What is a Hemiola?


Well, it is not a blood disease.
Nor is it a birthmark (see Hemangioma).

It is a rhythmic device in music whereby the meter changes briefly-
usually found where 2 measures of 3 beats feel like 3 measures
of 2 beats, or vice-versa.  For more information, try this link.

Here is an example:

"And the Glory of the Lord" from Messiah
Watkins Shaw 1981 edition, page 16

Note the bracketed quarter notes (crotchets for you English-types).  That is a hemiola.  Handel used them all the time!
(although he wasn't the only one!)

Enough about that.

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Thanks for stopping by!