Is your sense of rhythm all in your brain?

Is your sense of rhythm all in your brain, or does it rely on other parts such as for example the stability of your heartbeat? If the latter, then if you had a terrible sense of rhythm but then stabalized the heartbeat would your sense of rhythm improve?

One’s sense of rhythm is kept in one’s ass, booty, moneymaker, thang, etc.

What an odd concept. For what it’s worth, my heartbeat has become irregular lately, yet my sense of rhythm hasn’t suffered.

Our sense of rhythm is imparted by the structures of our inner ear and how they are constructed to respond to harmonic frequencies.

There are certain elements of music that are appealing because they mimic the rhythm of the heart at rest, during exercise, etc. For example, waltz music pretty much imitates the heartbeat of a waltzing person in terms of beats/minute (your mileage may vary).

You are confusing rhythm with pitch and timbre.

I think this is true, but it contradicts your initial statement.

Your heart had better not beat in 3/4 (waltz) time!

How the human brain measures time is not extremely well understood (well, not by me anyway) but there have been some studies of it. I can’t cite a particular article but I have read about this in Scientific American Mind. It’s in the brain, not other organs. As noted above, people have an affinity for tempos that remind them of heartbeats, but that’s not how we measure time.

A musician can keep rhythm regardless of what his heart rate is doing.

Appropos of nothing, but neat anyhow…I once heard a techno tune which used the sound of a fetal Doppler heartbeat in the rhythm line. WHOOSHwhooshWHOOSHwhooshWHOOSHwhooshWHOOSHwhoosh… it actually made me gasp and then get teary. None of the men in the club seemed to notice, but some of the women started looking around like WTF?

No, it wasn’t a contradiction; it was another reason why rhythm is appealing.

The heart’s beating forms a rhythm with waltz time, not a synchronization. ONE-two-three One-two-three forms the “ONE” approximately as often as the heart beats. Of course, this varies from person to person.

Do you mean what we call in drum circles “filling in the beats”? I don’t know what the proper musical term for it is, if there is one, but if someone’s beating, say, a simple downbeat in common time (which is about all I can handle, to be honest!), other beats on other drums will sort of mix with it to make a more interesting and complex rhythm overall.

An article about related research:

Neural rhythms drive physical movement

Related, with all of the science in the last couple paragraphs:

Even more related:

The only other things I can add to the thread:

  1. Not everyone has the same sense of musical meter (and I can only extrapolate rhythm as well). Some or more sensitive than others, similar to hearing pitch.
  2. Critically acclaimed bassist Christian McBride once addressed a clinic I was at claiming that some people have “perfect time” in the same way as it’s possible to have “perfect pitch”.
  3. Along the same lines, the former college roommate of drummer Dave Weckl claimed that he could turn on a metronome and start practicing, turn off the metronome, turn it back on after an hour or two, and he would always be in perfect time with it.
  4. George Michael Bluth also has a perfect sense of time and is sometimes called the “Human Metronome”.

My guess: Rhythm and meter are controlled by the same part of the brain as the more advanced language centers.

Oh yeah, I should add that you can train yourself to have a stronger sense of musical rhythm. The reason musicians practice with a metronome is to do just that, and I can assure you that most young musicians have much more difficulty playing in time than the professionals do. That being said, I don’t think any of this impedes younger audiences from appreciating rhythmically complex music. I can’t say whether this is because audiences have a different relationship with the music then the performer, or because the hypothetical audience is just enjoying the non-rhythmic aspects of the music. Either way, our sense of rhythm is like a muscle in that we can strengthen it.

“This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the veins…
These are the roots of rhythm and the roots of rhythm remain”

Paul Simon explained it best.

Though half of me is in the details, I’m otherwise in your soul.
No, really.

It’s all in your mind.

– Siam Same, the Solipsist

My emboldening.

Sorry but that sounds like a ridiculous claim. When does he turn it back on? :rolleyes:
Maybe if someone took it out of the room and listened to him they could verify he keeps a perfect rhythm, otherwise who knows how many beats he has gone on ahead or fallen behind.