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A Matter of Time: The science of rhythm and the groove Paperback – May 5, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (May 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1500667544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1500667542
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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From brain waves to the groove of music, A Matter of Time explains it all.
Danielle D.
This book has helped me to be both a better drummer and musician by opening my mind to subtleties I can use to enhance music I am playing.
Mike Tarrani
This is a great book, explaining in understandable terms how rythm and timing in music works.
N. Kehlet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Lucas TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"A Matter of Time: The Science of Rhythm and the Groove" is a musician's advice and thoughts (backed up by his exploration of scientific and psychological studies about the subject) about rhythm, and how humans use and process it in making and enjoying music. The author himself is a drummer, and shares both his own experience and "ah-ha!" moments about rhythm as well as interesting anecdotes that takes this book from the realm of a topic that could be dry to one that is very helpful and interesting.

He begins with the importance of clarity in explanation so that musical students can truly understand rhythm, groove, pulse, and more. He spends time discussing how everyone has rhythm, as it occurs in nature and our own bodies, and gives guidance on how to tune into it--thinking versus non-thinking, "feeling" music, etc. The text even links to videos that help illustrate the author's points.

This book is written in a conversational style that's easy to follow, and I would recommend it to both younger and older musicians (no matter where they are in their career), those who are interested in music generally, and those who enjoy learning for learning's sake (even if you don't play music yourself, a lot of the information in the book is fascinating--for instance, did you know that supermarkets play music of a certain speed because it causes you move your cart at that speed down the aisles? Now you do!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WilliamVW on June 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first, I gave this review four stars because I had the classic complaint: I want more. This is a really short book. On my initial reading, I wanted more examples, more people and anecdotes... I wanted the Malcolm Gladwell treatment, probably because that's what I'm used to. But Lamb makes smart use of links to additional content, particularly on YouTube, to fill in such blanks. "A Matter of Time" is as long as it needs to be to make its points.

What points? For me, the key take-away from this book was that rhythm is not some objective thing that can be reduced to notes on a page or a BPM readout. Why does some music affect us so profoundly? Lamb argues that we are hard-wired to experience rhythm in ways that are both universal as well as individual. As other reviewers have pointed out, the concepts of resonance and entrainment play heavily into Lamb's thesis, but by nature these ideas require more than one person to be involved. There is no rhythm to be derived from a sheet of paper. It is an interactive phenomenon that happens between player and listener. This is part of what makes live performances so compelling, how performer and audience fall "in sync" when the experience is "spot on."

Lamb's rethinking of rhythm may have profound consequences for how we approach learning music. It's not something you can get in a bubble. You will not achieve mastery from a book or a program. Rhythm is something that reaches deep into our brains and connects us, and by understanding and developing this in the pursuit of musicianship, much can change for the better.

Yes, I still wish A Matter of Time was longer, but Lamb gives plenty of meat for the reader to chew on long after the last page is turned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Author John Lamb explains early on in this well written and well designed (gorgeous visual elements really enhance this book) book on Rhythm, `Explaining what rhythm is literally, a way to explore personally what rhythm is, what it feels like and what it means....Motivation is the motor, but accurate understanding is the destination.' What he has provided for the professional musician, the student musician, and the layperson alike is a beautifully sculpted path to understanding that most basic aspect of music - and actually of life - Rhythm.

In this brief but thorough book he takes us through an exploration of What is Rhythm, bring the ideas of resonance, language, pulse, the heart rate and the integration of all of this information into understanding the higher elements of meter, metronomic control (do we hear it of feel the pulse of it's beat?), the `rules' of music and how to overcome the external aspects and internalize them.

He includes his own philosophy of the difference between live performance and recorded music, how music enters the emotions, and how we ultimately connect with the rhythm/music of his chosen topic.

Lamb writes in a way that he wants us to understand his message - a technique sorely missing in other books that attempt to explain the magic of understanding the foundations of music. Lamb comes to this shared experience with a bachelor's degree in Music, Biology and Psychology and a Masters in Education focused on teaching rhythm. He is not only a teacher but he also has studied drumming and performs widely from his home location in Portland, Oregon. And, yes, he is a professional photographer which explains why the many beautiful images in this book are so additive. Grady Harp, June 13
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Danielle D. on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was intrigued by the subject matter. As homeschoolers, I am constantly on the lookout for new information and resources. We are big on music and music lessons. I always saw music as important, but didn't really understand why. This book did a great job of explaining the importance of music in our lives. From brain waves to the groove of music, A Matter of Time explains it all.

A short read, easily understood - even by children, with a little explaining. Very informative with a unique layout. I don't usually read books that link to videos, we all enjoyed that!
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