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Thought and Play in Musical Rhythm$
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Richard Wolf, Stephen Blum, and Christopher Hasty

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190841485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190841485.001.0001

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Formative Processes of Durational Projection in “Free Rhythm” World Music

Formative Processes of Durational Projection in “Free Rhythm” World Music

(p.55) 2 Formative Processes of Durational Projection in “Free Rhythm” World Music
Thought and Play in Musical Rhythm

John Roeder

Oxford University Press

Recent theories of meter have been enriched by consideration of the time cycles and nonisochronous beats found in many musical cultures. However, these theories do not apply to music in which pulse is irregular. In many instances of this sort of “free rhythm” found throughout the world, durations can still be measured, but in relation to immediately preceding durations rather than to a persistent metric grid. Christopher Hasty’s theory of durational projection addresses just this situation. This chapter applies it in analyses of a Persian āvāz, a flute solo from Papua New Guinea, and an ālāp performed by sitarist Budhaditya Mukherjee. The guiding question is not whether there “is” meter or what that meter “is,” but how durational projections guide perception of process, pitch structure, and form, and so can be incorporated into coherent narrative that attributes purpose to the specific free rhythms in extended passages of music.

Keywords:   free rhythm, āvāz, ālāp, meter, Hasty, world music, analysis

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