Reference Entry

Downbeat

Julian Rushton

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.08105

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(Fr. frappé)

The explicit or implied impulse that coincides with the beginning of a bar in measured music, by analogy with the downstroke in conducting (the ‘thesis’ of Arsis, thesis). The term is mainly applied to music in a regular metre or articulated by metrical stress, where downbeats create a periodic occurrence and are usually given articulation through dynamic increase (i.e. ...

Reference Entry.  145 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis ; Musical Structures, Styles, and Techniques

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