Lombard rhythm

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One measure of the "Scotch snap" or Lombard rhythm notated in sheet music in a 4/4 time signature.

The Lombard rhythm or Scotch snap is a syncopated musical rhythm in which a short, accented note is followed by a longer one. This reverses the pattern normally associated with dotted notes or notes inégales, in which the longer value precedes the shorter.

In Baroque music, a typical Lombard rhythm consists of a stressed sixteenth note, or semiquaver, followed by a dotted eighth note, or quaver.

In Scottish country dances, the Scotch snap (or Scots snap) is a prominent feature of the strathspey.

Due to the immigration of Scots to Appalachia, elements of Scottish music such as the Lombard rhythm have been appropriated into popular music forms of the 20th and 21st century. In modern North American pop and rap music, the Lombard rhythm is very common; recent releases by Post Malone, Cardi B, and Ariana Grande feature the Scotch snap. Grande’s song ‘7 Rings’ was the subject of controversy surrounding this rhythm, wherein several hip-hop artists (Princess Nokia and Soulja Boy) who had used the rhythm in an iconic fashion raised accusations of plagiarism.

Further reading[edit]

  • Temperley, Nicholas; Temperley, David (September 2011), "Music-Language Correlations and the "Scotch Snap"", Music Perception, 29 (1): 51–63, doi:10.1525/mp.2011.29.1.51