There are several ways that you can create an effect of pushing forward within a piece of music. The music can increase in dynamics (volume), increase in tempo (speed), become more accentuated, modulate, or have rhythmic anticipations in the melody or harmony.
But what if we become so anticipatory that we skip an entire beat?
In some compositions and popular songs, a steady meter of 4/4 might momentarily drop to 3/4 do accomplish some of the following:
- Push forward to a new section
- Create a moment of cutting-off early an older section
- Reformat the melody to land on a strong beat in an awkward meter
Each of them having the common purpose to make things line metrically in the song according to the hierarchy of beats while creating an unexpected surprise while dropping a beat to mimic momentum into a new section.
I encourage you to play around with a melodic riff and see how dropping a beat in a what-would-be 4/4 sound like.
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