Polymeter in Twentieth-Century Music: A Study in Notational Methods

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Timothy James Daoust (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Alejandro Rutty

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to find rationales for polymetric notation by studying selections of twentieth-century music. By discussing the nature of various passages, notational methods were linked to each different polymetric scenario. A distinction was made between instances of polymeter that were implied within the framework of one metric structure and those that were explicit, having separate metric structures indicated in the notation. After presenting polymetric examples in their original notation, various alternative notations were speculated upon. Implied polymeter was found to have limitations when applied to situations that were originally notated explicitly. It was certainly possible, however, to re-notate explicit polymeter examples as such. The composer's rhythmic intent is usually lost when these ideas are confined to one metric structure. Additionally, I presented various alternate notations for a passage of implied polymeter in my string quartet, Dead Leaves Swirl at My Doorstep. The exercise revealed some of the limitations of implied polymetric schemes as well as important considerations for notating polymetric passages in a single metric structure.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Polymeter, Meter, Notation
Musical meter and rhythm
Musical notation -- 20th century.

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Dead_Leaves_Swirl_at_my_Doorstep_2008_scorehttp://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/Dead_Leaves_Swirl_at_my_Doorstep_2008_score.pdfThe described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.