Metre (music)

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See also: Metre (hymn) and Metre (poetry) Metre (music)_sentence_0

In music, metre (Am. Metre (music)_sentence_1

meter) refers to the regularly recurring patterns and accents such as bars and beats. Metre (music)_sentence_2

Unlike rhythm, metric onsets are not necessarily sounded, but are nevertheless implied by the performer (or performers) and expected by the listener. Metre (music)_sentence_3

A variety of systems exist throughout the world for organising and playing metrical music, such as the Indian system of tala and similar systems in Arabian and African music. Metre (music)_sentence_4

Western music inherited the concept of metre from poetry, where it denotes: the number of lines in a verse; the number of syllables in each line; and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short, accented or unaccented. Metre (music)_sentence_5

The first coherent system of rhythmic notation in modern Western music was based on rhythmic modes derived from the basic types of metrical unit in the quantitative meter of classical ancient Greek and Latin poetry. Metre (music)_sentence_6

Later music for dances such as the pavane and galliard consisted of musical phrases to accompany a fixed sequence of basic steps with a defined tempo and time signature. Metre (music)_sentence_7

The English word "measure", originally an exact or just amount of time, came to denote either a poetic rhythm, a bar of music, or else an entire melodic verse or dance involving sequences of notes, words, or movements that may last four, eight or sixteen bars. Metre (music)_sentence_8

Meter is related to and distinguished from pulse, rhythm (grouping), and beats: Metre (music)_sentence_9

Metric structure Metre (music)_section_0

The term metre is not very precisely defined. Metre (music)_sentence_10

Stewart MacPherson preferred to speak of "time" and "rhythmic shape", while Imogen Holst preferred "measured rhythm". Metre (music)_sentence_11

However, Justin London has written a book about musical metre, which "involves our initial perception as well as subsequent anticipation of a series of beats that we abstract from the rhythm surface of the music as it unfolds in time". Metre (music)_sentence_12

This "perception" and "abstraction" of rhythmic bar is the foundation of human instinctive musical participation, as when we divide a series of identical clock-ticks into "tick–tock–tick–tock". Metre (music)_sentence_13

"Rhythms of recurrence" arise from the interaction of two levels of motion, the faster providing the pulse and the slower organizing the beats into repetitive groups. Metre (music)_sentence_14

In his book The Rhythms of Tonal Music, Joel Lester notes that, "[o]nce a metric hierarchy has been established, we, as listeners, will maintain that organization as long as minimal evidence is present". Metre (music)_sentence_15

"Meter may be defined as a regular, recurring pattern of strong and weak beats. Metre (music)_sentence_16

This recurring pattern of durations is identified at the beginning of a composition by a meter signature (time signature). Metre (music)_sentence_17

... Metre (music)_sentence_18

Although meter is generally indicated by time signatures, it is important to realize that meter is not simply a matter of notation". Metre (music)_sentence_19

A definition of musical metre requires the possibility of identifying a repeating pattern of accented pulses – a "pulse-group" — which corresponds to the foot in poetry. Metre (music)_sentence_20

Frequently a pulse-group can be identified by taking the accented beat as the first pulse in the group and counting the pulses until the next accent. Metre (music)_sentence_21

Frequently metres can be broken down into a pattern of duples and triples. Metre (music)_sentence_22

The level of musical organisation implied by musical metre includes the most elementary levels of musical form. Metre (music)_sentence_23

Metrical rhythm, measured rhythm, and free rhythm are general classes of rhythm and may be distinguished in all aspects of temporality: Metre (music)_sentence_24

Metre (music)_unordered_list_0

  • Metrical rhythm, by far the most common class in Western music, is where each time value is a multiple or fraction of a fixed unit (beat, see paragraph below), and normal accents reoccur regularly, providing systematic grouping (bars, divisive rhythm).Metre (music)_item_0_0
  • Measured rhythm is where each time value is a multiple or fraction of a specified time unit but there are not regularly recurring accents (additive rhythm).Metre (music)_item_0_1
  • Free rhythm is where there is neither.Metre (music)_item_0_2

Some music, including chant, has freer rhythm, like the rhythm of prose compared to that of verse. Metre (music)_sentence_25

Some music, such as some graphically scored works since the 1950s and non-European music such as Honkyoku repertoire for shakuhachi, may be considered ametric. Metre (music)_sentence_26

The music term senza misura is Italian for "without metre", meaning to play without a beat, using time to bar how long it will take to play the bar. Metre (music)_sentence_27

Metric structure includes metre, tempo, and all rhythmic aspects that produce temporal regularity or structure, against which the foreground details or durational patterns of any piece of music are projected. Metre (music)_sentence_28

Metric levels may be distinguished: the beat level is the metric level at which pulses are heard as the basic time unit of the piece. Metre (music)_sentence_29

Faster levels are division levels, and slower levels are multiple levels. Metre (music)_sentence_30

A rhythmic unit is a durational pattern which occupies a period of time equivalent to a pulse or pulses on an underlying metric level. Metre (music)_sentence_31

Frequently encountered types of metre Metre (music)_section_1

Metre in song Metre (music)_section_2

See also: Musical form § Levels of organization Metre (music)_sentence_32

The concept of metre in music derives in large part from the poetic metre of song and includes not only the basic rhythm of the foot, pulse-group or figure used but also the rhythmic or formal arrangement of such figures into musical phrases (lines, couplets) and of such phrases into melodies, passages or sections (stanzas, verses) to give what calls "the time pattern of any song". Metre (music)_sentence_33

