What is the beat of the music? Is basically its pulse, is a continuum that serves as a reference as is always even and constant, although it can be faster or slower, is ALWAYS constant. The beat doesn’t come as obvious when we listen to music but is what makes us (without us not even realising) find ourselves nodding our heads or following it tapping our foot. Here is an example of a very famous song “Maple Leaf Rag” from Scott Joplin:
Now, we will listen to the same song but with the beat (played by a wooden block) to raise your awareness of the beat. Clap the pulse while you listen:
You can listen to the first video now and compare it with the second, clapping the beats. Let’s try!
Here is an image in which we see the first note lengths we will study. There are still much more, but that will be studied in later modules:
The top note value is the Semibreve (comes from the Latin word “Semibrevis”) is our longest one. In this chart we can see the proportional relation between the note lengths, the one below is the minim and the lowest, the Crotchet.
For more information, just click HERE.
In this video, we can see clearly the relation between the different values of a musical excerpt. In this case, we have a flute playing in minims (half notes), a Horn playing in crotchets (quarter notes) and a Cello playing the longest value, the Semibreve (whole note)
Notice how the notes are aligned vertically. You will see the timeline bar going over the notes at 60 beats per minute, or we could also say one beat every second