New App, Rhythm Necklace, Lets You Explore The Geometry Of Rhythm

rhythm-necklace-appRhythm Necklace is a new ‘geometric sequencer’ for iOS, designed to let you explore the geometry of rhythm.

The concept of ‘Rhythm necklaces’ – circular representations of repeating patterns – comes from author Godfried T. Toussaint’s book, The Geometry of Musical Rhythm.

According to Toussaint, circular representations of rhythms show the underlying geometric properties that make them enjoyable, such as the degrees of evenness and symmetry.

And Toussaint has found that analyzing rhythms geometrically reveals relationships between rhythms the world over. For example, a core group of geometric algorithms are shared in rhythms iused in African, Cuban, Balkan, and Spanish folk music.

The Rhythm Necklace iOS app is a musical sequencer for exploring the geometry of rhythm necklaces, and for experimenting with generating rhythms algorithmically.

Here’s a video demo of Rhythm Necklace in action:


  • Build rhythms on up to four necklaces.
  • Adjust the length of each individual cycle to quickly create complex rhythmic ratios
  • Use a collection of rhythm building algorithms and geometric transformations to create and morph your rhythm
  • Tap your tempo, use a slider for transitions, or manually type the global speed of your song
  • Choose from a variety of pitched sounds and percussive sample sets.
  • Quickly modulate between notes in four musical modes (pentatonic, major, minor, chromatic) and five octaves.
  • Customize the attack and panning of sounds to suit your composition
  • Save your sessions and export them as midi.
  • E-mail copies of midi sessions to yourself. These can be opened and edited on most DAWs.
  • Midi in/out allows you to fully customize your sounds and record your compositions in real time within an external DAW environment.

Rhythm Necklace is available for US $2.99 in the App Store.

If you’ve used Rhythm Necklace, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

8 thoughts on “New App, Rhythm Necklace, Lets You Explore The Geometry Of Rhythm

  1. For each necklace do you have control over how many steps per measure and/or the rate/ratio of steps per beat? The graphic on your soundcloud page showed 10 steps. Any control over velocity per step?

    1. Each necklace can have between two and thirty-four onsets. The four necklaces can all subdivide the measure by different amounts, which can sound extremely strange. There’s no velocity control per step, though this seems like something they’d consider adding in the future. I’m not one of the developers, just a fan, so I can’t say for sure.

  2. This greatly reminded me of a “circular sequencer” tutorial on Max/MSP I had seen on youtube by Sam Tarakajian. Lo and behold it was developed by the very same guy

    1. Yep it’s got MIDI sync in the options haven’t tried it out yet though. There’s also tap tempo or the really old school method of setting the BPM and hitting play on beat 🙂

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