Other Rhythmic Essentials
Bryn Hughes; Mark Gotham; and Chelsey Hamm
- A is a type of in which a beat (or subdivision, or multiple beats) in simple meter is divided into three parts. Notate a triplet by writing a “3” above the appropriate rhythm.
- A is a tuplet in which a beat (or subdivision) in compound meter is divided into two parts. Notate a duplet by writing a “2” above the appropriate rhythm.
- refers to the patterns of accentuation at the metrical level. are centered above measures to denote these patterns of accentuation.
- happens when there are rhythmic accents, which can be created by ties, dots, rests, and/or dynamics.
Typically, a meter is defined by the presence of a consistent beat division: division by two in simple meter, and by three in compound meter. Sometimes composers will use a triple division of the beat in a simple meter, or a duple division of the beat in a compound meter; these rhythms are called . are a type of tuplet in which a beat (or subdivision, or multiple beats) in simple meter is divided into three parts. Triplets are sometimes thought of as “borrowed” from compound meter, because the beat in compound meter is usually divided into three parts. A triplet is notated by writing the number “3” on top of an appropriate rhythm, as seen in:
Triplets may occur at both the beat and division levels, as seen below in the second measure of:
In the second measure of(beat 1), the sixteenth-note triplet is equivalent to one eighth note (the division in this time signature).
Triplets also may occur across multiple beats, as seen in. In this example, the triplet (notated with three quarter notes) takes up the space of one half note:
A is a tuplet in which a beat (or subdivision) in compound meter is divided into two parts. Duplets are notated by writing the number “2” on top of an appropriate rhythm, as seen in:
Like triplets, duplets can occur at the subdivision level, as seen in:
Inthe sixteenth-note duplet is equivalent to one and a half eighth notes (an eighth note is the division in this time signature).
Counting for these rhythms is usually “borrowed” as well. For example, triplets are usually counted 1-la-li, while duplets are usually counted 1-and, 2-and etc.
We have seen that beats are either accented or non-accented which was observed in the discussion of conducting patterns in the previous two chapters (see Simple Meter and Time Signatures and Compound Meter and Time Signatures). refers to groups of measures that form patterns of accentuation, especially at faster tempos. In order to identify patterns of accentuation across multiple measures, one can place above measures (centered). shows an example from the “Scherzo” of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (1824), played on a keyboard:
While listening to, try conducting along to the hypermetrical numbers, in a quadruple pattern. By doing this you will be able to feel (and hear) which measures are more accented (1 and 3) and which are less accented (2 and 4).
Often rhythm and meter work together to create and reinforce a “grid,” which you can feel by conducting along to a work. happens when there are rhythmic accents, which can be created by ties, dots, rests, and/or dynamics.shows several different syncopated rhythms with proper counts:
In measure 1, the rhythm is syncopated due to ties, while in measure 2 it is syncopated because of both a dot and a tie. In measure 3 the rests create a sense of syncopation, while in measure 4 the syncopation is the result of dynamics (accents). See Rhythm and Meter for more information about syncopation.
- Triplets and Duplets (YouTube)
- Triplets (Hello Music Theory)
- Duplets (Hello Music Theory)
- Hypermeter (John Buccheri)
- Syncopation (Music Theory Academy)
- Syncopated Rhythm Practice (YouTube)
- Counting Triplets (.pdf), and pp. 32–33 of .pdf)
- Counting Duplets, p. 13 (.pdf)
- Hypermetrical Numbers (.pdf)
- Counting Syncopation (.pdf, .pdf, website, .pdf)
A tuplet that involves dividing a beat in simple meter into three parts
A rhythm that involves dividing the beat into a different number of subdivisions from that usually implied by the time signature
A tuplet that involves dividing a beat in compound meter into two parts
Groupings of measures into different patterns of accentuation
Numbers that show the accentuation pattern of a hypermeter; they are placed above measures, centered
A rhythmic phenomenon in which the hierarchy of the underlying meter is contradicted through surface rhythms. Syncopation is usually created through accents and/or longer durations.
A rhythmic or note value that does not fall on a beat (1, 2, 3, etc.)