World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Beam (music)

Article Id: WHEBN0002181850
Reproduction Date:

Title: Beam (music)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Note head, Beam, Tie (music), Staccato, Articulation (music)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Beam (music)

image with beamed notes
above are one quaver, one dotted quaver and a semiquaver

A beam in musical notation is a thick line frequently used to connect multiple consecutive eighth notes (quavers), or notes of shorter value (indicated by two or more beams), and occasionally rests. Beamed notes or rests are groups of notes and rests connected by a beam; the use of beams is called beaming.

Span and grouping

The span of beams indicates the rhythmic grouping, usually determined by the time signature. In modern practice beams may span across rests in order to make rhythmic groups clearer. Notes lasting a quarter note (crotchet) or longer cannot be beamed.

In vocal music, beams are traditionally used only to connect notes sung to the same syllable. Since this often breaks the rhythmic grouping the rhythms are more difficult to read. In modern engraving practice it is commonplace to beam notes regardless of the words, and to add slurs to emphasize where multiple notes are sung to the same syllable.[1]

Positioning

Notes joined by a beam usually have all the stems pointing in the same direction (up or down). The average pitch of the notes is used to determine the direction - if the average pitch is below the middle staff-line, the stems and beam(s) usually go above, otherwise they usually go below.

In music engraving there are various more complex rules governing the positioning and angle of beams.

References

  1. ^ Standard Music Notation Practice Music Publishers' Association of the United States (Accessed: 4 April 2013)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.