Rhythm, Sound & Beat: Our Genetic Cadences

For all of you music enthusiasts. Certainly for any of you drummers, you maestros of rhythm, or Lords of the Skins!

Here is the mystery:  If the rhythm is right, if the translation between inner mood and the drum membrane are perfect, then you know it instantly. “Ah, this goes with my body tempo, this connects how I feel today, how fast my heart is beating, what my thoughts are, what my hands feel like.” Drumming on the Edge of Magic: A Journey Into the Spirit of Percussion, by Micky Hart, Fredric Lieberman and Jay Stevens (1990)

I was inspired yesterday by a fellow blogger and musician (Ark)—if he considers drummers “musicians” (wink)—to write this post about how natural, how biologically embedded rhythm, patterns in sound vibrations, and beats or pulse are to the human neurology. Maybe it is different for percussionists and maybe it isn’t, the mathematics of rhythm that is, and how almost endlessly it can be shifted, divided, multiplied, or derived from previous… well, derivatives. The patterns, rhythms, and beats often have a common denominator, a baseline if you will. Yet, it is wonderfully and by no means permanent.

When the rhythm is right you feel it with all your senses, every corner of your soul and being. You don’t fight it, but instead allow yourself to be propelled and consumed by its insistent yet familiar feeling. All sense of the present moment disappears, the normal categories of time become meaningless. — Ibid

There are 12 distinct components or moods and pulses in this following 9-minute instrumental entitled La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise in Self-Indulgence). It is a human journey in sleep by a man with a lucid imagination coupled with a propensity for some extreme anxiety and/or tranquility. The epic song by Rush is from the very apropos cerebral album HemispheresOne of the tranquil components:  To Sleep, Perchance to Dream… and anxious components:  Monsters! and Monsters! (Reprise) both adaptations of a 1937 Raymond Scott jazz instrumental. I cannot fully express how masterful this piece is in complex mathematical drumming and syncopation by one Lord of the Skins that should give any percussion aficionado goose-bumps, Neil Peart!

We live on a planet of rhythm and time. A planet that completes its cycle around the sun every 365 days, with a moon that cycles around us every 28 days, and we rotate around our own axis every 24 hours. These cosmic cycles and our bodily ones, all connected to the circadian dance of day and night. The mystery of rhythm and time found for a moment in the soul’s drum. When it is right, you feel it with all your senses, every thread of your being. It is the ‘sweet spot’ of connection [to this cyclical planet and the celestial heavens in which it and we revolves]. — Ibid

Medical studies repeatedly show that getting your heart-rate up drumming or dancing, or both, for just 30 minutes a day is equal to one anti-depressant pill. My own studies have shown that dueling and complimenting another drummer on her/his kit (below) is equivalent to two pills of euphoria… similar to ecstasy, but better! And naturally legal! Can you imagine how healthy it is participating in a drum-circle with dancing!? Exercise! Get down and hard, get steamy sweaty!

Or if you prefer something more indigenous, reflective of our evolutionary roots, more primal, more Latin, then I give you Evening Samba by Mickey Hart and his indigenous percussion ensemble:

How about something highly erotic that reaches deep inside to the twisted Sorcerer/Sorceress unleashing a beast inside? And then hits your natural release, the endorphins to help carry us away, floating while time stands still, A Different Drum:


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Drum & Dance Always

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22 thoughts on “Rhythm, Sound & Beat: Our Genetic Cadences

  1. So much of this beat and rhythm is inherited. Some people can’t help but move when the music starts. You can take the Latino away from his music, but you can’t take the music out of them. I have a grandson that does very tribal dance moves when I fire up the bongos. He can’t white person dance at all, but that kid has awesome primitive moves!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • He will be neutralized by conformity. His mother is a TB. He is with us five days a week and the kid is a science whiz at 7. He grasps the quantum concepts and general relativity and I freely encourage him and expose him every day. He also has his own ideas he’s forming which are quite amazing. He goes home and his mother reads bible stories to him.

        Liked by 2 people

          • I believe my encouragements are taking hold. His ability to grasp these concepts at his age is stunning. A month ago he’d never heard them, now it’s all he wants to learn watch. It’s bending his mind and reality. I love watching it unfold. Myself, I am on a slightly different path of discovery, but I will let him unfold this mystery like only a curious child can do.
            My daughter is also uncovering beautiful little mysteries of her own. She has inherited some primal phenotypes of her own history that are coming to life. My job is to not ruin it. I am thoroughly convinced religion has spoiled a great deal of natural creativity and ability. It’s unfolding in front of me. The blank slate is taking its own shape, and it’s pretty remarkable.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Oooooooo! What a FANTASTIC question Rosaliene! I would not be surprised one bit if it did. My mother was very much a lover of music and dance. Had it playing throughout the house all the time growing up. She had a huge library of several different genres, including classical music too. I must ask her if she played it as much when pregnant with me and my younger sister. What a great question. Thank you Rosaliene! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Potions and elixirs to one side, the pioneers of the first animal cults were anything but common medicinal charlatans masquerading as Masters of nothing. There was a vein of very real magic tied to the rituals they oversaw and this divination was not reserved to simple imaginative wanderings. Ritualistic use of music, rhythmic drumming more specifically, circular chanting, and repetitive dancing were discovered devises – tools of trance – used to override an individual’s sensory apparatus and transport them from the ordinary into the extra-ordinary. From a physiological perspective patterned, cyclical, and monotonous rhythm swamps the perennial lobe where concepts of ‘self’ reside; literally inducing a loss of self or depersonalisation in the individual. As the ceremony proceeds and the notion of ego melts the participant in the ritual becomes part of something larger, something collective, and most importantly, something non-terrestrial. Neurologically, a tear is made in their conscious self’s and they are elevated to an entirely supernatural platform. From the molecular perspective it’s a biochemical recipe of mostly adrenalin, ACTH, serotonin, and dopamine which come together to create the physiological and perceptual effect of ecstasy.

