Architectonic

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Rhythm as a whole may be characterized as architectonic, that is, it is organized like a system. As a whole, it is composed of smaller constituent components, which are in turn composed of smaller constituent components, and so on.

Cooper and Meyer in “The Rhythmic Structure of Music” give an analogy between language and rhythm, both of which are architectonic: “just as letters are combined into words, words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and so on, so in music individual tones become grouped into motives, motives into phrases, phrases into periods, etc.” (2)