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The Word Rhythm Dictionary

A Resource for Writers, Rappers, Poets, and Lyricists

Timothy Polashek

The Word Rhythm Dictionary: A Resource for Writers, Rappers, Poets, and Lyricists is a new kind of dictionary—one that reflects the use of “rhythm rhymes” by rappers, poets, and songwriters of today. This is an eminently practical reference work for all wordsmiths looking to add musicality to their writing. Users of this dictionary can alphabetically look up words in the General Index to find collections of words that have the same rhythm as the original word and are readily useable in ways that are familiar to us in everything from vers libre poetry to the lyrics and music of Bob Dylan and hip hop groups.

Professional writers and students have long used traditional rhyming dictionaries for inspiration by perusing lists of rhyming words; they may ask themselves, “I need a word that rhymes with
blue,” and are led to shoe, flu, or you. These rhyming words evoke through juxtaposition new images, thoughts, and actions that inspire creative directions and pleasing twists as verses and stanzas unfold. For the first time ever, this dictionary now allows writers and poets to ask the same question, but of word rhythm— “I need a word with the same rhythm as butterfly. . . . ” Today’s lyricists and poets know that there is so much more to the flow of their creations than just matching vowels.

The Word Rhythm Dictionary organizes words by additional properties: phonetic similarity (alliteration and literary consonance), the number of syllables in words, and syllable stress patterns. Never has it been easier to locate words that feature similar sounds, matching meters, and rhythmic grooves, from traditional rhymes like “clashing” and “splashing,” to near rhymes like “rollover” and “bulldozer,” “unrefuted undisputed” to pure metrical matches, like “biology” and “photography.” Additional appendixes allow readers to search according to poetic metrical feet and musical rhythm through a visual index of notated rhythms, allowing musicians and lyricists to track down words that match preexisting motives and melodies. This book could become the new fun addiction (or… addiction affliction…constriction conviction…conniption prescription…subscription conscription) for writers, musicians, lyricists, rappers, poets, and wordsmiths alike. Oh, and it’s a lot of fun just to browse!
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 708Size: 7 3/8 x 10 1/2
978-0-8108-8416-8 • Hardback • April 2014 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4422-7327-6 • Paperback • June 2016 • $45.00 • (£29.95)
978-0-8108-8417-5 • eBook • April 2014 • $42.00 • (£27.95)
Timothy Polashek is a composer, music technologist, and professor of music. He produces works in a variety of media and styles, including vocal, instrumental, electro-acoustic, multimedia, and text/sound music and poetry, as well as music for interactive performance systems and sound installations, which are performed throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe. Passionate about developing new sounds and exploring new musical ideas, he designs computer programs to build innovative digital instruments and synthesizers.
1-Syllable Words
2-Syllable Words
3-Syllable Words
4-Syllable Words
5-Syllable Words
6-Syllable Words
7-Syllable Words
8-Syllable Words
9-Syllable Words
12-Syllable Words
14-Syllable Words
Appendix A: List of Poetic Feet
Appendix B: Music Notation
After due consideration what at first seemed a rather dauntingly technical work reveals itself to have usefully practical applications both in the specific area of composition and in some respects more widely perhaps also as a tool for lexical analysis.
Reference Reviews

The Word Rhythm Dictionary, a unique reference book by musician and music technologist Timothy Polashek, is designed for writers who want to add musicality to their prose, poetry, or lyrics. . . .Writers looking only for words that simply rhyme (black, back, stack, Jack) will also find them in this valuable resource.
American Reference Books Annual