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Life is like dancing. If we have a big floor, many people will dance. Some will get angry when the rhythm changes. But life is changing all the time.
Miguel Angel Ruiz

Beat vs Rhythm
Have you ever heard a band when the drummer counts out, 1, 2, 3, 4?
The drummer is setting the tempo of the piece. Tempo, an Italian word for time, is how fast or slow the pulse of the music moves. If a group of musicians are playing a song together, then all must share the same beat at the same tempo.
            Take 3 fingers, touch underneath your wrist and find your pulse. Your pulse or heartbeat can change depending on what your doing. If you’re running or working out, it can move at a faster rate.  When sleeping or resting your heart rate slows.  It is your natural beat. A beat is a rhythmic unit in music or the unchanging tempo of a piece. Count 1,2,3,4 and continue to repeat that pattern at the same rate. You are keeping a steady beat if you are not speeding up or slowing down the rate at which you count.

            A rhythm is made up of sounds and silences (rests). Unlike beat, rhythm can change within a piece. When paired with pitches, rhythm can create a melody. It is the way the music moves within a piece. Rhythm moves with the beat, however they are not the same. Think about the popular song by Queen, “We Will Rock You.” STOMP-STOMP CLAP, STOMP-STOMP CLAP is the rhythm for this classic song. Underlying this rhythm is a beat that you can count 1, 2, 3, 4. Stomp twice on beat 1 and stomp twice on beat 3.  Clap only once on beat 2 and on beat 4. Now you are counting the beat, but playing a rhythm with your body. Try it at different tempos. See if you can make up your own rhythm over a beat.

Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers!  We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature:
email me at justin@cfmedia.info for more details.

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