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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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Introduction 7 Part One: Theory of Components 17 Rhythms and Components 19 Definition of Terms 19 Rhythm-building Components 20 • Sound 20 • Pitch 22 • Diastematy 25 • Articulation 31 • Dynamics 33 • Timbre 39 • Harmony 45 • Texture 49 • Phrase 52 • Prosody 59 Rhythmic Weight 64 Preface 64 Weight of Components Durations 65 Accumulation of Rhythmic Weights 73 Rhythmic and Metric Weight 77 Aspects of Rhythm 81 Rhythmic Proportions 81 • Composition vs. Notation 81 • Augmentation and Diminution 82 • Partial Augmentation and Diminution 84 Rhythmic Iso-, Hetero- and Symmetry 88 • Isometry 88 • Heterometry 93 • Symmetry 97 Rhythmic Characters 101 • Upbeat 101 • Syncope 111 • Hemiola 117 Part Two: Rhythm in the Music of J. S. Bach 127 Introduction 129 48 Fugue Themes of the Well-Tempered Clavier 134 Preliminary Remarks 134 Part 1 135 Part 2 143 Summary 149 Two 6/4 and two 9/8 Pieces from the Well-Tempered Clavier 151 Prelude C# Minor (6/4) 151 Fugue F# Minor (6/4) 154 Prelude A Minor (9/8) 156 Fugue A Major (9/8) 158 Summary 160 Chromatic Fantasia 161 From the Brandenburg Concertos 164 Concerto I (F Major) 164 Concerto II (F Major) 168 Concerto III (G Major) 170 Concerto IV (G Major) 172 Concerto V (D Major) 174 Concerto VI (Bb Major) 177 The »Eilt!–Wohin?«-Aria with Chorus 180 The Chorale »Es ist genug« 183 Part Three: Theories of Rhythm 187 Preface 189 1612 Praetorius • Terpsichore 191 1650 Kircher • Musurgia universalis 194 1678 Printz • Satyrical Composer 196 1739 Mattheson • The Complete Capellmeister 198 1749 Hartung • Musicus theoretico-practicus 202 1752...

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