THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND RHYTHM

NickSchles

Junior Member
Don't know about you, but I've always found the connection between language and rhythm fascinating. Words have their own inherent rhythms (i.e. syllables) that we can use to string together rhythmic passages / phrases. Without wanting to go into detail, there are some fantastic articles and research papers out there that discuss this in great depth.

That said, personally, I find this type of thing really useful when both teaching students as well as trying to learn new things myself. I'm a big fan of using insects as a rhythmic syllabic aid, because it's not only memorable, but also fun and visual.

My latest blog is about using insects to help read, but also remember rhythms, in the form of a game. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the blog, and if you found it insightful.

https://nickschlesinger.com/how-to-read-sheet-music
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
This is uncanny!
I JUST saw your lesson on "ant" "Spider" "Caterpillar" this morning on Insta and am very interested in doing that lesson for reading music.
Wow...my brain is spinning right now. :oops:

I'll hit you up on your site to learn more. 🤘🤘
 

Sebenza

Member
@PorkPieGuy For some reason the Sting song Russians has always done that for me...the melody and rhythm of the lyrics, coupled with the significance of them at the time he wrote it...
 
Disclaimer: I'm neither a native speaker nor a teacher, but do you really phrase dragonfly as "1e_a"? I feel like this system may work for young students to understand basic rhythms but what about "1e_a", "_e+a", triplets and so on? If it makes it more appealing for young students to eventually learn actual notation, more power to you!
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Disclaimer: I'm neither a native speaker nor a teacher, but do you really phrase dragonfly as "1e_a"? I feel like this system may work for young students to understand basic rhythms but what about "1e_a", "_e+a", triplets and so on? If it makes it more appealing for young students to eventually learn actual notation, more power to you!
I kinda like it, it's got a 'fly Dragon' feel which also makes sense too.

'Honey Bee' works for triplet (if needed 🐝)

I grew up with 'hot dog', 'Mississippi' and 'tri-pel-lit'- Insects are way cooler :cool:
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
In a band setting there is a very important connection between the vocalist and the drummer. The timing and spacing of the words is what creates the melody of the song. Along with the correct pitch of the words.

Have you ever played drums with a vocalist that has a very poor sense of timing? Then you know what I’m talking about. Many times I have heard a vocalist say, “_______” is my favorite drummer to sing with. Or, I don’t sing well when “_______” is on the drums.


.
 

NickSchles

Junior Member
Disclaimer: I'm neither a native speaker nor a teacher, but do you really phrase dragonfly as "1e_a"? I feel like this system may work for young students to understand basic rhythms but what about "1e_a", "_e+a", triplets and so on? If it makes it more appealing for young students to eventually learn actual notation, more power to you!
The system works great with everyone coz it’s memorable!

I find “dragonfly” is god go coz “dragon” is two short syllables, and the “n” is started slightly.

With other rhythms such as your “_e+a” I tell the student it’s a “(ca)terpillar”, etc.

At the end of the day, I’ve tailored the system to suit my teaching needs, and get great results!

😊
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I am there 100% with you on this Nick!!!

I LOVE reading about the connections that music has to language, communication, and some of the bigger picture "vibrations" of our existence.

I have always felt that music is the connection to the higher powers; the godheads; Ain Soph;

the vibration of air in any way moves and communicates with a deeper part of ourselves in ways that have not been discovered; it is also fascinating to me to see animals effected and moved by music like humans are sometimes;

there is also the whole scientific, physics and mathematical side of music that makes it an other worldly event too....

so, to reveal the super-nerdy side of my self: I have been a student of the occult and metaphysics, as well as world religions and philosophy, for many many years, and the nature and elements of music comes up a lot in those worlds. One of the things I have discovered is - especially on the physics side of things - music is a very, very powerfull form of spiritual and ethereal communication. I am immediately reminded of the chants of shamen from numerous tribes around the world...none diretly related, but all garnering the same effect from their followers with rhythmic chants, earthy tones and sounds...

@Sebenza mentioned how the song "Russians" by Sting "works"...(and it absolutely does for me in the same way)..and even more-so for me, off of that same album, the song Children's Crusade also is just astonishing in how the music directly communicates what the words are saying <---I think this is all part of a bigger force that is trying to communicate with us, but we can't fully understand it yet
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I use food words with my junior classes:

Ham
hot dog
sausage roll
hamburger
chicken nugget

triplet is pineapple
1e a is ‘meat pie and’

So you get rhythms like:
hotdog hamburger meat-pie-and ham.
 

moodman

Well-known member
Good stuff, helpful to de-mystify sight reading. I started using just dots on graph paper, adding flags, rests, staff, etc as I understood their placement.
This connection is also very useful in song writing. If I have a good lyric, it then suggests a melody which may result in the rhythm for the song.
 
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