World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Accent (music)

Article Id: WHEBN0000713921
Reproduction Date:

Title: Accent (music)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Dynamics (music), Bar (music), Articulation (music), Beat (music), Drum stroke
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Accent (music)

In music, an accent is an emphasis placed on a particular note, either as a result of its context or specifically indicated by an accent mark. Accents contribute to the articulation and prosody of a performance of a musical phrase. Compared to surrounding notes:

  • A dynamic accent or stress accent is an emphasis using louder sound, typically most pronounced on the attack of the sound.
  • A tonic accent is an emphasis on notes by virtue of being higher in pitch as opposed to higher in volume.[1]
  • An agogic accent is an emphasis by virtue of being longer in duration.

Accents which do not correspond to the stressed beats of the prevailing meter are said to be syncopated.

Agogic accents

There are four kinds of agogic accent:

  • Longer notated duration of a note, for example, a half note among quarter notes.
  • Extended duration of a note within its full-time value (without altering the tempo). For example, players of organ and harpsichord (which don't afford the use of dynamic accents) can emphasize one of a sequence of staccato quarter notes by making it less staccato.
  • Extended duration of a note with the effect of temporarily slowing down the tempo.
  • Delayed onset of a note.

Accent marks

In music notation, an accent mark indicates a louder dynamic to apply to a single note or an articulation mark. The most common is the horizontal accent, the fourth symbol in the diagram above; this is the symbol that most musicians mean when they say accent mark. The vertical accent, third in the diagram, may be stronger or weaker than the horizontal accent; composers have never been consistent in using these markings. In most musical works this type of accent is meant to be played more forcefully and usually shorter. The remaining marks typically shorten a note.

  1. Staccato, the first symbol shown above, indicates that the last part of a note should be silenced to create separation between it and the following note. The duration of a staccato note may be about half as long as the note value would indicate, although the tempo and performers' taste varies this quite a bit. In jazz articulation, it is stated as "dit".
  2. The staccatissimo, shown second, is usually interpreted as shorter than the staccato, but composers up to the time of Mozart used these symbols interchangeably. A staccatissimo crotchet (quarter note) would be correctly played in traditional art music as a lightly articulated semi-quaver (sixteenth note) followed by rests which fill the remainder of the beat.
  3. The martellato, which is Italian for "hammered", shown third, the vertical open wedge, is generally accepted to be as loud as an accent mark and as short as a staccato. In jazz articulation, it is stated as "daht".
  4. The fourth mark shown, the accent mark, indicates that the marked note should have an emphasized beginning and then taper off rather quickly. This mark is correctly known by classically trained musicians as marcato, though it is usually simply referred to as an accent. In jazz articulation, it is stated as "dah".
  5. The tenuto mark, shown fifth above, has three meanings. It may indicate that a note or chord is to be played at full length or longer; it may indicate that a note or chord is to be played a bit louder; or it may indicate that a note is to be separated with a little space from surrounding notes. The last meaning is usually inferred when there are several notes with tenuto marks in a row, especially under a slur. Tenuto is Italian for "sustained". In jazz articulation, it is stated as "doo".

Even when these symbols are absent, experienced musicians will introduce the appropriate gesture according to the style of the music.[2]

Mark McGrain writes about articulation on page 156 in his book Music Notation: Theory and Technique for Music Notation. The marcato accent in the third mark shown is also known as the forzato accent. The notation commonly known as just an accent is also known as the sforzando accent. Neither of these accents alter the durational value of the note or voicing they attend. [3]

Anti-accent marks

Percussion music in particular makes use as well of anti-accent marks, notated as follows:

  1. slightly softer than surrounding notes: u (breve)
  2. significantly softer than surrounding notes: ( ) (note head in parentheses)
  3. much softer than surrounding notes: [ ] (note head in brackets)

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/tonic_accent#word=tonic%20accent
  2. ^ http://readsheetmusic.info/accents_and_markings_-_how_to_make_sense_of_musical_symbols.shtml
  3. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=S_y7JAZqx6QC&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=music+notation+accent+marking&source=bl&ots=NsImlNm4MB&sig=AtuiCGCop3-jIus04qGp8FtEOh4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LU0JUfftBYWWiAKGs4HwDw&ved=0CGMQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=music%20notation%20accent%20marking&f=false
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.