What is rhythm?

   Rhythm is the natural swing felt in dancing, music, and language. The word comes from the Greek word rhythmos, meaning measured motion. In dancing, rhythmic patterns and variations are created by physical motions of shorter or longer duration and of greater or lesser emphasis. In music, rhythmic figures and phrases come from an arrangement of tones, organized according to their duration and stresses, or accents. In lan­guage, rhythm is the rise and fall of sounds according to syllables, vocal inflections, physical speech accents, and pauses. Modern English and German are of the lan­guage type that has physically stressed, or accented, syllables. Greek and Latin are of the language type that uses long and short syllables or inflections to give stress. In poetry, both types organize syllables into rhythmic patterns called feet, which are grouped into many differ­ent poetic forms.
   In all the arts, rhythm is the element that provides a universal means of communication.