Rhythm generally means a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can apply to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything from microseconds to several seconds; to several minutes or hours, or, at the most extreme, even over many years. Rhythm is related to and distinguished from pulse, meter, and beats: Rhythm may be defined as the way in which one or more unaccented beats are grouped in relation to an accented one.... A rhythmic group can be apprehended only when its elements are distinguished from one another, rhythm...always involves an interrelationship between a single, accented beat and either one or two unaccented beats.

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