course hack

World Music: Global Rhythms

Leslie A. Tilly, Meghan Perdue, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This MIT music course explores the rhythms that underpin genres from around the world, showcasing the unique differences and surprising commonalities between various cultures' approaches to songwriting.


World Music: Global Rhythms

World Music: Global Rhythms

by Leslie A. Tilly


Every culture in the world creates music. As humans, we live our lives according to the steady rhythms of our bodies: our heartbeats, our breathing patterns, the way we walk. What separates music from other art forms is that it is entirely temporal; we experience it over time. Time is crucial to our understanding of music; rhythm is the way in which we use music to interact with it.

Leslie A. Tilly is a professor of ethnomusicology at MIT. She is an expert in world rhythms, and her experience includes two decades' study of Balinese music. Meghan Perdue is a digital learning expert at MIT. In this edX course, Tilly and Perdue dive into the differences in music performance around the world, uncovering the importance of rhythm to both our unique cultural perspectives and our collective understanding of the musical experience.

Favorite quote

Everywhere in the world, people play with rhythm in their own unique ways. As humans, we've created an extraordinary panoply of rhythmic ideas and options.

- Leslie A. Tilly

Download the uptime app to

Read or listen, with different modes

Adjust audio speed in the app

Bookmark to save titles for later

Share your favourite Hacks


View the full Hack with Uptime