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Chapter 1. Rhythm, Meter, and Tempo. Key Terms. Syncopation Tempo Metronome Tempo indications. Rhythm Beat Accent Meter Measure (bar) Simple meter Compound meter. Rhythm. Rhythm = The way music unfolds in time “A rhythm” = An arrangement of long and short sounds and silences.

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chapter 1
Chapter 1

Rhythm, Meter, and Tempo

key terms
Key Terms
  • Syncopation
  • Tempo
  • Metronome
  • Tempo indications
  • Rhythm
  • Beat
  • Accent
  • Meter
  • Measure (bar)
  • Simple meter
  • Compound meter
rhythm
Rhythm
  • Rhythm = The way music unfolds in time
  • “A rhythm” = An arrangement of long and short sounds and silences
time concepts in western music
Time Concepts in Western Music
  • Beat
    • Regular background pulse
  • Accent
    • Extra emphasis on a beat
    • Regular, irregular, or no accents
  • Meter
    • Regular, recurring pattern of accented and unaccented (strong and weak) beats
meters
Meters
  • Duple meter

ONE two | ONE two | ONE two |

  • Triple meter

ONE two three | ONE two three |

simple and compound meter
Simple and Compound Meter
  • Simple meter: main beats divided in twos
  • Compound meter: main beats divided in threes
compound meter
Compound Meter
  • Quick, triple subdivision of beats

ONE-and-a two-and-a | ONE-and-a two-and-a |

  • “Row, row, row your boat…”
rhythm vs meter
Rhythm vs. Meter
  • Meter as background; rhythm as foreground
  • Meter the yardstick; rhythm the object being measured
rhythm9
Rhythm
  • Can coincide with meter  Strongly metrical
  • Can play with meter  Syncopation
syncopation
Syncopation
  • Displaces accents
    • On weak beats
      • one TWO | one TWO | one TWO
    • In between beats
      • one AND two AND | one AND two AND |
  • Joplin, “Maple Leaf Rag”
tempo
Tempo
  • The speed of music
  • The rate at which beats follow one another
  • Metronome marks: exact
  • Tempo indications: approximate; can express mood
common tempo indications
Common Tempo Indications

Adagio Slow

Andante Slow, but not too slow

Moderato Moderate

Allegro Fast

Presto Very fast

listening exercises
Listening Exercises
  • Metrical or nonmetrical?
  • Duple or triple?
  • Simple or compound?
  • Syncopation?
  • Slow, moderate, or fast tempo?