Off-beat (music)  

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The off-beat is a musical term commonly applied to rhythms that emphasize the weak beats of a bar. According to Grove Music, the “offbeat” is [often] where the downbeat is replaced by a rest or is tied over from the preceding bar". The downbeat can never be the off-beat because it is the strongest beat in 4/4 time.

In music that progresses regularly in 4/4 time, the first beat of the bar is the strongest, the third is the next strongest, and the second and fourth are weaker; subdivisions (like eighth notes) of any of the beats are weaker than the main beats and if used frequently in a rhythm can make it off-beat.

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