Concept

Hemiola

Summary
In music, hemiola (also hemiolia) is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. Etymology The word hemiola comes from the Greek adjective ἡμιόλιος, hemiolios, meaning "containing one and a half," "half as much again," "in the ratio of one and a half to one (3:2), as in musical sounds." The words "hemiola" and "sesquialtera" both signify the ratio 3:2, and in music were first used to describe relations of pitch. Dividing the string of a monochord in this ratio produces the interval of a perfect fifth. Beginning in the 15th century, both words were also used to describe rhythmic relationships, specifically the substitution (usually through the use of coloration—red notes in place of black ones, or black in place of "white", hollow noteheads) of three imperfect notes (divided into two parts) for two perfe
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