Rhythm: (beat, meter, tempo, syncopation)

Is the element of “TIME” in music. When you tap your foot to the music, you are “keeping the beat” or following the structural rhythmic pulse of the music. There are several important aspects of rhythm:

  • DURATION: how long a sound (or silence) lasts.
  • TEMPO: the speed of the BEAT.
  • METER: Beats organized into recognizable/recurring accent patterns. Meter can be seen/felt through the standard patterns used by conductors.
  • Other basic terms relating to Rhythm are:
    • Syncopation: an “off-the-beat” accent (between the counted numbers)
    • Ritardando: gradually SLOWING DOWN the tempo
    • Accelerando: gradually SPEEDING UP the tempo
    • Rubato: freely and expressively making subtle changes in the tempo

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