In pop music, there are some songs that pretend to have the beat accent at a certain time in the intro but with percussion coming in, the beat (apparently) shifts the meter such that you have the feeling to stumble on some extra beat until your inner meter got adjusted to the new accent of the beat. I am looking for a term for that kind of apparent meter shift. Let me give two examples:
I only know one song by name with probably the songwriter’s intention to have the impression of a shifted meter during the intro. It is Ghost Story by Sting:
In the way you here it, when you here it the first time, the song introduces with a lullaby-like theme. When percussion comes in (only at 2:10, maybe before for someone) your inner meter will probably stumble and it seems as if the theme changes, but actually only meter has shifted half a beat. If you have a confident meter feeling and practice hearing the right beat, you can adjust your feeling to the actual beat throughout the intro and the stumbling will disappear. For me, the intention is to dally with the listener’s experience of pleasing melody–beat combinations.
Another example, where I am not sure about the intention, is Take it easy by The Eagles:
Apparently, this song starts with a common rhythm pattern and stressed chords on-beat
. Actually, and you will notice it when the percussion comes in, the stress is off-beat
. Again, here you can switch to hearing the right beat (without stumbling) already from the beginning as soon as you got used to the pattern throughout the song. Before my teacher told me, he always here it the right
way in this intro, I was sure there was a true intention. Now, I’m just confused about my feeling of rhythm.
Do you know songs with similar shifted meters? What do you think about the respective intention? Is it used to raise a certain effect or does it occur incidentally in the listener’s perception? And, is there a technical term for those shifts?