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What Is the Difference Between Beat and Meter?

Essay by review  •  November 8, 2010  •  Essay  •  296 Words (2 Pages)  •  945 Views

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Rhythm can be interpreted many different ways. Rhythm is the time aspect of music and the organization of music. It includes the effects of the beats. Rhythm motivates the listener. The origin of the word rhythm is Greek, which means flow. Rhythm is how the music flows. It is the repetition of a beat in a pattern.

A beat is a series of pulses. You can stomp your feet to a beat. Each stomp would be a beat. The beat would also be comparative to snapping or tapping you fingers. A meter is the organization or the grouping of a beat. These are grouped in regular patterns. A meter and a beat are different because a meter uses a beat to determine the measure or bar.

Once a meter is established in a song, it usually stays the same throughout the song. That is what produces the rhythm. A meter can contain many different patterns of beats. These are called measures. When that is completed then you have a meter established.

The meter is primarily how the beat is divided. There are four common types of meters. They are a simple duple, a compound duple, a simple triple, and a compound triple. Each beat measured into two parts is a simple measure and if it is divided into three, it is a compound measure. Each measure that is divided into two beats is duple and if measured in three is triple.

There are other types of meters but those are the most common. The meter is the background to the music that involves the beat, which produces the rhythm. All these are needed to create music

Michele Cline



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