Beat (music)

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For other uses, see Beat (acoustics) and Beat (disambiguation). Beat (music)_sentence_0

"Upbeat" redirects here. Beat (music)_sentence_1

For other uses, see up beat (disambiguation). Beat (music)_sentence_2

Not to be confused with Beat music. Beat (music)_sentence_3

In music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse (regularly repeating event), of the mensural level (or beat level). Beat (music)_sentence_4

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 (often the first multiple level). Beat (music)_sentence_5

In popular use, beat can refer to a variety of related concepts, including pulse, tempo, meter, specific rhythms, and groove. Beat (music)_sentence_6

Rhythm in music is characterized by a repeating sequence of stressed and unstressed beats (often called "strong" and "weak") and divided into bars organized by time signature and tempo indications. Beat (music)_sentence_7

Beats are related to and distinguished from pulse, rhythm (grouping), and meter: Beat (music)_sentence_8

Metric levels faster than the beat level are division levels, and slower levels are multiple levels. Beat (music)_sentence_9

Beat has always been an important part of music. Beat (music)_sentence_10

Some music genres such as funk will in general de-emphasize the beat, while other such as disco emphasize the beat to accompany dance. Beat (music)_sentence_11

Division Beat (music)_section_0

Main article: Metre (music) § Metric structure Beat (music)_sentence_12

As beats are combined to form measures, each beat is divided into parts. Beat (music)_sentence_13

The nature of this combination and division is what determines meter. Beat (music)_sentence_14

Music where two beats are combined is in duple meter, music where three beats are combined is in triple meter. Beat (music)_sentence_15

Music where the beat is split in two are in simple meter, music where the beat is split in three are called compound meter. Beat (music)_sentence_16

Thus, simple duple (2/4, 4/4, 2/2, etc.), simple triple (3/4), compound duple (6/8), and compound triple (9/8). Beat (music)_sentence_17

Divisions which require numbers, tuplets (for example, dividing a quarter note into five equal parts), are irregular divisions and subdivisions. Beat (music)_sentence_18

Subdivision begins two levels below the beat level: starting with a quarter note or a dotted quarter note, subdivision begins when the note is divided into sixteenth notes. Beat (music)_sentence_19

Downbeat and upbeat Beat (music)_section_1

"Upbeat" redirects here. Beat (music)_sentence_20

For other uses, see Upbeat (disambiguation). Beat (music)_sentence_21

The downbeat is the first beat of the bar, i.e. number 1. Beat (music)_sentence_22

The upbeat is the last beat in the previous bar which immediately precedes, and hence anticipates, the downbeat. Beat (music)_sentence_23

Both terms correspond to the direction taken by the hand of a conductor. Beat (music)_sentence_24

An anticipatory note or succession of notes occurring before the first barline of a piece is sometimes referred to as an upbeat figure, section or phrase. Beat (music)_sentence_25

Alternative expressions include "pickup" and "anacrusis" (the latter ultimately from Greek ana ["up towards"] and krousis ["strike"/"impact"] through French anacrouse). Beat (music)_sentence_26

In English, anákrousis translates literally as "pushing up". Beat (music)_sentence_27

The term anacrusis was borrowed from the field of poetry, in which it refers to one or more unstressed extrametrical syllables at the beginning of a line. Beat (music)_sentence_28

On-beat and off-beat Beat (music)_section_2

In typical Western music 4 time, counted as "1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4...", the first beat of the bar (downbeat) is usually the strongest accent in the melody and the likeliest place for a chord change, the third is the next strongest: these are "on" beats. Beat (music)_sentence_29

The second and fourth are weaker—the "off-beats". Beat (music)_sentence_30

Subdivisions (like eighth notes) that fall between the pulse beats are even weaker and these, if used frequently in a rhythm, can also make it "off-beat". Beat (music)_sentence_31

The effect can be easily simulated by evenly and repeatedly counting to four. Beat (music)_sentence_32

As a background against which to compare these various rhythms a bass drum strike on the downbeat and a constant eighth note subdivision on ride cymbal have been added, which would be counted as follows (bold denotes a stressed beat): Beat (music)_sentence_33

Beat (music)_unordered_list_0

  • 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 —play eighth notes and bass drum alone (help·)Beat (music)_item_0_0
  • 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4—the stress here on the "on" beat play (help·) But one may syncopate that pattern and alternately stress the odd and even beats, respectively:Beat (music)_item_0_1
  • 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 —the stress is on the "unexpected" or syncopated beat play (help·)Beat (music)_item_0_2

So "off-beat" is a musical term, commonly applied to syncopation that emphasizes the weak even beats of a bar, as opposed to the usual on-beat. Beat (music)_sentence_34

