January 2011 – The rhythm section

Okay, it’s been weeks, possibly months since I last wrote here. Apologies to anyone who has had a “quick peek” to find practically nothing.

So let me start again, in the spirit of new year resolutions.

I’ve been going through the section on rhythm – something that I’m really interested in but have never really understood properly. I knew a good rhythmic poem when I heard or read one, however, never felt that my own quite had the proper, or correct rhythms in the right places.

After conducting the exercises on rhythm, I realised how much rhythm surrounds me on a daily basis.

As a Liverpudlian, my own accent, and its idiosyncrasies are really quite rhythmical, although not always noticeable. We tend to make the rhythms up as we go along, adding words, or elongating them to round out sentences that may feel jarring.

A more obvious example is with vowels, more specifically objects or places that begin with a vowel. When we speak, we often will put “the” in front. It is easier to understand when it’s written.

“Are you going to the Asda?”    not   “Are you going to Asda?”

In this example, the “ee” sound enables the sentence to be rounded, and can move easily to pronounce the harsh “a” in “Asda.” This sentence is said in a natural breathing pattern – again something that can be noted within the rhythm section.

If the second sentence is said, the “oo” suddenly stops for a defined breath before continuing with “Asda.” This can be jarring, as it is followed by a hard sounding “a”. You will find that many liverpudlians will pronounce most, if not all vowel and rounded sounds within the sentence

Eg – generalised vowel and rounded sounds only

“Arr y’oo [going] t’oow a[sda]?” 

Compare this to the first sentence, and yes, I have purposely left out the space between “the” and “Asda”

“Arr y’oo [going] t’oow theea[sda]?”

It looks much more complicated that it is said – try saying it.

Yes the word “the” has a harsh sounding beginning but the end softens the next word.


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