Rhythm in the air: perspectives on a social theory of rhythm

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Rhythms are present in our lives from the very beginning (Partanen et al 2013), as sounds, practices and experiences. They ‘enskill’ us (Ingold 2000) in the sense that they provide us with temporal frames for our social interactions, with music as a key medium for this enskilling. Rhythmic learning is a long, slow process involving narratives, both spoken and sounded, as well as participation in social engagements contextualised within specific sets of cultural values (Lefebvre 2004; King 2016). But within this process of enculturation we are not unaffected by the sounds of the world around us. Cultures identify, and enact particular attitudes to the rhythms of the environment within which we live: the sounds of air, wind and water, other animals, plants and trees, acoustic spaces (Nelson 2014). Rhythms interact, engage and co-habit (Nelson 2011) within a material time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventIntersections/Intersezioni 2019: The Arts and the Concept of Time - Firenze, Italy
Duration: 29 May 201930 May 2019


ConferenceIntersections/Intersezioni 2019
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • rhythm
  • social interaction
  • music perception


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