Suomeksi | In English

Metre

Rhythms with consecutive sound events of equal duration can be written in several different ways. In the example below, a) is a simple rhythm where consecutive note values form a pattern of 1+2+ 1+ 2…

Musicians usually perceive that the metre of a rhythm like this has the stress on the longer note value, which is placed in the accented portion of the beat. An accent sign is used to describe other metric stresses, and it is always placed on the longer note value. The time signature is now 6/8, but it could also be 3/4, 12/8, and so on.

The figure in c) seems more complicated than the preceding ones, and it isn't easy to see that its duration pattern is the same as in a) and b). Every third note is now accented, while in b) every second note was accented. The metrical structure in b) is different from that in c); the same applies to the music illustrated by the notation.

This is a syncopated structure with a recurring rhythm pattern that is not in accordance with the time signature but moves against the metre. This type of interlocked rhythm and metre is quite common in popular music and music with African-American origins.

When the time signature is 4/4, each quaver is accented, as are the third and fourth beats, even though in the actual music they are not accompanied by a simultaneous sound event.