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AP Music
Elements: Rhythm
 General
term used to refer to the aspect
of music
 Durational Symbols:
 Breve – Double Whole Note/rest – 8 cts
 Whole note/rest – 4 cts
 Quarter note/rest – 1 ct
 Eighth note/rest – ½ ct
 Sixteenth note/rest – ¼ ct
Rhythm Tree
tie connects two notesof the same
pitch creating a new duration equal to
the sum of both notes
dot adds ½ the value of the note to the
note itself.
Beat and Tempo
 Beat
– Basic Pulse of a musical passage
 Tempo – the rate at which the beats
 Italian Terms – gives relative description of
the tempo
 M.M. – Maelzel’s Metronome – precise
beats in one minute
The Pattern of Beats
Measure – groups of beats indicated by the
bar line
Number of beats in a measure is indicated by
these terms
Duple – 2
Triple – 3
Quadruple – 4
Metric Accents – pattern of stresses found in a
Division of the Beat
 Simple
– beats divided into 2 equal parts
 Compound
– beats divided into 3 equal
Simple Time Signatures
 Time
signatures – tells the performer two
 How many beats are in a measure
 What note value represents the beat
2 = half note
4 = quarter note
8 = eighth note
16 = sixteenth note
Compound Meter
 Division
of the beat
Dotted half note = 3 quarter notes
Dotted quarter note = 3 eighth notes
Dotted eighth note = 3 16th notes
Dotted sixteenth note = 3 32nd notes
Compound Meter Signatures
 Tells
 Tells
the performer the number of divisions
the performer what the division
duration is
Summary of Meters
 Two
types of Beat – Simple and
 Three Common Meters – duple, triple and
 Any number representing a note value
can be used for any meter
You must look at the music to know exactly
what it is
Meters Chart
More on Durational Symbols
 When
rhythms are notated, it is customary
to use rests, beams, ties and dots in such a
way that the metric accent and the
individual beats are emphasized rather
than observed
 Rhythm
figures that stress normally weak
beats or divisions
 Division
of an undotted value into some number of
equal parts other than 2, 4, or 8
 Used
to connect durations shorter than a
quarter note
 Rule
for above or below:
Decided based on the note that is the
furthest from the middle line
 General
Middle line and above – stem goes down
on left side of the note
Below the middle line – stem goes up on
right side of note head