A change in the expected harmony causes harmonic accents, or change in the harmonic rhythm. Perhaps a pattern has been established wherein the chords change only and always on the downbeat, so that when this harmonic rhythm is altered, an accent results. Or an deviation from the use of standard tonal harmony might cause an accent (e.g., a key change; an unexpected or unusual chord in the middle of standard tonal harmony; revoicing of a chord; etc.)

  • Shovel all the coal in, gotta keep it rollin’, woo woo  (from Chattanooga Choo Choo)
  • Was it accidental, or accurately planned? (from You Were There)