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Related to Connection, Singers
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Without the rhythms, men needed help understanding one another.

Rhythms are a cosmere-wide phenomenon that manifests most clearly on Roshar.[2] They're a variety of beats or melodies that change in regular ways over time.[3] They are not normally audible; singers, humans, and larkin are the only known species able to hear the rhythms, though others exist throughout the cosmere.[4][5]


Rhythms are ever-present, though most beings in the cosmere cannot hear them.[4] Every rhythm changes, albeit in regular ways; a rhythm can be divided into movements, which are stable enough to measure time by.[3] They're tied to emotions; a person capable of hearing the rhythms will naturally attune to one matching their mood, or try to start feeling in a specific way by attuning to a specific mood.[3] Some rhythms seem to be tied to other aspects of the world, however; the Rhythm of Winds, for example, can be used to predict highstorms.[3]

It's unclear where precisely rhythms come from, or what makes them. They appear to be tied to planets, with each world having its own "songs".[6] Roshar seems to have particularly strong or powerful rhythms; a bronze Allomancer would be able to hear them there.[7] Each Shard also has its own rhythm and, as they Invest in a planet, their rhythm becomes part of that world.[8] Other rhythms may be tied to a Shard; there are several rhythms similar to the ones that a singer would normally hear, but with a more passionate or aggressive feeling, that are considered to be of Odium.[9][10] Odium, at least, also seems to be able to craft or grant rhythms for a specific person.[11]

Hearing the rhythms is tied to the phenomenon of Connection; whatever the precise nature of the rhythms, they can be Connected to, which is how any being is able to hear them. A creature capable of hearing the rhythms can pick up what another person's attuned to from just a few spoken words, which is something an unconnected person wouldn't be able to do, even though the rhythms can be written down as sheet music.[6] Each rhythm carries with it an innate understanding of its meaning.[12]


Singers are Connected to each other by the rhythms


They could feel the rhythm, hear it. All were in tune, all were in rhythm with one another. Perfection.

Singers speak to rhythms to express their feelings or to assign their words specific meaning.[14] When not paying attention, singers will attune to the rhythm that corresponds to their mood, but they can attune to another rhythm in order to fit with their message. Not all forms can hear the rhythms equally; dullforms hear them only partially, while singers in slaveform cannot hear them at all.[1] The rhythms Connect the singers, and the various singer songs are sung to different rhythms.[15][16]


Chiri-Chiri did not always understand the mouth noises of the soft ones. They did not click, and there was no rhythm to them. So the sounds were sometimes just noises.

Rysn's larkin Chiri-Chiri seems to be able to hear rhythms, including the Rhythm of Contentment, though whether larkin hear the same rhythms as the singers is unknown.[5]


Perhaps it was his imagination, but it seemed that sometimes [humans] responded to certain rhythms.

Apart from singers and larkin, humans also seem to have limited capability to hear rhythms. Although Navani was able to hear them after some measure of concentration, she was also able to sing the tone of Honor as well. Humans with singer ancestry, such as Unkalaki, can occasionally catch them, albeit very faintly.[17] A Feruchemical Connection medallion would be able to interpret the rhythms, albeit not very accurately.[18] Allomancers capable of burning bronze would be able to hear them on Roshar;[7] conversely, if a singer were to become a Seeker or Mistborn, they'd find bronze pulses familiar, though strange.[19]

There are also other species in the cosmere capable of hearing the rhythms, but what they are is currently unknown.[4]

Known Rhythms[edit]

Normal Rhythms[edit]

Most rhythms appear to be natural phenomena, unrelated to the Shards. Singers hear these beats when not in Regal Forms.

