Date of Degree
L. Poundie Burstein
Rhythm, Meter, Weight, Dissonance, Entrainment, Projection
The core argument of the dissertation emerges as a synthesis of ideas introduced in the first four chapters. Resonances with recent metrical theories are explored in chapter 1. Chapter 2 problematizes modern and historical theories through a phenomenological examination of meter and phenomenal accent in a few baroque sarabandes. Meter in these pieces is shown to involve entrainment to both a beat hierarchy and a recurrent weight profile, clarifying that metrical dissonance is fundamentally an expressive category, not a phenomenal category. Chapters 3 and 4 articulate a theory of weight, reviewing and refining phenomenal-accent theory, developing a notion of musical mass, and offering a simple preference-rule system for the comparison of weight between musical moments. Chapter 5 synthesizes the arguments of chapters 2–4, positing a general theory of metrical experience situated on a spectrum of perceived rhythmic consistency. I argue that a listener’s metrical attitude necessarily involves entrainment to or projection of both beat hierarchy and weight profile. The notion of dual entrainment developed in chapter 2 is thus supplemented by single entrainment and dual projection, all of which are categories of dual-aspect meter. The theory’s analytical and hermeneutic utility is demonstrated through a combined metrical and narrative analysis in appendix 1.
Wilson, Andrew, "Dual-Aspect Meter: A Theory of Metrical Consonance, Dissonance, Weight, and Variety" (2016). CUNY Academic Works.