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JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns
Places, Spaces and Changing Faces
Jazz Lounge
Jazz in Time
Behind the Beat
Jazz Exchange
About the Show
Related Links
Jazz Near You
Shop Jazz
Jazz Links
Jazz Cards
Page of hand written sheet music
Jazz LoungeRhythm
Rhythm, A basic primer to key musical concepts Chick Webb, 1937
Other Music 101 Sections

Rhythm is what the drums play. How the notes occur in time defines what the rhythm is. If you take a favorite melody, and drum it out with your hands, what you are hearing is the rhythm. These rhythms are grouped into recurring patterns that determine what the meter of the piece is. Every piece of music has a rhythm — a measured pattern of strong and weak accents, or beats. Typical meters include 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 (two, three, four and six beats in a bar). 4/4 rhythm has four beats per bar, and is also known as common time. Most popular music is in this meter, and it forms the basis for jazz music. A note that is one of four beats in a 4/4 measure is a quarter note, a note that is two beats long is a half note, and a note that is four beats long is a whole note.