In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected, making part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. More simply, syncopation is "a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm": a "placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn't normally occur".It is the correlation of at least two sets of time intervals.
Rhythm generally means a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions". This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time can apply to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or frequency of anything from microseconds to several seconds ; to several minutes or hours, or, at the most extreme, even over many years.
Syncopation is used in many musical styles, especially dance music: "All dance music makes use of syncopation, and it's often a vital element that helps tie the whole track together". [ citation needed ]In the form of a back beat, syncopation is used in virtually all contemporary popular music.
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement. In terms of performance, the major categories are live dance music and recorded dance music. While there exist attestations of the combination of dance and music in ancient times, the earliest Western dance music that we can still reproduce with a degree of certainty are the surviving medieval dances. In the Baroque period, the major dance styles were noble court dances. In the classical music era, the minuet was frequently used as a third movement, although in this context it would not accompany any dancing. The waltz also arose later in the classical era. Both remained part of the romantic music period, which also saw the rise of various other nationalistic dance forms like the barcarolle, mazurka, ecossaise, ballade and polonaise.
Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.
Syncopation can also occur when a strong harmony is placed on a weak beat, for instance, when a 7th-chord is placed on the second beat of 3
4 measure or a dominant chord is placed at the fourth beat of a 4
4 measure. The latter frequently occurs in tonal cadences in 18th- and early-19th-century music and is the usual conclusion of any section.
In music, harmony is the process by which the composition of individual sounds, or superpositions of sounds, is analysed by hearing. Usually, this means simultaneously occurring frequencies, pitches, or chords.
In music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse, of the mensural level. The beat is often defined as the rhythm listeners would tap their toes to when listening to a piece of music, or the numbers a musician counts while performing, though in practice this may be technically incorrect. In popular use, beat can refer to a variety of related concepts, including pulse, tempo, meter, specific rhythms, and groove.
A hemiola can also be seen as one straight measure in three with one long chord and one short chord and a syncope in the measure thereafter, with one short chord and one long chord. Usually, the last chord in a hemiola is a (bi-)dominant, and as such a strong harmony on a weak beat, hence a syncope.
In music, hemiola is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.
Technically, "syncopation occurs when a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent occurs, causing the emphasis to shift from a strong accent to a weak accent"."Syncopation is", however, "very simply, a deliberate disruption of the two- or three-beat stress pattern, most often by stressing an off-beat, or a note that is not on the beat."
In the following example, there are two points of syncopation where the third beats are carried over (sustained) from the second beats. In the same way, the first beat of the second bar is carried over from the fourth beat of the first bar.
Though syncopation may be highly complex, dense or complex-looking rhythms often contain no syncopation. The following rhythm, though dense, stresses the regular downbeats, 1 and 4 (in 6
However, whether it's a placed rest or an accented note, any point in a piece of music that moves the listener's sense of the downbeat is a point of syncopation because it's shifting where the strong and weak accents are built.
The stress can shift by less than a whole beat, so it falls on an offbeat, as in the following example, where the stress in the first bar is shifted back by an eighth note (or quaver):
Whereas the notes are expected to fall on the beat:
Playing a note ever so slightly before, or after, a beat is another form of syncopation because this produces an unexpected accent:
It can be helpful to think of a 4
4 rhythm in eighth notes and count it as "1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and". In general, emphasizing the "and" would be considered the off-beat.
Anticipated bass 4
4 time, thus anticipating the third and first beats. This pattern is commonly known as the Afro-Cuban bass tumbao.
In the example below, the first two measures has an unsyncopated rhythm is shown in the first measure The third measure has a syncopated rhythm in which the first and fourth beat are provided as expected, but the accent unexpectedly lands in between the second and third beats, creating a familiar "Latin rhythm" known as tresillo.
The accent may be shifted from the first to the second beat in duple meter (and the third to fourth in quadruple), creating the backbeat rhythm:
Different crowds will "clap along" at concerts either on 1 and 3 or on 2 and 4, as above.