  • Rhythm of Amusement[14]
  • Rhythm of Annoyance[3]
  • Rhythm of Anticipation[20]
  • Rhythm of Anxiety[3]
  • Rhythm of Appreciation[3]
  • Rhythm of Awe - the Knights Radiant are sung of to this rhythm[13]
  • Rhythm of Betrayal - rarely sung[3]
  • Rhythm of Confidence[21]
  • Rhythm of Confusion[22]
  • Rhythm of Consideration[3]
  • Rhythm of Consolation - used for strong apologies[9]
  • Rhythm of Curiosity - a slow rhythm[3]
  • Rhythm of Despair[23]
  • Rhythm of Determination[24]
  • Rhythm of Disappointment[25]
  • Rhythm of Excitement[14]
  • Rhythm of Fortune - has some cultural significance, as one can be said to be blessed by it if they're lucky[26]
  • Rhythm of Hope[27]
  • Rhythm of Irritation[3]
  • Rhythm of Joy[21]
  • Rhythm of Longing[1]
  • Rhythm of the Lost - soft, slow, but violent, with sharp, separated notes; used for remembering the fallen[14][1]
  • Rhythm of Memories - used for singing about history[28]
  • Rhythm of Mourning[14]
  • Rhythm of Pain[22]
  • Rhythm of Peace - calm, soft, soothing beats; used by listeners to measure time.[21] While attuning it in stormform, Eshonai heard her own voice screaming like a deadeye, possibly due to her Nahel bond with Timbre.
  • Rhythm of Pleading - rarely-used[3]
  • Rhythm of Praise - used both to show appreciation of others and to express true satisfaction[14]
  • Rhythm of Reconciliation[29]
  • Rhythm of Remembrance[3]
  • Rhythm of Reprimand[14]
  • Rhythm of Resignation[30]
  • Rhythm of Resolve - a steady beat with power rising over time[31]
  • Rhythm of Skepticism[14]
  • Rhythm of Supplication[3]
  • Rhythm of Surprise[32]
  • Rhythm of Tension[21]
  • Rhythm of the Terrors[33] - used when feeling terror, as the name implies.[34]
  • Rhythm of Victory[35]
  • Rhythm of Winds - used for predicting highstorms[3] and as an instruction to follow.[36] Hummed to indicate respect for a highstorm occurring.[37]
  • Rhythm of Wisdom - possibly metaphorical[38]

Odium's Rhythms[edit]

That song! That song. It is death.

These are the rhythms that those with Connection to Odium, such as the Fused and Regals, can attune to. In most cases, being able to hear the new rhythms precludes one from hearing the old ones. These Rhythms of Power sound and feel different to the more well known rhythms of similar emotions.[40] In many cases, though, they express similar things, albeit in a more violent and hostile manner.[21]

  • Rhythm of Abashment[41]
  • Rhythm of Agony[35] - counterpart to Anxiety[42]
  • Rhythm of Command - a more powerful version of Appreciation[43]
  • Rhythm of Conceit[41]
  • Rhythm of Craving - a more violent version of Anticipation[20] used to indicate confusion or a question [27]
  • Rhythm of Derision[21]
  • Rhythm of Destruction[21]
  • Rhythm of Executions - rare; expresses killing intent[22][23]
  • Rhythm of Exultation[42]
  • Rhythm of Fury[21]
  • Rhythm of Indifference[44]
  • Rhythm of Panic - a pained, choppy beat with unfinished measures[42]
  • Rhythm of Relief[27]
  • Rhythm of Ridicule - similar to Amusement[21]
  • Rhythm of Satisfaction[21]
  • Rhythm of Spite[21]
  • Rhythm of Subservience[9]
  • Rhythm of Thoughtfulness[11]
  • Rhythm of Tribute[10]
  • Rhythm of Withdrawal - one of the few calm Odium rhythms[41]
  • Song of Prayer - a rhythm used to draw Voidlight into the Physical Realm[45]

The Pure Tones and Shardic Rhythms[edit]

