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By Christopher Hasty

During this ebook Christopher Hasty offers a remarkable new idea of musical length. Drawing on insights from glossy "process" philosophy, he advances a completely temporal viewpoint during which meter is published from its mechanistic connotations and famous as a concrete, visceral agent of musical expression. half one of many booklet studies oppositions of legislation and freedom, constitution and procedure, determinacy and indeterminacy within the speculations of theorists from the eighteenth century to the current. half reinterprets those contrasts to shape a hugely unique account of meter that engages varied musical repertories and aesthetic concerns.

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However, the means must be distinguished here from the ends. Metrical and rhythmic accent must be different in kind; otherwise rhythm, in this sense, would be distinct from meter only when its accents are not coordinated with those of meter (and we would be presented with the same sort of problem we encountered above with respect to durations). If the two kinds of accent are fundamentally different, meter and rhythm are always distinct. We could imagine this difference giving rise to a variety of interactions, ranging from the extreme of tedious, metronomic coordination, in which there is little or no conflict, to that of anarchic disjunction, in which rhythm could threaten to destroy meter.

Not only is a metrical type prescribed for the piece, but also each bar will have an order of metrical accent identical to every other bar under the rule of the signature. Downbeats of bars may be variously accented in relation to some larger metrical formation, but the internal order of all bars (or any unit we regard as metrical ) is the same. And this is true not only of a single piece — any measure of three beats, for example, is in its structure of metrical accent identical to any other measure of three beats.

The temporal continuum of most traditional music consists of a series of more or less evenly spaced beats: the meter of the music. Pulses, however, are flexible, and they are rhythmic. . A pulse is literally heard, not intuited the way a beat is. Pulse is susceptible to rhythmic accent, while metric accents are applied to beats. Not only are metric and rhythmic accents different phenomena but also they are applied to different kinds of musical events. The two may or may not coincide, but they are conceptually — and experientially — distinct.

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