Rhythmic Experience

  • Brigid M. CostelloEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


Our world is composed of rhythms. We walk in rhythms, gesture in rhythms, speak in rhythms, breathe and think in rhythms. We also read rhythms from the environment and people around us. Sitting inside by a window, we can tell the strength of the wind just from the movement of trees and their leaves. Before we see the beach, we can tell the ferocity of the surf just from the sound of its crashing waves. Any disturbance in a habitual rhythm signals itself strongly. Our attention will be drawn towards the person in a crowd whose walk is hampered by an injury or a tight joint. The distant rhythms of people speaking will signal their foreignness well before their words can be distinguished. A change in the rhythmic ripples of a pond will alert us to the presence of fish and we will feel the shift in the vibrations of our car’s engine when a cylinder misfires. Rhythm plays a major role in all forms of human expression whether it be music, dance, theatre, art, architecture, film, literature or computer games. It communicates to us, attracts our attention and has emotional impact. We can be soothed by a rhythm, aroused by a rhythm, captivated by a rhythm, made sad or joyful by a rhythm. It is this expressive power of rhythm that is the focus of this book and, in particular, the way that rhythm can be used by interaction designers within the design of playful computer applications.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Arts and MediaThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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