South-West University, Department "TMPE"
Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

The problem of rhythmical ability is а question of present interest, since the rhythm is a phenomenon we find everywhere - in the arts, in sport activity, in poetry, in speech etc.

Many famous scientists (Hirtz, Blume, Ljah etc.) place the rhythmical ability in their classifications at the basis of the coordination abilities. The significance and role of that ability in the different life activities is yet another positive argument to try and find objective methods for its analysis.

As a person working 22 years with activities that require good rhythmical sense (like gymnastics, acrobatics, dances etc.), I was lager to discover methods of objective diagnostics of that ability.

This is the main reason that made me develop the suggested method below.

That method is founded on the basis of a research sample of 200 students from the South-West University, Blagoevgrad. These students are in different areas of study: musicians, choreographers, sportsmen, mathematicians, physicists, history students etc., and they have been tested using an electronic device connected to a computer through a microprocessor system.

The device contains a generator of stimulating signals (visual stimulator, audio stimulator, touch stimulator and tactile sensing element). The tested person through hearing, vision and touch perceives the rhythm patterns.

The response is motional - the tested person presses with his hand the tactile sensing element. That’s why we speak about rhythmical-motor coordination (and not only for rhythm), because it is important not only the perception, but also the response.

There are seven rhythmical patterns and every pattern consists of four stimuli and three pause intervals between the stimuli. The stimuli are constant and the pausing intervals are variables (the variables are short and long).

For example:

101011 -> two long and one short intervals

10111 -> one long and two short intervals

(where there are no zeros are the short intervals)

"1" are the stimuli and "0" are the pausing intervals.

The results appear on the monitor digitally and graphically.

There are three digit numbers represented in miliseconds.

For example:

model answer
200 220
200 230
400 410

Because the ratio of the values of the pausing intervals is more important for the rhythm than the actual values it is necessary to apply a formula for transforming the obtained data.

In order to preserve the information and at the same time to transform the data into a linear form convenient for further mathematical statistical processing we have applied the formula:



ni - the given length of the pausing intervals of the respective rhythmical patterns.

mi - the obtained lengths of the pausing intervals (the answer of the tested person).

In this way we obtain values for x that assume infinite numeric value and can be compared much easier with the pattern.

In this example: x=0.029

The closer the result is to 0 (zero), the better is the rhythmical ability level of the examined person.

To compare easily the progress level of the rhythmical ability with other human abilities it was necessery to add another formula through which the value of infinite linear form turns into exact number of points.




T - is the number of the points

x - is the value of the examinated person after executing formula (1)

Me - is median

- is the standard deviation

The highest level of rhythmical ability is taken when the obtained points are 40-44; the second level is 45-48 points; the next level is between 49-55 points and the last level is 56-65. It is considered that over 65 points the person cannot respond actually, but we cannot prove if he/she perceives.

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Topalova, I. Method for objective diagnostics of the rhythmical-motor coordination // Человек в мире спорта : Новые идеи, технологии, перспективы : Тез. докл. Междунар. конгр. - М., 1998. - Т. 1. - С. 70-71.