Beat Divisions

In the previous post we found out that each piece of music has a time signature written as a fraction in the beginning of the piece.

There are three main types of beat divisions.

–          Duple Meter

–          Triple Meter

–          Quadruple Meter

Before explaining three types of beat division, first the concept of Beat should be explained.

When you listen to a piece of music your mind tends to keep time to the music by tapping the foot making a regular pulse. This regular pulsation is called the beat. Mind also tends to group these beats into strong and weak beats. There is always a strong beat (downbeat) preceding several weaker beats (upbeat).

If a piece of music has two beats per measure, it is in duple meter, if it has three beats per measure it is in triple meter, and if it has four beats per measure it is in quadruple meter.

–          In a duple meter the first beat is the strong beat and the second beat is the weak beat.

–          In a triple meter the first beat is the strongest and the second and third beats are the weak beats.

–          In a quadruple meter the first beat is the strongest, the third beat is the second strongest and the second and forth beat are the weak beats.

This Diagram shows the three types of simple meters.

beat-division-Mezzo Piano Lessons Library