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There are many songs that begin with a repeating beat/instrumental that implies a certain rhythm (let’s call it “Rhythm A”), but then when a later instrument enters the song, it turns out that the song actually has “Rhythm B”, into which A is interleaved/mixed.

I notice this a lot with albums I hear for the first time — where I’m unaware of Rhythm B for the first 10–20 seconds — and it’s a neat surprise to have what I assumed was Rhythm A turn out to be a component of a pretty-different Rhythm B.

One example of this is the opening to Luvofbahia by Wilczynski.

Is there a term for this?

marked as duplicate by leftaroundabout, Richard, David Bowling, Dom Jul 28 '18 at 18:21

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  • ah man i love it. once the bass comes in it flips on its head, but now when i go back i can only hear it way it is with the bass. do you happen to know if that is a sample (the guitar)? – b3ko Jul 26 '18 at 17:36
  • soul coughing "white girl" youtube.com/watch?v=9WlXipLy6nI is a good example. also check out this video about radiohead's "videotape": youtube.com/watch?v=p_IHotHxIl8 however, i don't know the name of this technique. – b3ko Jul 26 '18 at 17:55
  • Does the opening to Beethoven's V count? Practically all non-orchestra members think the first notes are on downbeats. – Carl Witthoft Jul 27 '18 at 11:12
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It’s apparently called “Turn the Beat Around” https://music.stackexchange.com/a/21984/51932

(Thanks to @leftaroundabout for the suggestion!)

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