The phrasing of "Satisfaction" is a good example of syncopation. ˘ ¯ ˘). A backbeat transformation is applied to "I" and "can't", and then a before-the-beat transformation is applied to "can't" and "no".It is derived here from its theoretic unsyncopated form, a repeated trochee (¯
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & Repeated trochee: ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ I can't get no – o Backbeat trans.: ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ Ican't get no – o Before-the-beat: ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ I can't get no – o
This demonstrates how each syncopated pattern may be heard as a remapping, "with reference to" or "in light of", an unsyncopated pattern.
Syncopation has been an important element of European musical composition since at least the Middle Ages. Many Italian and French compositions of the music of the 14th-century Trecento make use of syncopation, as in of the following madrigal by Giovanni da Firenze. (See also hocket.)
The refrain "Deo Gratias" from the 15th-century anonymous English Agincourt Carol is also characterised by lively syncopation:
“The 15th-century carol repertory is one of the most substantial monuments of English medieval music... The early carols are rhythmically straightforward, in modern 6/8 time; later the basic rhythm is in 3/4, with many cross-rhythms... as in the famous Agincourt carol 'Deo gratias Anglia'. As in other music of the period, the emphasis is not on harmony, but on melody and rhythm.”
Composers of the musical High Renaissance Venetian School, such as Giovanni Gabrieli (1557–1612), exploited syncopation in both their secular madrigals and instrumental pieces and also in their choral sacred works, such as the motet Domine, Dominus noster:
Denis Arnold (1979, p. 93) says: "the syncopations of this passage are of a kind which is almost a Gabrieli fingerprint, and they are typical of a general liveliness of rhythm common to Venetian music". The composer Igor Stravinsky (1959, p. 91), no stranger to syncopation himself, spoke of "those marvellous rhythmic inventions" that feature in Gabrieli's music.
J. S. Bach and Handel used syncopated rhythms as an inherent part of their compositions. One of the best-known examples of syncopation in music from the Baroque era was the "Hornpipe" from Handel’s Water Music (1733).
Christopher Hogwood (2005, p. 37) describes the Hornpipe as “possibly the most memorable movement in the collection, combining instrumental brilliance and rhythmic vitality… Woven amongst the running quavers are the insistent off-beat syncopations that symbolise confidence for Handel.” 53), each ritornello section of the first movement, "is clinched with an Epilog of syncopated antiphony":Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 features striking deviations from the established rhythmic norm in its first and third movements. According to Malcolm Boyd (1993, p.
Boyd (1993, p. 85) also hears the coda to the third movement as "remarkable… for the way the rhythm of the initial phrase of the fugue subject is expressed… with the accent thrown on to the second of the two minims (now staccato)":
Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert used syncopation to create variety especially in their symphonies. The opening movement of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony No. 3 exemplifies powerfully the uses of syncopation in a piece in triple time. After setting up a clear pattern of three beats to a bar at the outset, Beethoven disrupts it through syncopation in a number of ways:
(1) By displacing the rhythmic emphasis to a weak part of the beat, as in the first violin part in bars 7–9:
Taruskin (2010, p. 658) describes here how "the first violins, entering immediately after the C sharp, are made palpably to totter for two bars".
(2) By placing accents on normally weak beats, as in bars 25–26 and 28–35:
This "long sequence of syncopated sforzandi" 75) describes as "a rhythmic pattern that rides roughshod over the properties of a normal three-in-a bar".recurs later during the development section of this movement, in a passage that Antony Hopkins (1981, p.
(3) By inserting silences (rests) at points where a listener might expect strong beats, in the words of George Grove (1896, p. 61), "nine bars of discords given fortissimo on the weak beats of the bar":
In music, metre refers to the regularly recurring patterns and accents such as bars and beats. Unlike rhythm, metric onsets are not necessarily sounded, but are nevertheless expected by the listener.
Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more rhythms that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another, or as simple manifestations of the same meter. The rhythmic conflict may be the basis of an entire piece of music (cross-rhythm), or a momentary disruption. Polyrhythms can be distinguished from irrational rhythms, which can occur within the context of a single part; polyrhythms require at least two rhythms to be played concurrently, one of which is typically an irrational rhythm. Concurrently in this context means within the same rhythmic cycle. The underlying pulse, whether explicit or implicit can be considered one of the concurrent rhythms. For example, the son clave is poly-rhythmic because its 3 section suggests a different meter from the pulse of the entire pattern.
