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syncopation

syncopation (sĬng´kəpā´shən, sĬn´–) [New Gr.,=cut off ], in music, the accentuation of a beat that normally would be weak according to the rhythmic division of the measure. Although the normally strong beat is not usually effaced by the process, there are occasions (e.g., the second theme in the final movement of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor) when the natural rhythmic structure is entirely altered, the syncopation being so elaborate and persistent that the actual metrical structure is obliterated aurally. Occasional syncopation is present in music of all types and in all periods. It predominates, however, in African music and therefore in African-American music through which it became the principal element in ragtime (see jazz).

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syncopate

syn·co·pate / ˈsingkəˌpāt/ • v. [tr.] 1. [usu. as adj.] (syncopated) displace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa: syncopated dance music. 2. shorten (a word) by dropping sounds or letters in the middle, as in symbology for symbolology, or Gloster for Gloucester. DERIVATIVES: syn·co·pa·tion / ˌsingkəˈpāshən/ n. syn·co·pa·tor / -ˌpātər/ n.

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syncopation

syncopation. 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.

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syncopation

syncopation (gram.) contraction of a word by elision of one or more syllables XVI; (mus.) beginning a note on a normally unaccented part of the bar and continuing it into the normally accented part XVI. — medL. syncopātiō, -ōn-, f. late L. syncopāre, f. syncopē; see next, -ATION.

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syncopate

syncopate •palpate • emancipate •anticipate, dissipate, participate •constipate • cuspate • exculpate •inculpate • syncopate • extirpate

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