Fall 2024


Listed in: Music, as MUSI-228


Jason Robinson (Section 01)


What is musical rhythm and why does it matter? How is rhythm perceived, measured, notated (or indicated) and performed in different musical cultures and what does rhythm “mean” within each system?  In this course we will examine rhythmic traditions within their historical, social, and cultural contexts, develop ways of understanding rhythms across cultures and traditions, and learn how to hear and perform rhythms of various traditions. We will use staff notation of Western music as an analytical tool and comparative model to investigate rhythmic complexity, polyrhythm, cross rhythm, mixed and odd meters, groove, incremental repetition and ecstaticism induced by rhythm. We will also use pedagogical and conceptual models from musics beyond the Western tradition, such as solkattu from South Indian Carnatic music, but also concepts like quantization in MIDI programming, transcription, and time unit box notation systems (TUBS). Coursework will include reading, listening, and viewing assignments, learning and performing rhythmic exercises discussed in class, brief writing and class presentation projects, and a final project. While there are no course prerequisites for this class, students should be familiar with basic rhythmic concepts of Western staff notation.

Professor Robinson.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on aural analysis, artistic practice, and independent research.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Fall 2024