What Are Musical Beats?
A Beat is a basic unit of time in music, it is governed by a variety of different concepts including tempo, meter, rhythm, and groove. As music has evolved throughout time, so has the meanings of many musical terms. The beat is now often referred to as the Backing Sound or bass that commonly lasts for the whole piece of music. The Beat is a repeated sequence of stressed and unstressed beats that are divided into sections and implemented into music at the correct time.
A Beat is a pulse of time, a ticking clock is a good example, every minute the second-hand ticks 60 times, each one of those ticks is a beat. If you speed up or slow down the second hand the tempo of the beat will change.
Instrumental technology has consistently advanced and evolved over the years, when looking back at flutes made out of animal bones dating back 40,000 years, to the electric guitars of the 1960s, instruments have developed in an unprecedented way.
Ancient Western Africans are the first known race to use beats, by playing the hand drum in rhythmic form. The tradition and teaching of how to play African rhythmic beats are known as a Groit. Which is the passing of different beats orally, i.e. There are 3 basic sounds from a hand drum, each can be played with either the left or right hand. The Groit calls each of these by different sounds “Goon Doon Go Do Pa Ta”. This simple system is now used worldwide by Djembe players.
Modern Beats evolved rapidly due to the popularity of the nightclub scene of the early 1980s. Disco, house, techno, and hip hop music were born from this change in dance style. This era produced decks, Synthesisers, drum machines, and sequencers, they are still the instrument of choice when producing music with modern beats, as they mimic and emphasize traditional acoustic instrumentation. When Computers developed and became more readily available in the 1990s, the way in which music and especially beats could be changed was recognized. With these new systems in place, the birth of electric dance music became mainstream.
Modern Beats have proven to be adaptable and an expected presence in current music, it’s no longer just used in dance and house genres. Modern Beats are now a frequent presence in all genres and used by artists from Katy Perry to Michael Jackson.