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Hearing in TimePsychological Aspects of Musical Meter$
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Justin London

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744374.001.0001

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Metric Representations and Metric Well-Formedness

Metric Representations and Metric Well-Formedness

(p.77) 5 Metric Representations and Metric Well-Formedness
Hearing in Time

Justin London

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with a survey of the range of representational schemes that have been developed for rhythm and meter. A cyclical, time-continuous representation for meter is then given. Rapid periodicities are marked on the outer rim of a circle, while slower periodicities (i.e., “higher” metrical levels) are drawn within it. Various notions of metric well-formedness are then considered. An initial set of well-formedness constraints is proposed, involving (a) limits on the fastest and slowest possible periodicities that may be metrically salient; (b) that all component periodicities be continuous and coordinated; and (c) that each metrical level must involve periodicities in the same temporal range. A particular organization of metrical cycles is a metrical type, which may be distinguished by the number of periodicities they involve (metric depth) and their interrelationships. The music-theoretic distinction between meter and hypermeter is subsumed under the notion of metrical type. Metrical types can further be distinguished by tempo.

Keywords:   representations, metrical cycle, periodicities, metric well-formedness, tempo, metrical type, tempo-metrical type, hypermeter

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