This paper presents an understanding of time and temporality as adverbial. Adverbially understood, time is experienced as timely and/or untimely. Such timeliness/untimeliness experienced as rhythm; indeed music can be understood as a type of phenomenological reduction, reducing phenomena to their acoustical constituents, exposing the rhythmic constitution of temporal experience. Drawing on the work of Nancy and Lefebvre, amongst others, this paper articulates the different rhythms of timely/untimely figures – the prophet, the opportunist and the lover. It shows time as a living rhythm between the ‘energy of beginnings’ and mechanicity. Listening, we hear in terms of virtualities: each rhythm renews the relation to its beginning or lapses into mechanical repetition. In this sense the timely/untimely discloses time as a continual return to a past which was never present, a past which shows itself in every repetition, tracing a source more original than any time.