from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One or more unstressed syllables at the beginning of a line of verse, before the reckoning of the normal meter begins.
- n. Music See upbeat.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An unstressed syllable at the start of a verse.
- n. An unstressed note or notes before the first strong beat (or downbeat) of a phrase.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A prefix of one or two unaccented syllables to a verse properly beginning with an accented syllable.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In prosody, an upward beat at the beginning of a verse, consisting of either one or two unaccented syllables, regarded as separate from and introductory to the remainder of the verse.
3. The first word of “The Star-Spangled Banner” “Oh” is an example of the literary device known as anacrusis, a lead-in syllable or syllables that precede the first full foot.
This may be trochaic with anacrusis or iambic with feminine endings, but neither quite adequately describes it.
If the first two syllables be regarded as anacrusis, the first line would be trochaic, with a dactyl substituted for a trochee in the second foot.
Similar combinations, still freer, with frequent anacrusis as well, are characteristic of Swinburne's Hesperia; e. g.
The four stresses of the Anglo-Saxon verse are retained, and as much thesis and anacrusis is allowed as is consistent with a regular cadence.
‘Possible, of course; but treat them as Ionics a minore with an anacrusis, and see if they don’t go better.’
By itself the fourth line would be called iambic: in this context it is called trochaic with 'anacrusis,' i. e., with one or more extra-metrical syllables at the beginning. [
Possible, of course; but treat them as Ionics a minore with an anacrusis, and see if they don't go better. "
According to Tristan Jakob-Hoff, Chailly has taken his own pencil to the score and replaced the single-note Thwack! with a "short, anacrusis before each note - 'buh-duh-DUM!