Have you been reading about music? Commented about musi…

Have you been reading about music?

Commented about music on social media?

Had a lively conversation with your besties about your favorite songs?

Sometimes it seems like we spend more time—and a whole lot more words—talking about music than we do making it!

So why all these words about music? After all, can’t the music speak for itself?

We come up with all kinds of colorful expressions to describe these musical experiences in our casual conversations.

Oftentimes, these casual terms wrap musical structure, emotion, meaning, and cultural embeds all up in one clever package.

In the spirit of increasing our understanding of music and our abilities to produce it, let’s look into one of the most common cultural musical idioms—the one little one-syllable zip-file “beat”—and unpack it with the language of music theory.

In this article you will find out what “beat” really means!