- Music. a shifting of the normal accent, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.
- something, as a rhythm or a passage of music, that is syncopated.
- Also called counterpoint, counterpoint rhythm. Prosody. the use of rhetorical stress at variance with the metrical stress of a line of verse, as the stress on and and of in Come praise Colonus' horses and come praise/The wine-dark of the wood's intricacies.
- Grammar. syncope.
Origin of syncopation
- Music. the art of combining melodies.
- Music. the texture resulting from the combining of individual melodic lines.
- a melody composed to be combined with another melody.
- Also called counterpoint rhythm. Prosody. syncopation(def 2).
- any element that is juxtaposed and contrasted with another.
- to emphasize or clarify by contrast or juxtaposition.
Origin of counterpoint
- the technique involving the simultaneous sounding of two or more parts or melodies
- a melody or part combined with another melody or partSee also descant (def. 1)
- the musical texture resulting from the simultaneous sounding of two or more melodies or parts
- strict counterpoint the application of the rules of counterpoint as an academic exercise
- a contrasting or interacting element, theme, or item; foil
- prosody the use of a stress or stresses at variance with the regular metrical stress
- (tr) to set in contrast
Word Origin for counterpoint
- the displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat
- a note, beat, rhythm, etc, produced by syncopation
- another word for syncope (def. 2)
early 15c., of stitching, from Old French cuilte contrepointe "quilt stitched through and through," altered from coute pointe, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta "quilted mattress," from Latin culcita "cushion" + puncta, fem. past participle of pungere "to prick, stab" (see pungent).
Of music, mid-15c., from Old French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin cantus contrapunctus, from contrapunctum, from Latin contra + puncta, with reference to the indication of musical notes by "pricking" with a pointed pen over or under the original melody on a manuscript.
1530s, "contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds," from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) "a shortening or contraction," from syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.