Music Connects Us All

A friend of mine recently suggested that I watch a video on Ted-Ed about rhythm, called “A Different Way to Visualize Rhythm.” Even if you’re not familiar with music, I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve seen a piece of sheet music, if you haven’t here you go:

sheet musicAnyways, the different notes represent different lengths, when put together create different rhythms. As you can see here, rhythm is represented vertically. However, in the video I watched, John Varney, suggests that rhythm be presented using the “wheel method.” Not only does Varney explain rhythm with what looks like a clock, but using this method he shows how related music is in different parts and cultures of the world.

the wheel method


The world is messed up. (Woah, where did this come from? I know this may seem like a rough transition, but it’s true!) People focus too much on how different we are from each other, when we have so much in common. This is why the world is full of so much hate, which in turn causes war. One thing that we all share, no matter where we come from is music. Of course each culture has a different type of music, but those types of music have more things in common than one would think. As explained by Varnery, many types of music share a similar beat. Who knew Northern Romanian music shared the same pattern of rhythm as music from Cuba and Puerto Rico? And just by changing one component of that rhythm pattern, you get middle eastern, Brazilian, or Argentinian music.

While it’s a stretch to use similar underlying rhythm patterns between different cultural types of music to promote world peace (imagine running into the middle of a war to play music, probably not too effective), it does provide a way for me to connect all people of the world with music. I know many people don’t share my extreme enthusiasm of music, but we all listen to music. It’s a universal way of expression. I don’t think there is a single culture who doesn’t sing or dance. Music is something that we all love and need. It’s how we connect within our cultures, but it can also be a way to connect outside of our own culture, a way to see past our differences.



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