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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Pulse and Beat

An understanding of the nature of rhythm begins with observation of the world and ourselves as a part of it. It is immediately obvious that rhythm plays a vital part in the world—in fact, our lives are totally governed by it. There is the rhythm of the seasons, the tides, and the phases of the moon, as well as that important diurnal rhythm by which our lives are regulated and controlled—the alternation of night and day.

Looking at ourselves, we can also see rhythm in abundance—in the beating of our hearts, the inhalation and exhalation of breath, the rhythmic action of peristalsis, the process of walking. Rhythm, in fact, is everywhere, both within and without.

So it is perhaps no coincidence to discover that the rhythms of music ...

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