Also found in: Wikipedia.


(ˌhɛmɪˈəʊlə) or


(Music, other) music a rhythmic device involving the superimposition of, for example, two notes in the time of three. Also called: sesquialtera
[New Latin, from Greek hēmiolia ratio of one to one and a half, from hemi- + (h)olos whole]
hemiolic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌhɛm iˈoʊ lə)

n., pl. -las.
a musical rhythmic pattern of syncopated beats with two beats in the time of three or three beats in the time of two.
[1590–1600; < Medieval Latin hēmiolia < Greek hēmiolía the ratio of one and a half to one, feminine of hēmiolíos half as large again]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
He frequently changes meter and employs hemiola to emphasize particular portions of text.
This repeating melodic theme creates an ostinato played in polyrhythm and metric hemiola with the rhythmic groove that is set-up by the rhythm section.
Blondal: Hemiola October 10 Giorgio Orbi: THEINSTANTBOOKTOGOEVERYWHERE
Where "Xylophone" relies on syncopation, though, "Marimba" works through a related compositional element known as hemiola. A hemiola is a specific type of syncopation, featuring three beats where you would intuitively expect two.
In "Marimba," the accented upper line creates the hemiola with a group of three notes in syncopation against the groups of two.
At measure 109, for example, the alto and continuo use the signature [??] while violin II is notated in [??], creating a hemiola before a cadence, typical of galliards.
I call it my 6/4 "period." That meter translates easily into 12/8 and many other groupings of 2s, 3s, 4,s and 6s--the glories of hemiola abound.
Boundaries between the types are often blurred, as in Ravel's subtle use of hemiola in the middle movement of the Concerto.
Sub-elements and common terms and instructional terminology may include: beat, pulse, meter (simple and compound), time, tempo/tempi, duration, mixed or asymmetric meter, downbeat, backbeat, two-beat, three-beat, four-beat, eight-beat, sixteen-beat, ostinato, duple/triplet/quadruple, syncopation, hemiola, augmentation, polyrhythm, improvised, rhythmic sequence, rhythmic themes, rhythmic cadence, style, swing, groove, non-sequential, irregular rhythm, pitched/nonpitched rhythm, subdivision, fermata/fermati, precision, silence.
The tunes are in triple meter, or 6/8 duple meter with hemiola that alternates between duple and triple meter.