This is a fundamental technique of African polyrhythm that transferred to popular western music. Beat (music)_sentence_35

According to Grove Music, the "Offbeat is [often] where the downbeat is replaced by a rest or is tied over from the preceding bar". Beat (music)_sentence_36

The downbeat can never be the off-beat because it is the strongest beat in 4 time. Beat (music)_sentence_37

Certain genres tend to emphasize the off-beat, where this is a defining characteristic of rock'n'roll and ska music. Beat (music)_sentence_38

Backbeat Beat (music)_section_3

"Backbeat" redirects here. Beat (music)_sentence_39

For other uses, see Backbeat (disambiguation). Beat (music)_sentence_40

A back beat, or backbeat, is a syncopated accentuation on the "off" beat. Beat (music)_sentence_41

In a simple 4 rhythm these are beats 2 and 4. Beat (music)_sentence_42

"A big part of R&B's attraction had to do with the stompin' backbeats that make it so eminently danceable," according to the Encyclopedia of Percussion. Beat (music)_sentence_43

An early record with an emphasised back beat throughout was "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris in 1948. Beat (music)_sentence_44

Although drummer Earl Palmer claimed the honor for "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949, which he played on, saying he adopted it from the final "shout" or "out" chorus common in Dixieland jazz, urban contemporary gospel was stressing the back beat much earlier with hand-clapping and tambourines. Beat (music)_sentence_45

There is a hand-clapping back beat on "Roll 'Em Pete" by Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner, recorded in 1938. Beat (music)_sentence_46

A distinctive back beat can be heard on "Back Beat Boogie" by Harry James And His Orchestra, recorded in late 1939. Beat (music)_sentence_47

Other early recorded examples include the final verse of "Grand Slam" by Benny Goodman in 1942 and some sections of The Glenn Miller Orchestra's "(I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo", while amateur direct-to-disc recordings of Charlie Christian jamming at Minton's Playhouse around the same time have a sustained snare-drum backbeat on the hottest choruses. Beat (music)_sentence_48

Outside U.S. Beat (music)_sentence_49

popular music, there are early recordings of music with a distinctive backbeat, such as the 1949 recording of Mangaratiba by Luiz Gonzaga in Brazil. Beat (music)_sentence_50

Slap bass executions on the backbeat are found in styles of country western music of the 1930s, and the late '40s early '50s music of Hank Williams reflected a return to strong backbeat accentuation as part of the honky tonk style of country. Beat (music)_sentence_51

In the mid-1940s "hillbilly" musicians the Delmore Brothers were turning out boogie tunes with a hard driving back beat, such as the No. Beat (music)_sentence_52

2 hit "Freight Train Boogie" in 1946, as well as in other boogie songs they recorded. Beat (music)_sentence_53

Similarly Fred Maddox's characteristic backbeat, a slapping bass style, helped drive a rhythm that came to be known as rockabilly, one of the early forms of rock and roll. Beat (music)_sentence_54

Maddox had used this style as early as 1937. Beat (music)_sentence_55

In today's popular music the snare drum is typically used to play the backbeat pattern. Beat (music)_sentence_56

Early funk music often delayed one of the backbeats so as "to give a 'kick' to the [overall] beat". Beat (music)_sentence_57

Some songs, such as The Beatles' "Please Please Me" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand", The Knack's "Good Girls Don't" and Blondie's cover of The Nerves' "Hanging on the Telephone", employ a double backbeat pattern. Beat (music)_sentence_58

In a double backbeat, one of the off beats is played as two eighth notes rather than one quarter note. Beat (music)_sentence_59

Cross-beat Beat (music)_section_4

Main article: Cross-beat Beat (music)_sentence_60

Hyperbeat Beat (music)_section_5

A hyperbeat is one unit of hypermeter, generally a measure. Beat (music)_sentence_61

"Hypermeter is meter, with all its inherent characteristics, at the level where measures act as beats." Beat (music)_sentence_62

Related concepts Beat (music)_section_6

Beat (music)_unordered_list_1

  • Tatum refers to a subdivision of a beat which represents the "time division that most highly coincides with note onsets".Beat (music)_item_1_3
  • Afterbeat refers to a percussion style where a strong accent is sounded on the second, third and fourth beats of the bar, following the downbeat.Beat (music)_item_1_4
  • In reggae music, the term one drop reflects the complete de-emphasis (to the point of silence) of the first beat in the cycle.Beat (music)_item_1_5
  • James Brown's signature funk groove emphasized the downbeat – that is, with heavy emphasis "on the one" (the first beat of every measure) – to etch his distinctive sound, rather than the back beat (familiar to many R&B musicians) which places the emphasis on the second beat.Beat (music)_item_1_6

See also Beat (music)_section_7

Beat (music)_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat (music).