In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make part or all of a tune or piece of music
Syncopation is used in many musical styles, especially dance music--"All dance music makes use of syncopation and it's often a vital element that helps tie the whole track together". In the form of a
Syncopation can also occur when a strong
4 bar or a dominant is placed at the fourth beat of a 4
4 bar. The latter frequently occurs in tonal cadences in 18th and early 19th century music and is the usual conclusion of any section.
Technically, "syncopation occurs when a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent occurs, causing the emphasis to shift from a strong accent to a weak accent". "Syncopation is", however, "very simply, a deliberate disruption of the two- or three-beat stress pattern, most often by stressing an off-beat, or a note that is not on the beat".
In the following example, there are two points of syncopation where the third beats are carried over (sustained) from the second beats rather than missed. In the same way, the first beat of the second bar is carried over from the fourth beat of the first bar.
Though syncopation may be highly complex, dense or complex looking rhythms often contain no syncopation. The following rhythm, though dense, stresses the regular
However, whether it's a placed rest or an accented note, any point in a piece of music that moves your perspective of the downbeat is a point of syncopation because it's shifting where the strong and weak accents are built".
For example, in meters with even numbers of beats (2
4, etc.), the stress normally falls on the odd-numbered beats. If the even-numbered beats are stressed instead, the rhythm is syncopated. Accordingly, the former implies duple meter (22) while the latter implies quadruple meter (13).
The stress can shift by less than a whole beat so it falls on an
It can be helpful to think of a 4
4 rhythm in
Anticipated bass is a
4 time, thus anticipating the third and first beats. This pattern is commonly known as the Afro-Cuban bass