Traditional and popular songs may draw heavily upon a limited range of metres, leading to interchangeability of melodies. Metre (music)_sentence_34

Early hymnals commonly did not include musical notation but simply texts that could be sung to any tune known by the singers that had a matching metre. Metre (music)_sentence_35

For example, The Blind Boys of Alabama rendered the hymn "Amazing Grace" to the setting of The Animals' version of the folk song "The House of the Rising Sun". Metre (music)_sentence_36

This is possible because the texts share a popular basic four-line (quatrain) verse-form called ballad metre or, in hymnals, common metre, the four lines having a syllable-count of 8–6–8–6 (Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised), the rhyme-scheme usually following suit: ABAB. Metre (music)_sentence_37

There is generally a pause in the melody in a cadence at the end of the shorter lines so that the underlying musical metre is 8–8–8–8 beats, the cadences dividing this musically into two symmetrical "normal" phrases of four bars each. Metre (music)_sentence_38

In some regional music, for example Balkan music (like Bulgarian music, and the Macedonian 3+2+2+3+2 metre), a wealth of irregular or compound metres are used. Metre (music)_sentence_39

Other terms for this are "additive metre" and "imperfect time". Metre (music)_sentence_40

Metre in dance music Metre (music)_section_3

Metre in classical music Metre (music)_section_4

Hypermetre Metre (music)_section_5

Hypermetre is large-scale metre (as opposed to smaller-scale metre). Metre (music)_sentence_41

Hypermeasures consist of hyperbeats. Metre (music)_sentence_42

"Hypermeter is meter, with all its inherent characteristics, at the level where bars act as beats". Metre (music)_sentence_43

For example, the four-bar hypermeasures are the prototypical structure for country music, in and against which country songs work. Metre (music)_sentence_44

In some styles, two- and four-bar hypermetres are common. Metre (music)_sentence_45

The term was coined, together with "hypermeasures", by Edward T. , who regarded it as applying to a relatively small scale, conceiving of a still larger kind of gestural "rhythm" imparting a sense of "an extended upbeat followed by its downbeat" contends that in terms of multiple and simultaneous levels of metrical "entrainment" (evenly spaced temporal events "that we internalize and come to expect", p. 9), there is no in-principle distinction between metre and hypermetre; instead, they are the same phenomenon occurring at different levels. Metre (music)_sentence_46

and Middleton have described musical metre in terms of deep structure, using generative concepts to show how different metres ( 4, 4, etc.) generate many different surface rhythms. Metre (music)_sentence_47

For example, the first phrase of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night", excluding the syncopation on "night", may be generated from its metre of 4: Metre (music)_sentence_48

Metre (music)_description_list_1

  • 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 8 8 8 It's been a hard day's night...Metre (music)_item_1_3

The syncopation may then be added, moving "night" forward one eighth note, and the first phrase is generated (Play (help·)). Metre (music)_sentence_49

Polymetre Metre (music)_section_6

See also: Polyrhythm Metre (music)_sentence_50

With polymetre, the bar sizes differ, but the beat remains constant. Metre (music)_sentence_51

Since the beat is the same, the various metres eventually agree. Metre (music)_sentence_52

(Four bars of 4 = seven bars of 4). Metre (music)_sentence_53

An example is the second moment, titled "Scherzo polimetrico", of Edmund Rubbra's Second String Quartet (1951), in which a constant triplet texture holds together overlapping bars of 8, 8, and 8, and barlines rarely coincide in all four instruments. Metre (music)_sentence_54

With polyrhythm, the number of beats varies within a fixed bar length. Metre (music)_sentence_55

For example, in a 4:3 polyrhythm, one part plays 4 while the other plays 4, but the 4 beats are stretched so that three beats of 4 are played in the same time as four beats of 4. Metre (music)_sentence_56

More generally, sometimes rhythms are combined in a way that is neither tactus nor bar preserving—the beat differs and the bar size also differs. Metre (music)_sentence_57

See Polytempi. Metre (music)_sentence_58

Research into the perception of polymetre shows that listeners often either extract a composite pattern that is fitted to a metric framework, or focus on one rhythmic stream while treating others as "noise". Metre (music)_sentence_59

This is consistent with the Gestalt psychology tenet that "the figure–ground dichotomy is fundamental to all perception". Metre (music)_sentence_60

In the music, the two metres will meet each other after a specific number of beats. Metre (music)_sentence_61

For example, a 4 metre and 4 metre will meet after 12 beats. Metre (music)_sentence_62

In "Toads of the Short Forest" (from the album Weasels Ripped My Flesh), composer Frank Zappa explains: "At this very moment on stage we have drummer A playing in 8, drummer B playing in 4, the bass playing in 4, the organ playing in 8, the tambourine playing in 4, and the alto sax blowing his nose". Metre (music)_sentence_63

"Touch And Go", a hit single by The Cars, has polymetric verses, with the drums and bass playing in 4, while the guitar, synthesizer, and vocals are in 4 (the choruses are entirely in 4). Metre (music)_sentence_64

Magma uses extensively 8 on 4 (e.g. Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh) and some other combinations. Metre (music)_sentence_65

King Crimson's albums of the eighties have several songs that use polymetre of various combinations. Metre (music)_sentence_66

Polymetres are a defining characteristic of the djent subgenre of metal, pioneered by Swedish band Meshuggah whose compositions often feature unconventionally timed rhythm figures cycling over a 4 base. Metre (music)_sentence_67

Examples Metre (music)_section_7

Polymetres—video Metre (music)_sentence_68

Various metres—video Metre (music)_sentence_69

See also Metre (music)_section_8

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: (music).