The drum and the voice were the first two musical instruments explored by humans. We used our voices to express word and song and our hands and other parts of our body to create rhythm. From these two events, the history of music began and throughout time, there has never been anything as inspiring nor as connecting to people everywhere on earth, as a deeply satisfying beat joined by passionate expressive voices.
Cultures everywhere have unique languages of rhythm as the basis for their musical expressions which identify and exalt their beliefs, values and existence and connection with each other. We need only listen to the many drum sounds and stylings to recognize the glorious variety of dance and song that have sprung from the rhythm of indigenous cultures in Africa, Cuba, the Middle East, India, China, Polynesia, the Americas and nearly every region of human inhabitation, for evidence of how drumming and rhythm have been the basis of all human musical expression and the foundation of every musical ensemble or piece ever performed.
Rhythm Is Motion
Rhythm is motion through time and space and in fact, can create a sensation of suspending both! It has been used throughout human history to heal and connect us to ourselves and one another in sometimes magical and inexorable ways. African and indigenous cultures developed rhythmic language in order to speak with one other, sometimes at great distances. Rhythms entrance and move us to altered states of minds and often help our bodies and minds reset and balance themselves in times of strife and upheaval. Rhythm can enhance deep states of meditation and transcendence and a connection to higher states of awareness and joy and has been readily used in ceremonial rights throughout the world. Volumes can be written about the importance of connecting to life’s different portals of rhythmic experience, but for now, let’s just take a seat and pull up a drum, shall we?
Tuning Into the Pulse
Here at Chanson, we are dedicated to tuning into the pulse of our inner rhythms in search of a deeper sense of joy, expression, togetherness, communication, health and understanding. As music and rhythm are truly the universal language, we experience a sometimes surprising sense of well being and personal empowerment in connecting to our own, the group’s and often consequently, to life’s rhythms in a safe and welcoming environment of creative exploration. Anyone from any walk of life can benefit from developing one’s sense of the beat, as there is so much to be gained by jumping into the rhythmic flow!
Percussion Department Director, Devin Tomczik
As director of the Rhythm and Percussion Department at CVMA, Devin Tomczik brings to us a breadth of knowledge and experience of the study and sharing of drumming and percussion skills in various settings. He is a busy performing musician, a mentor and an inspiration to people in many different communities. Please visit Devin’s page and keep an eye out here for all the new and exciting rhythm workshops and events we sponsor during the year and you too will discover that “It’s all about the rhythm!”