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Rhythm and Time

Two ways of viewing time


Time as an endless stream,

continuously flowing
Heraclitus: Time is a river into
which we can never step into the
same place twice
Sir Isaac Newton: absolute, true
and mathematical time, of itself
and from its own nature flows
equably without relation to
anything external.
Time as divided into discrete units
Problem of how we demarcate
units
Analogy to units for space
Time is intangible

Rhythm and Time

Three aspects of time:


Duality
Time has dual modes of structure
1 is clocklike
2 relies on experience for
st

nd

demarcation
Hierarchy
Both modes are hierarchic
Motion
Motion as the essence of time
Time itself as moving
Problematic to describe
Quantitative mode
Qualitative mode

Time in Music

Properties of time in music


Duality
Distinction between meter and

rhythm
Hierarchy
Both meter and rhythm can be
viewed at increasingly broader
time spans
Motion
Tempo as example of motion in
music

The Experience of Time

The Psychological Present


The temporal span of attention, or
ones window on experience
How long is the psychological
present?

Psychological Pace
Is there a spontaneous tempo to the
pace of psychological events?

Rhythm in Music

What is meant by rhythm in music?


The problem of a definition of rhythm
Working definition
A response to music of sound

sequences of certain
characteristics, comprising
experiential as well as behavioral
aspects

Rhythm vs. Non-rhythm

Grouping
Accent
Regularity
Psychological present

Descriptions of Musical
Rhythms

Are there descriptive systems for

classifying musical rhythms?


Classification with regard to meter
Ex., Duple (2 beat) and Triple (3
beat) meters
Compound meters: Quadruple (4
beat) and Sextuple (6 beat)

Descriptions of Musical
Rhythms

Are there descriptive systems for

classifying musical rhythms?


Classified in analogy to prosody
Ex. Cooper & Meyer (1960)
Iamb
Trochee
Dactyl
Amphibrach
Anapest

accented
unaccented

The Metrical Hierarchy


x x x xx x x xx x x xx x x x
Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Hierarchy 4 1 2 1 3 1 2 1 4 1 2 1 3 1 2 1

Multidimensional Approaches
to Musical Rhythms
Gabrielsson (1973a, b, c)

Multidimensional Approaches
to Musical Rhythms, cont
Gabrielsson (1973a, b, c)

Polyrhythms
Two Component Polyrhythms:
2 x 3:

?xx?xx?xx?
?xxx?xxx?xxx?

3 x 4:

?xxx?xxx?xxx?
?xxxx?xxxx?xxxx?

Three Component Polyrhythms:


3 x 4 x 5:

?xxx?xxx?
?xxxx?xxxx?
?xxxxx?xxxxx?

Pitch and Rhythm Interactions


Palmer & Krumhansl (1987a, 1987b)
Pitch Condition:

Temporal Condition:

Melody Condition:

Pitch and Rhythm


Interactions, cont
Palmer & Krumhansl (1987a, 1987b)
Additive Model:
Melody = Pitch + Temporal + c
Interactive Model:
Melody = Pitch + Temporal + PT+ c
PT = A pitch x temporal interaction (e.g.,
Pitch x Temporal; Pitch / Temporal).

Pitch and Rhythm


Interactions, cont
Joint accent structure
(Mari Jones, Marilyn Boltz)

Pitch and Rhythm


Interactions, cont
Joint Accent Structure
(Mari Jones, Marilyn Boltz)

Pitch and Rhythm


Interactions, cont
Joint Accent Structure
(Mari Jones, Marilyn Boltz)