syncopation

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