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Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era$
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Roger Mathew Grant

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367283

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367283.001.0001

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A Renewed Account of Unequal Triple Meter

A Renewed Account of Unequal Triple Meter

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter Three A Renewed Account of Unequal Triple Meter
Source:
Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era
Author(s):

Roger Mathew Grant

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367283.003.0004

From its earliest formulations in writings on music, triple meter has held a special position. Conceptions of triple meter as the perfect mode of temporal division gave way during the sixteenth century to conceptions of triple meter grounded in a basic inequality, connected to the construction of the unequal tactus or battuta. While duple meters consisted of a lowering and raising of the hand that were equal in length, triple meters consisted of a lowering of the hand that was double the length of the following raise. An unequal meter, triple meter was similar in nature to the unbalanced meters in five or seven with which we are familiar today. This chapter revitalizes an unequal conceptualization of triple meter and brings this consideration to bear in analyses of Schein, Susato, Gervaise, Purcell, and Handel.

Keywords:   triple meter, unequal meter, non-isochronous meter, hemiola, Schein, Susato, Gervaise, Purcell, Handel

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