Syncopation

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Rhythmically shifting or offsetting melodic motion so that it does not fall on a strong accent. Dotted rhythms can create a syncopated effect. A syncopated note is offset related to the regular accents. Syncopations that are set up against the cantus firmus form the basis of fourth species counterpoint. If a dissonance between the cantus firmus and the counterpoint is created, it is referred to as a suspension.