AskDefine | Define anacrusis

User Contributed Dictionary



Modern , from lang=el, from lang=el, from lang=el.


IPA: /ænə'kru:sɪs/


anacrusis (also known as a pick-up)
  1. an unstressed syllable at the start of a verse
  2. an unstressed note or notes before the first strong beat (or downbeat) of a phrase
    • 1989: Then Etheridge poised his baton, jerked an upbeat, and made the violinists speak the low G and A of their anacrusis. (Burgess, Any Old Iron)


(prosody) an unstressed syllable at the start of a verse
  • German: Auftakt
  • Italian: anacrusi
  • Russian: анакруза
(music) an unstressed note (or notes) before the first strong beat of a phrase
  • Catalan: anacrusi
  • Dutch: opmaat
  • German: Auftakt, Anakrusis
  • Italian: anacrusi
  • Portuguese: anacruse
  • Russian: затакт
  • Spanish: anacrusa
  • ttbc Dutch: opmaat
  • ttbc Japanese: 弱起
  • ttbc Portuguese: anacruse

Extensive Definition

See also: Upbeat (music)
For the Progressive/Thrash Metal group please refer to Anacrusis (band).
In poetry, anacrusis is the lead-in syllables, collectively, that precede the first full measure. Similarly, in music, it is the note or notes (even a phrase) which precede the first downbeat in a group. In the latter sense an anacrusis is often called a pickup, pickup note, or pickup measure, referring to the syncopation. A piece of music beginning with an anacrusis will also end before the last beat of the last bar, in order to keep the number of bars in the entire piece at a whole number.
In the song "Happy Birthday to You", the anacrusis forms the Happy and the accent is on Birthday.
In the Star Spangled Banner, the word Oh in the first line is an anacrusis in both the music and the anapestic meter of the poem:
anacrusis in Catalan: Anacrusi
anacrusis in German: Auftakt
anacrusis in Spanish: Anacrusa
anacrusis in Italian: Anacrusi
anacrusis in Dutch: Opmaat
anacrusis in Japanese: 弱起
anacrusis in Portuguese: Anacruse
anacrusis in Russian: Анакруза
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