
and change better. Right?

One interesting thing to reflect is in the rhythm of a photograph. A
picture is a still frame. Theorectically it has no movement. Yet, a
photograph showing a table has quite a different rhythm than a photograph
showing somebody falling from a chair. Is this because the second
photograph shows a clear attractor (the ground) and a clear rejector (the
chair) thus giving the feeling of movement? Mmm...

One more thing. If we're working with a model having total order on one
side and total movement on the other, what do you think makes more sense:
that total movement is the absence of pauses or that it has an
indiscriminate amount of them? Or maybe the whole model has no sense at
all (oooops!)??? ;-) What do u think?

Another point coming out of Leo's last msg was the difference betweem
rhythm of form and rhythm of content. It feels like a delicious thing to
discuss. Can I lean on it a bit longer and get back to you?

Bom millenium everyone,

Bruno Martins Soares
Lisbon, Portugal



"Bruno Martins Soares" <bmartins.soares@mail.EUnet.pt>

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