Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beat vs. Tempo

These two words are commonly used interchangeably, as if they are synonymous. Musicians know they are closely related but not the same at all. The easiest way to understand the differences between these musical concepts is to consider the characteristics of a healthy heart.

A healthy heart produces a steady pulse when the body is at rest. A pulse is measured at a certain number of beats per minute. The number of beats per minute supplies the measurement of the speed, or tempo, at which the heart is beating.

When the resting person becomes more active, the healthy heart continues with its steady beat, but the number of beats per minute increases. In other words, the tempo of the heart speeds up.

We have all learned from watching primetime medical shows that if a heart begins beating unevenly, it is called cardiac arrhythmia or “heart out of rhythm”.

The similarities and differences between beat and tempo have come to mind this afternoon as I have had a few moments to consider the reasons behind the sudden drop off in the number of my posts.

Upon reflection, I believe I’ve been experiencing a sort of “cognitive arrhythmia” resulting from rapid fluctuations in the tempo of daily events. Holy Week observances and Easter celebrations produced a flurry of activity. The following week, required focused attention to some important issues but at a much less frantic pace. This week, I’ve had to “defibrillate” the brain, shock it back to the “normal sinus rhythm” of life. Maybe it’s time for a mental metronome or a pacemaker for my pumpkin head.

P. S. : Thanks for the encouragement, Jester.

2 comments:

Preacher Mom said...

I understand where you are coming from. I trusted that if there was something really serious going on, you would have let someone know.

Nothing wrong with taking breaks. But . . . welcome back! I've been missing your posts.

Cecdaddy said...

Glad it was just a break due to the demands of work!