Tackling Metrics #1 – getting the basics – beats

Basic Beats


iambic / iamb ta-TUM – /

natural for two syllable English words
unstressed syllable is an 8th note

trochaic / trochee TUM-ta /-
English words with suffixes often trochaic

anapestic / anapest ta-ta-TUM – – /
often preposition-article-noun combinations
unstressed syllables are 16th notes

dactylic / dactyl TUM-ta-ta / – –
reversed anapest

amphibrach ta-TUM-ta – / –
3 syllable foot, considered feminine iamb

pyrrhic ta-ta – –
a foot consisting of two unstressed syllables

spondaic / spondee TUM-TUM / /
a foot consisting of two stressed syllables


Monosyllabic foot one beat, usually TUM

whenever a monosyllabic foot occurs, an unaccented syllable that would accompany the accent in mechanical scansion may be displaced to the preceding or the following foot.

Caesura a strong pause, could take place of unaccented beat //

Distributed Stress ^
both syllables accented nearly equal, but not as strong as a spondee

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