Rhythm and signification: Temporalities of musical and social meaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Rhythm is generally taken to refer to a temporal pattern of events. Yet in recent years, across diverse fields in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, it has come to serve as the conceptual marker for a wide range of new approaches to understanding relations and relationality, following most explicitly from the late work of Henri Lefebvre. This article explores the temporal aspect of such relational thinking, in particular asking how time is implicated in relations, and how it can be meaningful in those relations. The sense of time is surveyed from the perspectives of both cognition and metaphysics as well as with reference to music scholarship and social theory, and key threads are drawn, from the writings of Gaston Bachelard and Charles Sanders Peirce in particular, in order to suggest that time can be a sign, and that the signifying properties of rhythm have critical social consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-78
Number of pages23
JournalAngelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Bachelard
  • rhythm
  • rhythmanalysis
  • semiotics
  • sign
  • time


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