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Re: Terminology of baseMoment, beats, groups

From: Lukas-Fabian Moser
Subject: Re: Terminology of baseMoment, beats, groups
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 14:51:11 +0100

Am 11.11.2017 um 13:25 schrieb Simon Albrecht:

> On 11.11.2017 12:30, David Kastrup wrote:
>> I have a hard time seeing a "beat" as something that can have different
>> lengths.
> Musical notation isn’t well-defined in a mathematical or programming
> sense, so there are no such strict rules as all beats of a measure having
> to be the same length.
> If nobody would refer to the last quarter note of 3+3+2/8 as “the third
> beat” then that’s because it would tend to be confusing.

I disagree. There are two different musical situations where this can
occur: 3+3+2 is a pretty common idiom of a three-part *rhythm* against a
2-part *metre*, and here it would in fact be confusing to refer to the "2"
as the third beat.
Other music may well treat this as beats in their own right, and then
everybody would talk about it as three "beats".

Maybe "beat" has too diverse a field of semantics depending on context and

So would it be better not to talk about "beats" but, eg., a "pulse" which
then is subjected to grouping?


It is probably clearer when shown with a less idiomatic example. Consider a
9/8 time signature with a 2,2,2,3 beatStructure. Here it is clear that
you'd refer to the groups as four "beats".


> Best, Simon

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