Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart Chamber Music for Strings, 1787-1791

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-04-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart makes a significant contribution to music theory and to the growing conversation on metric perception and musical composition. Focusing on the chamber music of Haydn and Mozart produced during the years 1787 to 1791, the period of most intense metric experimentation in the output of both composers, author Danuta Mirka presents a systematic discussion of metric manipulations in music of the late 18th-century. By bringing together historical and present-day theoretical approaches to rhythm and meter on the basis of their shared cognitive orientations, the book places the ideas of 18th-century theorists such as Riepe, Sulzer, Kirnberger and Koch into dialogue with modern concepts in cognitive musicology, particularly those of Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, David Temperley, and Justin London. In addition, the book puts considerations of subtle and complex meter found in 18th-century musical handbooks and lexicons into point-by-point contact with Harald Krebs's recent theory of metrical dissonance. The result is an innovative and illuminating reinterpretation of late 18th-century music and music perception which will have resonance in scholarship and in analytical teaching and practice. Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart will appeal to students and scholars in music theory and cognition/perception, and will also have appeal to musicologists studying Haydn and Mozart.

Author Biography

Danuta Mirka is Reader in Music at the University of Southampton. She is the author of of The Sonoristic Structuralism of Krzysztof Penderecki and coeditor, with Kofi Agawu, of Communication in Early Music.

Table of Contents

Note on Terminology, Language, and Musical Examples

Chapter 1. Musical Meter between Composition and Perception
1.1. The Concept of Meter in the Late Eighteenth Century
1.2. Revival of the Hierarchical Concept of Meter in the Twentieth Century
1.3. Toward a Dynamic Model of Meter
1.4. Borrowing from a Different Model

Chapter 2. Finding Meter
2.1. Statistical Parameters
2.2. Harmony
2.3. Streaming and the Role of Bass
2.4. Cadence (Structural Accent)

Chapter 3. Sustaining Meter -- Challenging Meter
3.1. Metrum and Regularity of Beats
3.2. Missing Beats
3.3. General Pauses
3.4. Fermatas
3.5. Syncopations

Chapter 4. Changing Meter I: Change of Period
4.1. Imbroglio
4.2. Submetrical Dissonance
4.3. Hemiola

Chapter 5. Changing Meter II: Change of Phase
5.1. Chains of Rhythmical Dissonances
5.2. Other Parameters in Displacement Dissonances
5.3. Imitation
5.4. Ligaturae, Retardation, Anticipation
5.5. Syncopated Accompaniment
5.6. Remark on Subliminal Dissonances

Chapter 6. Changing Meter III: Change of Tactus
6.1. Changes of Taktteile in Compound Meters
6.2. Changes of Taktteile in Double Measures
6.3. Perceptual Factors
6.4. Taktteile and the Tactus

Chapter 7. Analyses of Long-Range Metrical Strategies
Haydn, String Quartet in C major, Op. 50 No. 2, First Movement
Haydn, String Quartet in F minor, Op. 55 No. 2, Finale

Chapter 8. Wit, Comedy and Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart's Personal Styles
8.1. Haydn
8.2. Mozart
8.3. Haydn's Earlier and Later String Quartets
8.4. Inconclusive Conclusion

Index of Compositions by Haydn and Mozart
General Index

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