by Dannielle DeAndrea
by Andrew Robertson
DURATION refers to the lengths of
sounds and silences in music and includes
the aspects of beat, rhythm, metre, tempo, pulse
rates and absence of pulse.
Board of Studies NSW 1999, Music 1 Stage 6 Preliminary and HSC Courses, Sydney, NSW.
This chapter will help you to discuss the concept of duration in terms of:
by Johann Strauss I
s¬ beat: the underlying pulse in music
s¬ metre: the grouping of beats in combinations of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and so on.
‘Poune Ta Hronia’
by Giorgos Dalaras
s¬ rhythm: patterns of long and short sounds and silences found in music
s¬ tempo: the speed of the beat, such as fast or slow or becoming faster or slower
After completing the chapter, check that you understand and can apply the
regular and irregular metres
by Burt Bacharach
‘Seven Nation Army’
by The White Stripes
methods of notating duration, both traditional and graphic.
by Dead Can Dance
Backbeat is the strong beat
or emphasis on the two and
four beat, mostly heard in
mainstream or popular music.
Duration is a significant musical concept. As soon as we hear a piece of
music, we are drawn to its genre through recognising aspects of duration,
such as the beat, rhythm, tempo and metre. For example, if we hear an
emphasis on the two and four beats in a song — the backbeat — we
recognise the rock genre, as the backbeat is one of rock’s most important
features. A swing drumbeat with syncopation in the melodic line leads
us to anticipate a piece of jazz music. The aspects of duration are largely
responsible for conveying the overall ‘feel’ of a song.