In music, an ostinato[ostiˈnaːto] is a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, frequently in the same pitch. Well-known ostinato-based pieces include both classical compositions such as Ravel's Boléro and the Carol of the Bells, and popular songs such as Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder's "I Feel Love" (1977), Henry Mancini's theme from Peter Gunn (1959), The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" (1997), and April Ivy's "Be Ok" (1997).
In poetic and musical meter, and by analogy in publishing, an anacrusis is a brief introduction. Greek: ἀνάκρουσις (anákrousis), literally, "pushing up".
The clave is a rhythmic pattern used as a tool for temporal organization in Afro-Cuban music. It is present in a variety of genres such as Abakuá music, rumba, conga, son, mambo, salsa, songo, timba and Afro-Cuban jazz. The five-stroke clave pattern represents the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms.
In music, a call and response is a succession of two distinct phrases usually written in different parts of the music, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or in response to the first. It corresponds to the call-and-response pattern in human communication and is found as a basic element of musical form, such as verse-chorus form, in many traditions.
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.
In music, a period is certain types of recurrence in small-scale formal structure. In twentieth-century music scholarship, the term is usually used as defined by the Oxford Companion to Music: "a period consists of two phrases, antecedent and consequent, each of which begins with the same basic motif." Earlier usage varied somewhat, but usually referred to similar notions of symmetry, recurrence, and closure. The concept of a musical period originates in comparisons between music structure and rhetoric at least as early as the 16th century.
In music theory, harmonic rhythm, also known as harmonic tempo, is the rate at which the chords change in a musical composition, in relation to the rate of notes. Thus a passage in common time with a stream of sixteenth notes and chord changes every measure has a slow harmonic rhythm and a fast surface or "musical" rhythm, while a piece with a trickle of half notes and chord changes twice a measure has a fast harmonic rhythm and a slow surface rhythm. Harmonic rhythm may be described as strong or weak.
The Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, is a work for solo piano written by Johannes Brahms in 1861. It consists of a set of twenty-five variations and a concluding fugue, all based on a theme from George Frideric Handel's Harpsichord Suite No. 1 in B♭ major, HWV 434.
A cinquillo is a typical Cuban/Caribbean rhythmic cell, used in the Cuban contradanza and the danzón. The figure is also a common bell pattern found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It consists of an eighth, a sixteenth, an eighth, a sixteenth, and an eighth note.
In music, the term swing has two main uses. Colloquially, it is used to describe the quality or impression or effect ("feel") of a changing pattern in a propulsive rhythm created by the musical interaction between the performers, especially when the music prompts a visceral response such as foot-tapping or head-nodding, which sense is called "groove". The term is also used more specifically, to refer to a technique that involves alternately lengthening and shortening the pulse-divisions in a rhythm.
Excursions, Op. 20, is the first published solo piano piece by Samuel Barber. Barber himself explains:
These are ‘Excursions’ in small classical forms into regional American idioms. Their rhythmic characteristics, as well as their source in folk material and their scoring, reminiscent of local instruments are easily recognized.
In music, a cross-beat or cross-rhythm is a specific form of polyrhythm. The term cross rhythm was introduced in 1934 by the musicologist Arthur Morris Jones (1889–1980). It refers to when the rhythmic conflict found in polyrhythms is the basis of an entire musical piece.
Michael Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra (1938–39) is one of his most popular and frequently performed works.
Tresillo is a rhythmic pattern used in Latin American music. It is a more basic form of the rhythmic figure known as the habanera.
Turning the beat around, abbreviated as TBA in some music textbooks, is a form of temporary tactus or pulse (music) in popular electronic music and electronic dance music. This includes forms of syncopation that issue a challenge to dancers to find the downbeat. In this terminology a "reverse TBA," involves the explicit contradiction of a previously established pulse. The term is to be distinguished from downtempo.