Rhythm/Basic Materials/Graphics/Preface

In the section Footsies we discovered, with our feet, how to feel the different rhythmic levels of a melody. We will now examine a way to see these levels, both separately and together.

A few general principles for the graphics of separate levels

- At all levels of notes values, the Off-Beats, where the Left foot strikes,
     will be inscribed higher than the Beats, where the Right foot strikes.
- The larger levels (See the Use of Color) are perfectly regular,
     start on an Off-Beat (Left foot) and end on a Beat (Right foot),
     with all Off-Beats associated with the following Beat
          there is no breath between the Off-Beat and the Beat,
          but there is one after the Beat.

This is what we call a Rhythmic Cell


- The smallest of these large regular levels is called Level 0,
     and the subsequent larger levels Level +1, Level +2, and Level +3 ...
- The smaller levels (called Level -1, Level -2, and Level -3 ...)
     are irregular,
          (because the shorter notes of a melody do not appear everywhere),
     may start either on a Beat or on an Off-Beat,
     with its Off-Beats associated either
          with the previous Beat (a breath after the Off-Beat),
          with the following Beat (a breath after the Beat), or
          with both the preceding Beat and the following Beat (a breath after the last Beat).
- All levels of these songs end on a Beat.
- The longest note of a melody will never be longer than the beats of Level 0.
- Bar-lines will occur just before a Beat, regardless of the length of the bar.
- The ideal length of a bar is that of Level 0.
     However this length is often too long for easy reading
          and that of Level -1 or even Level -2 is used instead.
     In all our examples, bar-lines will be placed at both
          Level 0, with solid bar-lines, and
          Level -1, with dashed bar-lines.

It is possible to integrate all the levels into one diagram

The diagram with separate levels is clearer when one is studying each level individually, but the diagram with integrated levels is more complete when one is singing (or playing) the melody and conscious of all levels at the same time.

We will review the three songs of the previous section.
We already know what they feel like.
Let's see what they look like.

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of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star