Unfolding Time

Unfolding Time: Studies in Temporality in Twentieth Century Music

Mark Delaere
Justin London
Pascal Decroupet
Bruce Brubaker
Ian Pace
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 198
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qdxmr
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  • Book Info
    Unfolding Time
    Book Description:

    Questions concerning music and its inextricably intertwined and complex interface with time continue to fascinate musicians and scholars. For performers, the primary perception of music is arguably the way in which it unfolds in ‘real time’; while for composers a work appears ‘whole and entire’, with the presence of the score having the potential to compress, and even eliminate, the perception of time as ‘passing’. The paradoxical relationship between these two perspectives, and the subtle mediations at the interface between them with which both performers and composers engage, form the subject matter of this collection of studies. The various contributors address the temporal significance of specific topics such as notation, tempo, metre and rhythm within broader contexts of performance, composition, aesthetics and philosophy. The aim is to present novel ideas about music and time that provide particular insight into musical practice and the world of artistic research.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-096-1
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE Studies in Temporality in Twentieth-Century Music
    (pp. 7-12)
  4. TEMPO, METRE, RHYTHM: TIME IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY MUSIC MUSIC
    (pp. 13-44)
    Mark Delaere

    One of the many paradoxes in the life of a music scholar is that music is said to be the quintessentialtemporalart form, whereas the far greater portion of the theoretical and analytical literature on art music deals withpitchindependently of temporal factors. Curricula in conservatories of music and university music departments have subjects such as harmony, counterpoint and ear training, with a focus on pitch intervals and chords, but it is hard to find a course on tempo, metre and rhythm. The roots of this disparity go back at least to the eighteenth century. Jean-Philippe Rameau’s and...

  5. TEMPORAL COMPLEXITY IN MODERN AND POST-MODERN MUSIC: A CRITIQUE FROM COGNITIVE AESTHETICS
    (pp. 45-68)
    Justin London

    Artworks, both musical and non-musical, have many properties—a sculpture may have a certain size and mass, which makes it a good paperweight; a piece of music may have a soothing effect which is therapeutically useful, and so on—but these properties are not usually thought of as aesthetically relevant. What are the aesthetically relevant properties of a musical artwork? An aesthetically relevant property is one which appertains to our experience, understanding, and critical appreciation of an artwork qua artwork—that is, music as music, and not music as sleep-aid.

    To sort aesthetically relevant from aesthetically non-relevant properties of an...

  6. RHYTHMS – DURATIONS – RHYTHMIC CELLS – GROUPS. CONCEPTS OF MICROLEVEL TIMEORGANISATION IN SERIAL MUSIC AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES ON SHAPING TIME ON HIGHER STRUCTURAL LEVELS
    (pp. 69-94)
    Pascal Decroupet

    In his 1944 publicationTechnique de mon langage musical, Olivier Messiaen initially studied rhythm, then pitch. This seems to be an inversion of the usual approach in Western music theory since most theories until then were primarily based on considerations related to pitch-organization, be it melody, phrase-structure or harmony. For Messiaen, rhythm reached a degree of independence that allowed the consideration of this dimension on its own, even if in the first chapter, ‘Charme des impossibilités et rapport des différentes matières’, it is precisely the relationship between the dimensions of pitch and rhythm on which Messiaen focussed. Taking as examples...

  7. TIME IS TIME: TEMPORAL SIGNIFICATION IN MUSIC
    (pp. 95-148)
    Bruce Brubaker

    John Cage might have said, “Time is time,” as he did say, “Sounds are sounds.” Of course, what he really said is: “Before studying music, men are men and sounds are sounds…”¹ He was riffing on what he said Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki said:

    Dr. Suzuki said: “Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. While studying Zen things become confused: one doesn’t know exactly what is what and which is which. After studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains.”²

    So, as Jacques Lacan said, on television: “I always speak the truth. Never the whole truth, because...

  8. NOTATION, TIME AND THE PERFORMER’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE SCORE IN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
    (pp. 149-192)
    Ian Pace

    There is a certain narrative construction of Western musical history, concerning development of the composer-performer relationship and the concomitant evolution of musical notation, which is familiar and at least tacitly accepted by many. This narrative goes roughly as follows: in the Middle Ages and to a lesser extent to the Renaissance, musical scores provided only a bare outline of the music, with much to be filled in by the performer or performers, who freely improvising within conventions which were for the most part communicated verbally and were highly specific to region or locality. By the Baroque Era, composers had become...

  9. PERSONALIA
    (pp. 193-198)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 199-199)