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Music Term: Downbeat

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1-9

Downbeat


Definition and background:

The first beat of the measure. When played under the direction of a conductor, it is signified by the downward movement of the conductor's hand. the downward motion of the conductor's baton or hand, which marks the stressed beats in a bar. in 4/4 time, for example, these are the first and third beats of the bar; the upbeats are the unstressed second and fourth beats in the bar

The "main" pulse as it relates to the rest of the measure. If you have 8 eighth notes in a bar of 4/4 time, beats 1, 2, 3 and 4 would be considered the downbeat. The "and" of 1, "and" of 2, "and" of 3, and "and" of 4 would be the upbeat.


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