Device used by composers in order to vary position of the stress on notes so as to avoid regular rhythm. Syncopation is achieved by accenting a weak instead of a strong beat, by putting rests on strong beats, by holding on over strong beats, and by introducing a sudden change of time‐signature. First used at time of ars nova, and exploited to fullest capabilities by jazz musicians, often in improvisation. Stravinsky, Bartók, etc. also employ syncopation with dramatic effect.