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Music and Rhythm

Fundamentals – History – Analysis

Peter Petersen

This book sets forth the first really novel theory of rhythm since Hugo Riemann: the components theory. Its approach will be of interest to musicologists and music theoreticians alike as well as to music performers, since it will enable them to describe and understand the rhythmic shape of music better and more fully than was previously possible. Instead of conceiving rhythm simply as interplay of short and long, of accents and meters, the present analysis takes its departure from secondary rhythms that are not notated but depend on specific qualities of a given sound or sound formation. Together with the basic rhythms, these components rhythms form a total rhythmic texture, whose temporal and weight structure allows a novel way of perceiving musical meter as not being primarily prescriptive but above all as the product of an overall compositional calculation of component rhythms.


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illustration shows a section of Beethoven’s Sonata op. 13, 3rd mov., with rhythmic profiles from Ex. 3-126 on p. 272. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Petersen, Peter. [Musik und Rhythmus. English] Music and rhythm : fundamentals, history, analysis / Peter Petersen. — Revised and ex- panded version of the original German edition. pages cm Includes index. ISBN 978-3-631-64393-8 1. Musical meter and rhythm. 2. Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750—Criticism and interpretation. I. Title. ML437.P4713 2013 781.2'24—dc23 2013024307 ISBN 978-3-631-64393-8 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-653-03491-2 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-03491-2 © Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt am Main 2013 All rights reserved. PL Academic Research is an Imprint of Peter Lang GmbH. Peter Lang – Frankfurt am Main · Bern · Bruxelles · New York · Oxford · Warszawa · Wien All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.

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