Adventures in Etymology: Syncopation

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Syncopation

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) from 1954's "The First Book of Jazz" by Langston Hughes - illustrations by Cliff Roberts. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Syncopation by Mister Asta (Flickr) “from 1954’s “The First Book of Jazz” by Langston Hughes – illustrations by Cliff Roberts”.
Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence

Reason for Adventure

I came across this great word in Above/Below by Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek (to be more specific, in Above ) to describe the main character’s heart beat.AboveBelow-cover1-300x246

Dictionary.com Definitions/Origins

Pronunciation:
sing-kuhpey-shuhn, sin-kuh-pey-shuh n

Form:
noun

Definition:
1. Music. a shifting of the normal accent, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.
2. Something, as a rhythm or a passage of music, that is syncopated.
3. Also called counterpointcounterpoint rhythm. Prosody the use of rhetorical stress at
variance with the metrical stress of a 
line of verse, as the stress on and  and of  in
Come praise Colonus’ horsesand come praise/The wine-dark of the wood’s intricacies.
4. Grammar syncope.

World English Dictionary
1. Music
a. The displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat
b. a note, beat, rhythm, etc, produced by syncopation
2. another word for syncope

Origin: 
1525-35;  < Medieval Latin syncopātiōn-  (stem of syncopātiō ), equivalent to Late Latin syncopāt
us (see syncopate) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms:
non·syn·co·pa·tion, noun

Sources:

syncopation. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

syncopation. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved June 09, 2014, from Dictionary.com website:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/syncopation

Online Etymology Dictionary Information

syncopation (n.)1530s, “contraction of a word by omission of middle sounds,” from Medieval Latin syncopationem (nominative syncopatio) “a shortening or contraction,” from past participle stem of syncopare “to shorten,” also “to faint away, to swoon,” from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Musical sense is attested from 1590s.

Source:

Harper, D. (2014). Online etymology dictionary. Retrieved June 09, 2014 from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=syncopation&allowed_in_frame=0

 

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