What If We Visualized Rhythm With Circles Instead of Traditional Bars

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Music is inherently orderly (at least, most of it is), but you'd never know it by looking at a page full of notes and notation. However, a new TED video shows how the backbone of any piece of music—rhythm—can be easily visualized using a simple wheel and hand.

The unique visualization looks a lot like a clock, except in addition to having points around the circle, it also has rings within it. This is how TED education John Varney explains denotes different types of beats and their role in the overall rhythm. Once you get a handle on how the visualization works you'll be fascinated to see how much different genres of music from around the world have in common. Who knew Caribbean dance tunes used the same rhythm as northern Romanian folk music? [TED]