For millennia, mankind has derived tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony from the human body and from the external environment using multiple senses. For example, mankind knows rhythm from the internal repeating patterns found in muscles, bones, and DNA. Mankind experiences rhythm through locomotion, the heartbeat, and breathing. Additionally, mankind has been bombarded with rhythm from things such as the sounds of animals, the movement of the planets, the patter of raindrops, and the flow of a river. Consequently, mankind is intimately familiar with rhythm and uses it to form the concept "music."
Each culture exerts a unique worldview and values on the universally occurring phenomena of tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony. Plus, cultures have very distinct physical environments. Consequently, although tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony are objectively present in all cultures, different cultures combine, emphasize, and utilize them differently. Most importantly, people in many cultures combine tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony multisensorily. These groups provide evidence that experiencing tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony multisensorily imparts the same benefits as experiencing them auditorily.
Tone, rhythm, melody and harmony each produce specific patterns in the brain. For example, similar patterns occur in the brain whether a particular rhythm is perceived through sound, vision, or kinesthesis. This helps demonstrate that a given rhythm remains the same rhythm regardless of the sense through which it is experienced. We can stimulate similar patterns in the brain by experiencing a specific tone, rhythm, melody, or harmony using different senses. This provides one area of evidence that teachers and artists can convey the components of music to Deaf and autistic people through multiple senses.
Rhythm, Melody, Tone, and Harmony Through Various Senses
June 6, 2019