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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2021

Techniques for Keeping Time

Techniques for Keeping Time

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter Five Techniques for Keeping Time
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/9780199367283.003.0006

As theories of meter moved away from descriptions of time beating and began to focus on the properties of the measure itself, concern grew among theorists that meter signatures no longer effectively communicated tempo. Toward the end of the century, writers as diverse as Rousseau and Forkel complained that musical notation could never indicate true duration; it did not make reference to a universal temporal standard. The ubiquity and growing precision of timepieces inflected the discourse on tempo communication in music, and several early musical chronometers took forms that resembled clocks or even pocket watches. Ultimately, though, the most effective and common solution to this problem was the inclusion of extensive lists detailing the proper relationships between tempi, meter signatures, and characters. Chapter 5 examines these lists and example sets from the perspective of textual and material history.

Keywords:   tempo, tempo giusto, time discipline, chronometer, metronome, Loulié, taxonomy, book history, loss

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