Section 14.5 Afterbeats and Offbeats¶
Subsection 14.5.1 Afterbeats¶
The term “afterbeats” is from Fundamentals of Musical Composition by noted composer and pedagogue Arnold Schoenberg. “Afterbeats” are repeated chords (usually eighth notes, sometimes quarter notes) that occur after the downbeat.
In the next example, the afterbeats are not repeated chords but instead are passing–tone figures harmonized in thirds.
Subsection 14.5.2 Offbeats¶
Offbeats are typically chords that occur regularly on upbeats, avoiding downbeats. While there are many styles of music that use chordal offbeats, in this section we will consider only polka and reggae styles.
Subsubsection 188.8.131.52 Polka¶
The polka, which originated in Bohemia, has connotations with Germary and Oktoberfest. The polka in the United States is often associated with Frankie Yankovic, who was known as the “Polka King.”
Subsubsection 184.108.40.206 Reggae¶
Reggae is associated with the island of Jamaica and, in the most elemental sense, is characterized by offbeats, often played on an electric guitar. Bob Marley is closely associated with reggae music.
By the late 1970s, British bands like The Police and UB40 were recording songs that used the reggae accompanimental style.
Reggae accompanimental texture is fairly common in the present day, as can be heard in the following examples.