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Rhythm

(1,064 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter | Schmull, Heino
Rhythm derives from the Greek rhythmós, ‘time measure,’ ‘beat,’ and can also mean, ‘proportion’ in general; gestalt or ‘form’ (‘shape’); and, in Ionic, ‘custom,’ ‘practice,’ ‘habit.’ Originally, the word designates an invariable motion, such as that of the waves of an ocean (in Gk., rhein, ‘to stream,’ ‘to flow’). Thus, rhythm is an ‘arranging,’ an ‘ordering’ (especially with respect to time) by way of cyclical, identical or varied, repetition of the same elements. A distinction must be made among (1) musical rhythm, (2) the rhythm of spe…