36 terms

Musician's Guide Chapter 2 Terms, 3rd ed

Beat, Meter, and Rhythm: Simple Meters
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anacrusis
Occurs when a melody starts just before the first downbeat in a meter; also called an upbeat, or pick-up.
bar line
A vertical line that indicates the end of a measure.
beat
The primary pulse in musical meter.
compound meter
Any meter in which the beat divides into threes and subdivides into sixes. The top number of the meter signature will be 6, 9, or 12 (e.g., 9/4 or 6/8).
cut time
2/2 time signature, alla breve
dot
Rhythmic notation that adds to a note half again its own value (e.g., a dotted half equals a half note plus a quarter note).
downbeat
Beat 1 of a metrical pattern.
eighth note
A stemmed black note head with one flag. In duple beat divisions, two of these notes divide a quarter-note beat; in triple beat divisions, three of these notes divide a dotted-quarter-note beat.
half note
A stemmed white note head; its duration is equivalent to two quarter notes.
measure
A unit of grouped beats; generally, it begins and ends with notated bar lines.
meter
The hierarchical arrangement of beats and their divisions that repeat from measure to measure and are perceived as relatively strong and weak. The first beat of each measure is perceived as strongest.
simple duple meter
Meter in which beats group into units of two (e.g., 2/4, 2/2, or 6/8).
simple quadruple meter
Meter in which beats group into units of four (e.g., 4/4 or 12/8 ).
simple triple meter
Meter in which beats group into units of three (e.g., 3/2 or 9/8).
meter signature
a sign that appears at the beginning of a piece, after the clef and key signature: the upper number indicates meter type and the lower number indicates which note gets the beat; also called a time signature.
quarter note
A stemmed black note head, equivalent in duration to two eighth notes.
rest
A duration of silence.
rhythm
The patterns made by the durations of pitch and silence (notes and rests) in a piece.
simple meter
Meter in which the beat divides into twos and subdivides into fours. The top number of the meter signature will be 2, 3, or 4 (e.g., 4/8 or 3/2).
sixteenth note
A stemmed black note head with two flags. In duple beat divisions, two of these notes divide an eighth-note beat; in triple beat divisions, three of these divide a dotted-eighth-note beat.
slur
An arc that connects two or more different pitches. They affect articulation but not duration.
syncopation
Off-beat rhythmic accents created by dots, ties, rests, dynamic markings, or accent marks.
tempo
How fast or slow music is played. Examples include adagio (slow), andante (medium speed), and allegro (fast).
tie
A small arc connecting the note heads of two (or more) identical pitches, adding the durations of the notes together.
time signature
Another term for meter signature.
upbeat
Occurs when a melody starts just before the first strong beat in a meter; named for the upward lift of the conductor's hand. Another word for anacrusis.
whole note
A stemless white note head; equal in duration to two half notes.
alla breve
cut time, 2/2 time
beam
horizontal line connecting two or more notes
common time
4/4 time
flag
the wavy line attached to the stem of a single note
hemiola
a temporary duple rhythmic grouping in the context of an underlying triple meter(e.g., two measures of 3/4 meter heard as three measures of 2/4) or a temporary two-part division of the beat un the context of an underlying three-part division (e.g., a measure of 6/4 heard as a measure of 3/2)
hypermeter
a high-level metric grouping that interprets groups of measures as though they were groups of beats within a single measure
metrical accent
the pattern of strong and weak beats based on the "weight" of the downbeat and the "lift" of the upbeat
note head
the main, oval part of the note
stem
thin vertical lines that are attached to note heads