In the Rythm of Money - Genesis of modern Society

What do music, technology and money have in common? They are all based on a beat or a time signature. We illustrate this astonishing insight by Eske Bockelmann in our course "In the beat of money". It is no coincidence that in Europe rhythm is measured almost exclusively in beats - and that precisely since the emergence of capitalism. Coincidence?


What awaits you in this book?

Whether you like to dance, play an instrument, or tinker with an engine, tact is ubiquitous. Just like money in today's society. At first glance, the two have nothing to do with each other. In fact, people have probably always had a sense of rhythm.

However, it was not until around 1600 that rhythm began to be measured in beats without exception in Europe, i.e. time was divided by beats at regular intervals. Today we know practically no other form of rhythm. It was no coincidence that modern markets and capitalism came into being at about the same time, and that money has set the rhythm for everything ever since. Rather, there is a close connection between the emergence of our modern sense of rhythm and the rise of capitalism. A steep thesis by Eske Bockelmann that shows us how deeply money really pervades us, right into our innermost being.

What can you learn from this reading?

  • You will learn how Europe changed in the 17th century and how a modern market economy, an all-encompassing use of money and capitalism revolutionized the world.
  • You will understand what rhythm and beat are and what a fundamentally new sense of rhythm and beat emerged in the 17th century that still prevails today.
  • You recognize the connection between the modern monetary society and our reflexive perception of rhythm.
  • You become aware of how deeply the handling of money affects the subconscious of all people.


How is the document structured?

In five parts, a film demonstrates the emergence of the modern beat rhythm and the simultaneous triumph of modern money. In parallel you can read the spoken text as an article. Film and text are divided into the parts: "A new consciousness arises", "The discovery of Eske Bockelmann", "Origin of the beat rhythm", "Thinking power and rhythm" and "Money penetrates the world".

Who compiled this document?

Eske Bockelmann is a classical philologist and Germanist. He has been teaching at the TU Chemnitz since his habilitation. Bockelmann has repeatedly discussed the topic of money and the monetary economy in fundamental books and essays, including, for example, "Im Takt des Geldes" (2004) and "Das Geld" (2020). The text of the film was written by him. The project was realized by filmmaker Andreas Walter.


Are we dancing to the beat of money? The hustle and bustle in the big cities suggests so. That money should influence and shape our sense of beat is a far-fetched thought for many. Therefore, one after the other: how and when did modern money come into being? And how did one determine this? Newspapers hardly reported about this renewal, no government decree was needed. We trace the changes in the trade markets after 1500 and find: a key area is the change in the sense of rhythm at the beginning of the 17th century. Did trade bring the new rhythm?

Lesson 1: A new Consciousness develops

The European world experiences a tremendous change at the beginning of the 16th century. Vibrant markets emerge and merge into a single, transnational market for the first time in history. It is the birth of the market economy. Money becomes ubiquitous. Capitalism is founded on this, it is the genesis of modern money. This influences our consciousness and our perception of rhythm. But what is the new consciousness and the new rhythm based on?

Lesson 2: The Discovery by Eske Bockelmann

Among the great changes taking place in 16th-century Europe was the emergence of a completely new perception of rhythm. It is that rhythm which we also today quite naturally perceive as rhythmic: beat rythm.
This beat rhythm has its origin in the fact that we have to deal with money on a daily basis - in other words, something that historically became a reality for people in 16th-century Europe for the first time.

Lesson 3: Origin of the Beat Rhythm

Beat rhythm, i.e. our rhythm, has not always existed, but only arises historically. It is therefore historically conditioned. These historical conditions first arose back in the 16th century, but they have been valid since then until today.
Money and rhythm - two areas that could not be more different. But they are the same mental performance.

Lesson 4: Way of Thinking and Rhythm

When listening to beats, we form units, more precisely time units, and connect them to groups. We do not perceive the tones as these units, but the distances of the beats within which the tones move. As units, the beats consist only of time, of pure, empty time. And time? Time - is - money. This is said not without reason.

Lesson 5: Money rules the World - from the inside

Even today - after 500 years of European history - we find ourselves in a comprehensive crisis. It is a financial crisis, yes. And that means a crisis that money is causing for itself - and thus for us. Nevertheless, money continues to function as if nothing had happened, and when it comes to "system-relevant" issues, states use all their power to keep it that way. A great, a very great power. But what if one day it is no longer enough? What if the power on the other side is even greater?


The course can be presented in teaching by means of the shorthand story “In the Rythm of Money".

Each video lasts 5+ minutes and raises many questions that can be discussed.

Lesson 1: A new Consciousness develops

Video 02: The Discovery by Eske Bockelmann

Video 03: Origin of the Beat Rhythm

Video 04: Way of Thinking and Rhythm

Video 05: Money rules the World - from the inside

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