Ok: so: I would call it the “carrier of expectations” (where’s the downbeat-so-I-can-clap). it is CONTEXT a) Meter / Metre in Western music generally dominates time perception although rhythm can sometimes mess with expectations but b) Talas in classical Indian music is the time dimension of music* Talas is similar to the “12-bar blues” in concept but without the strictly strict set of evenly spaced measures. (that’s what measure is: exact – and is where it got its name) – and talas is more fundamental in classic Indian where as Meter is more fundamental in Western music. * from Wikipedia: “Tala in the Indian tradition embraces the time dimension of music, the means by which musical rhythm and form were guided and expressed.[11] While a tala carries the musical meter, it does not necessarily imply a regularly recurring pattern. In the major classical Indian music traditions, the beats are hierarchically arranged based on how the music piece is to be performed.[4] The most widely used tala in the South Indian system is Adi tala.[4] In the North Indian system, the most common tala is teental.[12]”

Ok: so: I would call it the “carrier of expectations” (where’s the downbeat-so-I-can-clap). it is CONTEXT
 
a) Meter / Metre in Western music generally dominates time perception although rhythm can sometimes mess with expectations
but
b) Talas in classical Indian music is the time dimension of music*
 
Talas is similar to the “12-bar blues” in concept but without the strictly strict set of evenly spaced measures – but s hierarchical. (that’s what measure is: exact – and is where it got its name) – and talas is more fundamental in classic Indian whereas having an evenly-spaced, evenly sized Meter is more fundamental in Western music:
 
* from Wikipedia: “Tala in the Indian tradition embraces the time dimension of music, the means by which musical rhythm and form were guided and expressed.[11] While a tala carries the musical meter, it does not necessarily imply a regularly recurring pattern. In the major classical Indian music traditions, the beats are hierarchically arranged based on how the music piece is to be performed.[4] The most widely used tala in the South Indian system is Adi tala.[4] In the North Indian system, the most common tala is teental.[12]”

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