2. Beat Division2.1 Introduction

Although rhythm and also meter are inextricably linked—2 closely-connected facets of how music unfolds over time—the words are supplied to explain various things. Both are related to the beat—a steady, underlying pulse uncovered in the majority of tonal Western art music. Rhythm describes the variety of note and also remainder durations that appear in the conmessage of the beat. Meter, on the various other hand, describes how the beats themselves are organized. Chapter 1 defines 3 different means that beats have the right to be grouped. Meters that kind the beat into teams of twos (alternating strong and weak beats) are well-known as duple meters. Meters that sort the beat right into teams of 3 or 4 are referred to respectively as triple and also quadruple meters.

You are watching: The following excerpt is not an example of triple meter.

But describing a kind of meter through regards to just how it groups the beats offers only one component of the equation. We will certainly currently comment on the differing means in which the beat can be divided. The adhering to chapters will go right into greater depth with meters that regularly divide the beat right into groups of 2 (Chapter 3) and teams of three (Chapter 4).

2.2 Beat division

Listen to the following excerpt. As you listen, tap in addition to your foot to uncover the beat. You have to be able to hear two beats per measure—in other words, this excerpt is in a duple meter:


b. With click track:

Were you able to hear that this excerpt is in a duple meter? The fundamental, underlying pulse has a duration equal to that of a quarter note. These quarter-note beats are organized right into groups of 2 by the meacertain lines. Notice just how the notation emphasizes the duple meter: shorter durations (eighth notes and sixteenth notes) are grouped in a way that does not obscure the duple meter. We will return to this aspect of the notation momentarily.

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As you may have noticed, the standard beat is not the just regular pulse. Listen to Example 2–1 aacquire. This time, as you are tapping your foot to the beat tap your hand also twice per beat. This faster pulse—twice as quick, in this case—is referred to as the beat division. The complying with instance clarifies:


In this situation, each quarter-note beat can be split into two eighth notes. In other words, as your foot is tapping quarter notes along with the music, your hand also have to be tapping eighth notes. Meters favor this, in which the beat is routinely split right into twos, are described as straightforward meters.

Activity 2-1


What would certainly be the note worth of the beat department for a straightforward meter in which the beat was equal to a fifty percent note?