Each of the Shards Invested in Roshar has its own note, called a pure tone, which can be heard and sang by any singer, and even humans, if taught to do so.[46][12] The Light corresponding to each of these Shards both react to and produce the corresponding pure tone, and closer hearing reveals a faint rhythm unique to each Light.[12] A slight alteration of the pure tone combined with precise alignment of the Rhythms allows for harmonization between pairs of tone and rhythms. This harmonization is essential in creation of hybrid Lights.[12][47]

  • Rhythm of Honor – a vibrant beat, stately and controlled[12]
  • Rhythm of Cultivation – stark and staccato, building up[12]
  • Rhythm of Odium – violent, chaotic rhythm that becomes more logical over time[12]
  • Rhythm of War – a mix of Honor's and Odium's rhythms; a combination of chaotic notes and steady pulse[12]
  • Rhythm of the Tower – a mix of Honor and Cultivation's rhythms; a mix of boundless energy and structure[47]
  • A mix of Odium and Cultivation's rhythms; attuned once by Venli but as of yet unnamed[8]
  • The pulsing which comes from the Well of Ascension is a pure tone of Scadrial.[48]


  • The rhythms, and the connections they afford to the singers, were based on the works of Carl Jung.[49]
  • Brandon based his mental image of speaking to rhythms on Hindu chants.[50]
  • Striking a chime or bell made of a God Metal would not necessarily produce a similar note to that God Metal's corresponding Rhythm.[51]
  • Brandon once joked that if a singer were to attune the rhythm of Barry White, they'd immediately enter mateform.[52]
  • In her last moments as a Cognitive Shadow, Eshonai believed that nobody could understand the Rhythms without seeing the entire continent first.[53]


  1. a b c d e Oathbringer chapter 55#
  2. Warsaw signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-18#
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Words of Radiance interlude I-4#
  4. a b c /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-08-24#
  5. a b c Rhythm of War interlude I-8#
  6. a b Starsight Release Party
    Arcanum - 2019-11-26#
  7. a b General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-05-02#
  8. a b Rhythm of War chapter 83#
  9. a b c Oathbringer interlude I-7#
  10. a b Rhythm of War chapter 51#
  11. a b Rhythm of War chapter 41#
  12. a b c d e f g h Rhythm of War chapter 76#
  13. a b Words of Radiance interlude I-8#
  14. a b c d e f g h Words of Radiance interlude I-1#
  15. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2012-09-22#
  16. JordanCon 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-04-11#
  17. Oathbringer chapter 37#
  18. Calamity Houston signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-24#
  19. Skyward San Diego signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-07#
  20. a b Words of Radiance interlude I-13#
  21. a b c d e f g h i j k Words of Radiance interlude I-11#
  22. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 60#
  23. a b Rhythm of War chapter 111#
  24. Rhythm of War chapter 11#
  25. Rhythm of War chapter 56#
  26. Rhythm of War chapter 77#
  27. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 42#
  28. a b Rhythm of War chapter 73#
  29. Rhythm of War chapter 86#
  30. Rhythm of War chapter 45#
  31. Words of Radiance interlude I-5#
  32. Rhythm of War chapter 62#
  33. Oathbringer prologue#
  34. Rhythm of War chapter 106#
  35. a b Oathbringer chapter 120#
  36. Rhythm of War chapter 115#
  37. Rhythm of War chapter 57#
  38. The rhythm is referred to in dialogue ("they attuned Wisdom, not Betrayal, in their actions"[28]), but it has not been known to actually be attuned or hummed.
  39. Words of Radiance chapter 81#
  40. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-19#
  41. a b c Oathbringer interlude I-12#
  42. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 14#
  43. Oathbringer interlude I-3#
  44. Rhythm of War chapter 92#
  45. Rhythm of War chapter 67#
  46. Rhythm of War chapter 68#
  47. a b Rhythm of War chapter 110#
  48. Miscellaneous 2020
    Arcanum - 2020-11-30#
  49. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
  50. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-03-12#
  51. YouTube Spoiler Stream 3
    Arcanum - 2021-12-16#
  52. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  53. Rhythm of War chapter 117#
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