Rhythm exercise 2-4
Single syncopations with an ending
NOTE: These two figures sound exactly the same, but are written differently.
Introduction to syncopations
The featured figures of this exercise include a syncopation.
Syncopations are related to strong and weak rhythmic positions.
While performing equal eighth notes, you can feel that they alternate between a strong eighth note on the beat and a weak eighth note on the upbeat.
To understand syncopations, let's first make the distinction between upbeats and syncopations.
Perform the following rhythm which contains only notes on the upbeats.
Now, lengthen each note so that the sound is sustained, over the beat, up to the next note.
As you can feel, the second part of each note is marked by the fall of the following beat, especially since your foot hits at the same moment.
So, a syncopation is a sensation, a feel.
A syncopation occurs when a note, played on a weak rhythmic position, is sustained over the following strong position.
Definition of a syncopation
Two ways to write syncopations
The syncopated note can be written in two ways:
•As two separate noteheads, tied together.
•As a single grouped value.
Since rhythm is supposed to be written beat by beat, the grouped notation violates this rule.
In addition, syncopated notes necessarily have to be separated in order to cross the bar line.
Syncopation in history
Syncopation is a very recent event in human evolution.
Even if a few can be found in medieval music and before, it is in the twentieth century that syncopation has known its phenomenal development.
Harmonically, most syncopated notes are anticipations; meaning that they rhythmically anticipate the underlying chords.
A: Start by doing this rhythm, using the syllable "Ta".
B: Remove the "T" from the third "Ta".
C: Hold the second "Ta".
How to perform
Tempo 70 bpm
Tempo 100 bpm
Tempo 130 bpm