Book 1, Section 3:3, stable/unstable scale degrees. How should notes that are not *exactly* on a strong beat be treated?


If a note occurs or starts at a point that’s close to, but not exactly “on” a strong beat, how should it be treated?

E.g A note that is 1/4 long and starts 1/8th before beat 1. Or a note that starts 1/16th after beat 3.

Would either of these notes be viewed as occurring “on” a strong beat (for the purposes of choosing scale degrees in chapter 3:3)?



The first example is called anticipation and i would say it probably can be considered to be on a strong beat. The second example is not so clear because it will create syncopation, it might be both ways depending on your musical context. Now generally i think about it like this: if the chord tones are present on the strong beat, they count, if not - they might not.