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Interlude 2: Rhythm and Metre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2021

James Grier
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario
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Summary

The tension between surface rhythm and the organization of musical time into a regular succession of pulses existed from the beginning of rhythmic notation in the West. Johannes de Garlandia, writing about the rhythmic modes in the mid-thirteenth century, cites a rule (“Unde regula”) that “every note that falls in an odd-numbered position ought to concord with each odd-numbered note” (“omne, quod fit impari, debet concordari omni illi, quod fit in impari”). This stipulation falls well short of constituting a comprehensive theory of musical metre, but it does seem to discourage us from perceiving rhythmic music of this period as consisting of a series of undifferentiated beats. Still, thirteenth-century notation makes no provision for indicating where stress should fall. The transition from modal to mensural notation in the second half of the century did not bring any further clarity to the situation.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Interlude 2: Rhythm and Metre
  • James Grier, University of Western Ontario
  • Book: Musical Notation in the West
  • Online publication: 28 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139034821.006
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  • Interlude 2: Rhythm and Metre
  • James Grier, University of Western Ontario
  • Book: Musical Notation in the West
  • Online publication: 28 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139034821.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Interlude 2: Rhythm and Metre
  • James Grier, University of Western Ontario
  • Book: Musical Notation in the West
  • Online publication: 28 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139034821.006
Available formats
×