Meaning of agogic in English:


Pronunciation /əˈɡɒdʒɪk/


  • Relating to or denoting accentuation within musical phrases by slight lengthening of notes.

    ‘What is new is the agogic and dynamic stress on the E, the weakest note of the C major triad, in bar 4.’
    • ‘In addition, a trend in the response criteria relates to the concept of agogic accents in music - that is, the creation of a sense of accenting through the manipulation the timing of notes.’
    • ‘Pairs generally include pieces of contrasting mood and agogic character, while larger groups offer more intricate narratives.’
    • ‘Riemann published editions of standard keyboard works in which agogic accents were marked with the sign ^.’

plural noun

usually treated as singular
  • agogicsThe use of agogic accents.

    ‘Hugo Riemann argues that without agogics music would be ‘machinelike’, and Wagner asserts that music would be ‘colourless and lifeless’ if played strictly as written.’
    • ‘Dynamics and agogics have virtually no significance; each intensification happens more or less on its own accord, without any perceptible outside stimulus.’
    • ‘Three particularly instructive excerpts will be considered, and in each case Clynes’ very special agogics will be contrasted with that of one other pianist.’
    • ‘By contrast it's Fiorentino who mines the heroic in Eroica whilst Hatto exploits little agogics in the score to hint at the wit within.’
    • ‘Demidenko fusses around with agogics and tempo fluctuation to the point where the music's unity and cumulative power fall by the wayside.’


Late 19th century coined in German from Greek agōgos ‘leading’, from agein ‘to lead’, + -ic.