Questions tagged [meter]

The rhythmic organization of music into regularly recurring measures dictated by a time signature.

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34
votes
6answers
64k views

Polymeter vs Polyrhythm

What is the difference between a polymeter and a polyrhythm? Do these words mean anything different for different instruments? PS: I'm a drummer.
15
votes
9answers
4k views

Intended shift of meter in certain songs?

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
618 views

Why is meter divided into simple and compound types?

From what I understand, Simple Meter -- divisible by twos Compound Meter -- divisible by threes Why do we choose 2 and 3? Why not n divisions?
30
votes
5answers
7k views

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

I need help understanding anacrusis (pickup notes). I'm no musician - I'm more of an anthropologist. I was reading some articles on ethnomusicology, and one of them makes reference to anacrusis in ...
32
votes
9answers
17k views

Do musicians count the meter all the time?

When I started as a beginner on the piano I just timed the notes by feeling. That is, until my teacher played back a recording of me to show me just how messed up my timings were. Since then I've ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How to count polyrhythm 3 against 4 in common time?

Polyrhythm 4:3 in 3/4 meter can be "inverted" to 3:4 in 4/4 meter, like this... ...the notation is easy enough to write, because we can use tuplets to gloss over the division problem. Converting ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Can't feel meter when playing

I can't feel the meter when playing along very well, sometimes not at all. Note I can feel the "pulse" just fine. I have no problem tapping my foot to the beat in time but I can't feel where the one ...
12
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the importance of tempo and time-signatures?

What is the importance of tempo and time-signatures? Aren't tempo and time-signatures all interchangeable? 4/8 at 60 BPM can be also described as 4/4 at 120 BPM. Can't a 60 BPM tempo be transcribed to ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How does the bottom number of the time signature affect counting?

I have learnt all the complicated mathematics subjects in my school, but that bottom number, I can't understand. Ok, the notation will be different, and it will say what kind of note gets the beat, ...
3
votes
3answers
296 views

Meter and time signature headache

I'm having trouble understanding meter and time signatures. I want the complete logical rundown of what it means and how arrangement works, the arbitrary nature of it (some almost explain notation and ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do you need meter in music?

The music score clearly specifies the length of all notes. So once you know how long a quarter note should last, for example, you already know the tempo and timing of entire score. So why would you ...
4
votes
3answers
634 views

Rhythmic/Metric Stress Patterns

The attached images are a page from Jack Perricone's Melody in Songwriting. I am familiar with the concept of stress patterns in music, but, honestly, have no idea what the hell he's on about here. ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What feel is 12/8 meter and why?

I know 6/8 is a two feel, so I feel like 12/8 would be a four feel of four triplet groups per bar. Is this correct?
3
votes
6answers
376 views

Understanding Rhythm with Time Signatures

Trying to follow the rules, yes I am trying to learn my instrument, watching YouTube videos, and trying to learn from looking at sheet music... It seems I "learn" about something it feels like it ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Is dotted quarter note = 144 equivalent to quarter note = 96?

I have a piece to read that gives the tempo of dotted quarter = 144. Does that mean it's at a quarter note = 96? The piece has a time signature of 12/8, and I'm guessing each eighth note is played at ...
10
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is 3/4 a simple meter while 6/8 is a compound meter?

These two meters sound very much alike to me and they can often be used interchangeably. For example: it's a trivial thing to change the meter of "An der schönen blaue Donau" from 3/4 to 6/8. ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

How to notate time signature switching consistently every measure

It seems my musical journey's always pushing me into left field territory when it comes to notation ... So this time I'd like to know what would be a good way to notate a consistent switching of time ...
14
votes
3answers
476 views

Just how specific is the term "hemiola"?

In Name and structure of staggering beat in Ramones' “Merry Christmas,” the rhythm in the second measure of the following example is described as a hemiola: But to me, these are just triplets and not ...
12
votes
5answers
29k views

What is and what is not syncopation

I'll often hear tunes in which the first note is upbeat and the second is downbeat. When is it syncopation and when is it not? For one of many examples, take "Amazing Grace." The "A-" is a weak ...
10
votes
4answers
15k views

How do you know if a song has triplets in 4/4 or if the tempo is 3/4?

How do you know if a song has triplets in 4/4 or if the tempo is 3/4 ? For example, consider this song : For the first line , I can count 1,2,3 ,1,2,3 ,1,2,3 ,1,2,...
6
votes
4answers
57k views

What is a measure?

I would like to understand what a measure is, can someone help me understand this concept? Wikipedia defines a measure as "a segment of time defined by a given number of beats", but this doesn't ...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

Why must the final bar complete the anacrusis?

The Wikipedia page for anacrusis states that Western standards for musical notation often include the recommendation that when a piece of written music begins with an anacrusis, the composer, ...
13
votes
13answers
8k views

Is it hopeless in terms of becoming decent musicians, if they can't count beats?

My flesh-n-blood guitar teacher has tried to get me to count beats (verbally or at minimum in my mind), and I think that I've tried reasonably hard in doing so for few months now. However I've come to ...
1
vote
4answers
151 views

Did the music of the common practice period always end with a full measure?

If there are pieces which end with an incomplete measure, then what would be some examples? And is there a term for an incomplete measure at the end? Something that would be the opposite of anacrusis.