Surely not a word. If so, then it's a verb meaning "to make syncopation", to create rhythmic forward motion via accented off-beats. Quincy Jones would say that this is the biggest change in pop music since he began working the milieu - the mainstream advents of funk and world musics have made syncopation common. But as someone who still has "Get away from my drums!" ringing in his ears, why name me "Syncopated Smurf"? At least the drum machines didn't yell.

Syncopate surely is a word, for only words have definitions, and all definitions have words (it's just a matter of finding the right ones).

To syncopate is to alter a rhythm so as to make it a syncopated rhythm (ah - the lovliness of grammar). This can be done by making some notes longer than they were, or by adding extra notes or rests. That is, to syncopate is to obscure the bar line.

This action of transformation can be done during the compositional process, or during an actual composition, depending on the effect desired.

Syn"co*pate (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Syncopated (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Syncopating.] [LL. syncopatus, p.p. of syncopare to syncopate, to swoon. See Syncope.]

1. Gram.

To contract, as a word, by taking one or more letters or syllables from the middle; as, "Gloster" is a syncopated form of "Gloucester."

2. Mus.

To commence, as a tone, on an unaccented part of a measure, and continue it into the following accented part, so that the accent is driven back upon the weak part and the rhythm drags.


© Webster 1913.

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