Pulse and rhythm
Learn about pulse and rhythm by clapping and using your body.
This lesson includes:
- two videos to help you understand pulse and rhythm
- two activities to try at home
Pulse is a steady beat like a ticking clock or your heartbeat.
Rhythm is the pattern of long and short sounds that fit with the pulse as you move through the song.
Watch this video to learn about pulse and rhythm.
You don't need instruments to make music. You can start making music by creating a simple pulse.
A pulse can be made with claps or taps.
Once you have a pulse you can start adding rhythms to make the music more interesting.
Anna Meredith is a Scottish composer. She creates music that uses clapping, stamping, shouting and beatboxing.
Her piece Connect It has rhythmic sounds and movements.
The performers pass the sounds on to each other, like a Mexican Wave.
This musical effect is known as a canon.
A canon is where two or more instruments, voices or sounds play the same music, but starting at different times. Find out more about Connect It in the film below.
Listen out for: The repeated rhythmic patterns and sounds made by people using their bodies as instruments.
Practise making sounds with different parts of your body.
Get a steady pulse going by clapping or tapping. Count 1,2,3,4.
Use the phrases from the video and set these to the pulse:
Is this right?
Weirdest day of my life
Chicken and chips and mushy peas
Our song will be epic
If you are working with someone else, see if you can make two or more of these phrases fit the pulse, like they do at the end of the video.