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Ch 3: AP Music Theory: Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on rhythm and meter and learn the length of notes, time signatures, beat, and more. These lessons are just a portion of our AP Music Theory course.

Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Once you can recognize the notes, you have to know how fast to play them. In this chapter, you'll learn about the pacing of music, including the notation for different values of notes and the time signatures of a musical score. This chapter is divided into smaller lessons so you can learn about musical rhythm concepts one video at a time. You will listen to and look at tempo, beat, and meter in music. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Understand the length of notes on a staff
  • Explain the time signature of a piece
  • Identify the meter of a piece
  • Describe uncommon musical rhythms

VideoObjective
Notating RhythmLook at the ways that musicians and composers notate rhythm.
Rhythm: Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, Rests, and Other Basic RhythmsLearn these basic types of notes and their value.
Rhythm: Recognizing Syncopation, Dotted Notes, and TiesUnderstand different rhythms and how they're written on the staff.
Tempo: Definition and Uses in Musical FormsExamine the speed or pace of a musical piece and the words used to describe tempo.
Beat and SubdivisionTake a look at the levels of meter within the beat of a piece.
Time Signature in Music: Definition and ExamplesLearn how to recognize time signature and understand what they're noting.
Meters and Time Signatures in Musical FormsExplore the time signatures commonly used in various genres and types of music.
Simple, Compound, and Asymmetrical MetersUnderstand these types of meters, what they sound like, and which types of music employ them.
Triplets and DupletsUnderstand these irrational groupings of beats that don't fit in the normal parameters of subdivisions.
Downbeats and UpbeatsTake a look at these types of rhythms and how they correspond to the beat of a piece.
HemiolaLearn about this rhythmic aberrance in which three beats take the place normally occupied by two.

13 Lessons in Chapter 3: AP Music Theory: Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Rhythm: Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, Rests & Other Basic Rhythms

1. Rhythm: Quarter Notes, Eighth Notes, Rests & Other Basic Rhythms

Rhythm is an imperative part of music. Knowing the basic rhythms such as quarter notes, eighth notes, and rests will give you a deeper understanding of the music you hear. Learn about these notes and other basic rhythms in this lesson!

Rhythm: Recognizing Syncopation, Dotted Notes & Ties

2. Rhythm: Recognizing Syncopation, Dotted Notes & Ties

Beyond simple quarter notes and eighth notes, musical rhythm can become confusing. In this lesson, you'll learn how to recognize and define ties, dotted notes and syncopation. You'll also learn two styles where syncopation is often heard and how ties and dotted notes contribute to creating syncopation.

Syncopation: Definition & Examples

3. Syncopation: Definition & Examples

The element of surprise makes life interesting. In the rhythm of music, the element of surprise is called syncopation. Learn about the various ways to use syncopation for greater effect.

Tempo: Definition and Uses in Musical Forms

4. Tempo: Definition and Uses in Musical Forms

How does the speed of a song affect our emotions? How can we determine the speed of a song just by looking at it? By learning about tempo, we can find out!

Time Signature in Music: Definition and Examples

5. Time Signature in Music: Definition and Examples

Time signatures, or meters, are a way to communicate the pulse and feel of a piece of music. Musicians, dancers and listeners alike use them to interpret where the strong and weak beats lie, including their divisions. Find out the specifics of time signature in this lesson.

Meters and Time Signatures in Musical Forms

6. Meters and Time Signatures in Musical Forms

What's the difference between a waltz and a polka? What's a 'mazurka,' and why did Chopin write so many of them? How can time signature imply a type of form? Find the answers to these questions and more in this lesson!

Duple Meter: Definition & Example

7. Duple Meter: Definition & Example

Sometimes, what we see is not what we get, and some meters in music are definitely that way. Learn about duple meters and the difference between a simple duple meter and a compound duple meter.

Rhythm & Meter: Terms & Styles

8. Rhythm & Meter: Terms & Styles

Have you ever clapped your hands or stomped your foot in time to music? You were feeling the rhythm! In this lesson, learn the basics about rhythm and meter.

Irregular Rhythms: Definition & Types

9. Irregular Rhythms: Definition & Types

Composing and playing music requires an understanding of regular rhythms, but also those that are irregular. In this lesson, we'll talk about irregular rhythms and see what these look like.

Hemiola: Definition, Rhythm & Examples

10. Hemiola: Definition, Rhythm & Examples

This lesson will focus on the hemiola, which is a type of musical pattern. We'll learn about the two different types of rhythmic hemiolas, identify some examples in European and non-Western music, and even have some fun performing our own.

Diminution: Definition & Value

11. Diminution: Definition & Value

This lesson will teach you about the musical practice of diminution, including how composers have used it in various settings. You will learn about diminution of intervals, diminution of chords, and diminution of rhythms and melodies.

Augmentation in Music: Definition & Value

12. Augmentation in Music: Definition & Value

Augmentation is a common way to change harmonies and melodies in a composition and thereby change the impact of the piece. In this lesson, we'll explore augmentation and see how composers can use it to their advantage.

Accents in Music: Definition & Types

13. Accents in Music: Definition & Types

Music is a language, and like any language, performers need to know how to make it sound natural. In this lesson, we'll talk about accents in music, and see how they can change a composition.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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