Cross-Disciplinary and Multicultural Perspective on Musical Rhythm

Rhythm is an intrinsic characteristic of music that is present in virtually all musical styles and cultures. The connection between musical rhythm perception and production to the physical characteristics of the human body confers on musical rhythm a universal character. Studying this innately human musical characteristic from a broad perspective will certainly shed light over the aspects of musical rhythm that have a universal character over those that are culture specific.

The Rhythm Project at New York University Abu Dhabi will help to better understand the similarities and differences between rhythms of different cultures and ultimately provide a deeper insight into the musical behavior of humans as a species.

With this project, we propose three major tasks to be undertaken during a period of two years:

  1. compiling a music corpus, and using it for modeling, analyzing and listening;

  2. measuring rhythm similarity and complexity in a cross-cultural context through listening tests; and

  3. applying the resulting knowledge in developing novel computational applications that will train and educate its users in specific rhythmic styles.


Principal Investigator

Robert Rowe
Chair of Department of Music and Professor of Performing Arts, NYU
Phone: +1 212-998-5435

Co-Principal Investigator

Juan Pablo Bello
Associate Professor of Music Technology, NYU

Co-Principal Investigator

Carlos Guedes
Associate Arts Professor of Music, NYUAD