    This was immersion technology: primitive, conscious altering theatre known to ravers today which was no doubt compounded by the use of hallucinogens found readily in psilocybin (magic) mushrooms and potent plant based dimethyltryptamine (DMT) chemicals consumed to incite a state of religious ecstasy. Used in concert with the physical devises of immersive theatre and an individual didn’t stand a chance. Under such intense conditions the pleasure centres of the brain – particularly those concentrated in the hypothalamus – were flooded with electrical impulses and like a gathering snowball the individual was driven deeper into the experience; excavating themselves free from the natural environment until such a point of rapture was reached that that world was no longer recognisable.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Old geetar player here, I’m not sure how to comment on this post except by telling you that having been one of the moving pieces in a band, and I’ve been in a few, one I gigged with darn near every weekend for 3 years…The high you get from playing is unlike any other I have experienced (and I’ve experienced a few)

    I kind of miss it. But there are other aspects of being in a band I don’t miss at all 😉

    These days I have been scratching the itch by continuing to write, compose, and record. It isn’t quite the same level of a buzz as a live show, but it will do.

    I have the good fortune of knowing a good bass player who literally comes to my house with a recording studio in the trunk of his car, and I have a back room dedicated to making music and recording. It is our hope to at least make the open mic night scene and do some of our original stuff in an unplugged format at some point. Low maintenance thing… But still getting out there and performing. We also know a group of guys, decent musicians all, who get together around once a month for an impromptu picking session. I go when I can 😃

    I fear it is a drug. If I could bottle it up and sell it id be rich. Rich I tell ya (insert maniacal laugh here)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think this was a great comment Shell. As a fellow musician you understand the natural high we get from creating enjoyable, soothing, energizing sounds/vibrations, patterns and rhythms! It is very good that you continue doing it in a format that works for you. Well done. I think it is a must to keep playing, creating, singing, dancing, in my case beating, and FEEL and share with a group the natural euphoria we receive from doing it or listening to it!

      It is also a VERY wonderful Fine Art to pass on to your children, grandchildren, and descendants. My two kids LOVE music! When they were children and adolescents we’d often put on a playlist of many favorites and then sing and dance to them! Just the other week my daughter (now 24 yrs old) still remembers how much fun the 3 of us had singing the Moulin Rouge (2001) soundtrack. And my son (now 17) many years later still knows all the words to his all-time favorite song “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65. He always comes up with a new dance performance to it when he plays it. 😄 Sorry, I MUST put the videos in too for him and my daughter’s all-time favorite after… for them of course. 😉

      My son liked Smash Mouth too, but particularly the super-nobodies (as he called them instead of Superheroes) movie “Mystery Men.” 🤩

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2 of my boys graced me with the honor of teaching them some guitar. Alas neither stuck with it long, and I’m not one to pressure anyone to do anything… but it was fun while it lasted. Im still here ready to help if they come back.

        I tried copy/pasting the links and could not get anything specific, maybe it’s my oldfartitis?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always liked that tune in the 2nd vid. Guy is playing what appears to be a Fender Mustang. That was my first guitar 🙂 I had a a 1961 Mustang, it disappeared somehow over the years, I guess it was stolen but have no idea when or how, I have several guitars and that one was on the back burner, went looking for it one day and its just gone. No big deal mainly because its intonation could not be nailed down, took it to a couple of experts who could not fix it, I have way better guitars now, but it did have sentimental value.

    1st wife is suspect #1 😉 She was always really good at giving people the shirt off of my back…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A drum circle can be mesmerizing – a meditation. I believe they can have healing properties. Seriously.

    During the first two months of the OWS protest there was virtually no homelessness in Downtown Manhattan. The homeless people were sleeping in Zuccotti Park and getting nutritious food to eat every day and love from their new neighbors. Then, on November 15th, the Wall Street powers had their personal mayor order a Gestapo raid by NYPD – The Wall Street Brownshirts – and the homeless problem went back to “normal” – helpless, hopeless people walking the streets in rags begging for food. More opportunities for the corporate prison industry to feast on taxpayer money.

    During the drum circles I saw so many of these people, some of whom were on the verge of committing suicide before the protest began, beaming with smiles the size of Brooklyn. Some danced with beautiful, wild abandon. It was truly something to behold. :’j

    Liked by 1 person

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