Basic Music Theory.  Copyright Neil Hawes 2001

There are two slightly different meanings of the word "beat" in music, but the second is essentially a special case of the first:

  1. Beat is the most fundamental concept of rhythm:

  2. Within the context of a piece of music, the word beat has a special meaning. It is the consistent pulse of the music, as in the previous meaning (above), but the special meaning also includes the duration of the beat and the way the beats are grouped.

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